Sunday 31 August 2014


Full size reconstruction of a 18 C home
I have been promising myself another visit to Korea for sometime. My use of the British Museum was becoming far too perfunctory, using the Members Rooms as my London office.

Room 67 is full of exquisite Korean treasures from way back when to almost the present day. This is a very intimate experience; ceramics, jewellery, writings, utensils, the stuff of life and art. 

Exquisite Korean Treasures 
Korea as in geographic reality is cheek by jowl to the Japan and Chinese rooms and hence has a great many Asian visitors with headsets and cameras. I often wonder what they think as they walk round all these artefacts from their homelands. 

More delightful and so simple ceramics

It is unique experience; Would one go to Seoul or Singapore to see an exhibition notionally titled Britain 1066 -1966 or perhaps Green and pleasant yet tough on pheasants - the countryside in England in pictures.

Most strange, in the British Museum you can travel almost anywhere.

BM's website;) The Korea Foundation Gallery

Wednesday 27 August 2014


Wit, energy, fun, perfection, imagination and exploration and making us think.
This is the work and world of Jean Paul Gaultier.
Jean Paul Gaultier: Imagination and exploration

Jean Paul Gaultier  Breathtaking shapes and colours 

Quite one of the most breath-taking exhibitions I have been to for a long time: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk 

And it runs until 25 August 2014 at the Barbican Art Gallery.

Two hours there sketching and drawing and soaking up the 165 couture and ready-to-wear garments. The whole piece was stunning curated where outfits and those who inspired, wore or collaborated on them were paraded perfectly.

An exhilarating and exhausting visit, one could get close enough to each stitch and thread with wonderful photos and footage.

I came home determined to go again before August 25 and put all my Madonna vinyl on the turntable right away.

Dust of your collection of Madonna albums

Get some here (mainly Madonna)

And here (Jean Paul and Madonna

Wednesday 20 August 2014


The curfew at Dusseldorf airport falls at 10 pm of an evening so if BA mess up at the Heathrow end (and we were waiting for the 20:40 back to London) then likelihood is that one is going to have an unexpected extended stay.

Thus is come to pass, on Thursday with my colleague Sean.

There was a muffled announcement on the Lounge PA system followed by an unseemly haste of London bound business people back through the airport to the BA Sales desk to be repatriated, with an alternative means of travel.

It could have been worse. Once installed in the Sheraton across from Arrivals we were forced to Google ‘best traditional German restaurant in alt district Dusseldorf’ and as if by magic Trip Advisor came up with Brauerei Zum Schiffchen and we were on or way. 

The taxi deposited us right outside the door.

Inside and glow of warm light and dark wood, scrubbed tables and people enjoying themselves; some of whom were local, others obviously also slaves to Trip Advisor.

The “Schiffchen“ (as it is commonly called) is run by Rolf Klostermeier, who attends to you with all his heart. So proclaims the website.

A first-rate evening aided and abetted by Rolf:  Two Herring starters, and Pork Knuckle and Sauerkraut for Sean and a selection of Wurst, Sauerkraut and Mash for me. A lovely 2009 Rotwein Trocken Pfalz  (Petit N. QbA Castel Peter, Pfalz) to accompany the excellent food.

To bid the evening farewell and to remember to set our alarms we enjoyed a couple of schnapps Zum Schiffchen Edelkorn as suggested by Rolf.

Link to the restaurant here

And here for the city guide

Sunday 17 August 2014


Last Saturday, between singings with St Mary’s choir for two weddings, I sat down to make a drawing of a baroque flight of fancy located in the north aisle of the church. A chair, beautifully and just recently restored by the Furniture Faculty students at Bucks New University in High Wycombe.

Bless them for a wonderful job.

A flamboyantly ornate, gilt wood baroque armchair.
It has a crown canopy adorned with acanthus leaves and cherubs

Canon Arthur A Jones in his early ‘80’s A Guide to the Parish Church of St. Mary and All Saints Beaconsfield describes the chair:

“Behind the pulpit, out of sight of the congregation, is a flamboyantly ornate, gilt wood baroque armchair. It has a crown canopy adorned with acanthus leaves and cherubs and the arms also have cherubs heads of both ends.

“The back of the chair is of painted leather and a small cartouche appears to portray a Franciscan friar kneeling at a table which are on which are a crucifix, two skulls and a flair.    It (the chair) is thought to be of 17th century Spanish workmanship and according to tradition Benjamin Disraeli presented it to the church, when he became Earl of Beaconsfield in 1876”

Conrad born in 1290 as Corrado Confalonieri, a member of one of the noblest families in the town of Calendasco, a little more than 90 miles northwest of Bologna. 

Whilst out hunting a member of his entourage set fire to a wood. Corrado kept quiet about his part in this and a local woodsman was blamed for the destruction, however before this poor local was put to the sword the Prince confessed.  

And in reparation he became a hermit of the Third Order of St. Francis, and venerated as a saint. 

More on St Mary's Beaconsfield and here

Saturday 16 August 2014


Vegetables are needed for lunch; we stop, on the way back from St Antonio, at a near-ruined farm building, now home to bougainvillea.

The Chapel at St Antonio

Tomatoes and other veg are quickly purchased and we head home for luncheon.  (The stall-holder runs out of tomatoes and scurries into the field next door to pick some more)

Languishing through a sleepy afternoon, we are blessed by the shade of tall pine trees in the garden. They rock gently in the breeze; sounds emerge from the beach across the road from the garden. We slide into the pool like seals down a rock.

The smallholder scurries into the field for more tomatoes 

Monday is our back-to-the airport day. An early dawn is grey and then, to wave goodbye, the sun appears.

Mark takes us back to the airport in Valencia. And along the route I again wonder at the arid ground and orange tree fields, tomatoes and olive groves and purple blue hills that climb up behind us as we journey home.

This is the final piece, for now.

Friday 15 August 2014


.. everything is bleached a blinding white
I had bought my colours and brushes in the hope that one-day, some colour sketches of this place would take 'grow' into larger formats. Each day I was able to achieve something; difficult not to with so much light, warmth and colour.

It was enchanting to be in this Mediterranean landscape, another Mediterranean setting, in addition to my time in Cannes in June, which was so much an urban experience.

Behind Alcossebre a mountainous National Park rises up in fortification and to the southwest are large fields with orange groves, their impossibly green leaves against a blood red soil.  Olive trees, their leaves shimmer silver, again against this unreasonable blue sky.
. . . .with so much light, warmth and colour.

 . . . .Olive trees, their leaves shimmer silver
At each day, at the midpoint everything is bleached a blinding white. Old drainage channels separate every field, so arid, and always that thin strip of blue, the sea, is in view.

Saturday becomes Sunday. I'm taken to the small church called Saint Antonio; a tiny chapel built in 1729, next to the seashore’s shingle road. We have another coffee at another cafĂ© this time with red umbrellas and look across to the church.

(Part two of three posts)