Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy New Year


Wish I could have been in Sydney to see the fireworks at New Year. They looked to be more spectacular than ever, but London and particularly Edinburgh were terrific as well.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Snow


Snow in Hampshire


Snow in Sweden (sent by a friend). The hanging decoration is called a Winter Light. I think we should have them here

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Litchfield Carol Service


The carol service at Litchfield is held in the evening on the Sunday before Christmas. The little church is always full and we sing a full dozen carols.




Afterwards, mulled wine and mince pies are served in the village hall.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Royal Hospital Chelsea Carol Service 2009


The Carol Service for the Friends of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea was held in the Wren chapel on 10th December 2009. The singing was superb, led by the Royal Hospital choir which is one of the finest in the London. Click the heading for an iphone-quality video of 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing'

You can also see some photos here

The Mission to Seafarers Carol Concert 2009


The choir of Burntwood School. Click the photo for a larger view

The Mission to Seafarers Carol Concert was held as always at St Michael's Paternoster Royal, in the presence of the Princess Royal, accompanied by the chairman of the society, Robert Woods. This year the choir was from Burntwood School and they gave an exuberant and assured performance of both the well-known as well as some little known carols from around the world. Less good were the readers of excerpts from diaries and poems, Dan Snow and Tracy Edwards, who rushed their pieces so that it was difficult to understand them.

Click the heading for more photos of the City at Christmas.

Clic here for some on-line carols

Thomas Miller Carol Service 2009



As in previous years, the Thomas Miller Carol Service was held at St Katharine Cree Church, Leadenhall St with a reception afterwards at the office at 90 Fenchurch St. The chairman of the UK Club, Dino Caroussis, attended the service. Click the heaading for some photos from the event and here for some photos of the City at Christmas.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Friday, 4 December 2009

The Home Project


'Home' is a marvellous film made by Yann Arthus-Bertrand showing the ways in which mankind has depleted the world of much of its natural beauty and as well as its resources. You can see it on YouTube here

Monday, 30 November 2009

Favourite Views



Back in Australia, I can't resist posting one of my favourite views, described here. Click the heading for more, and this photo for a larger view

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Fine Cell Work at the Leathersellers' Hall


Click the heading for more photos of the event.

Fine Cell Work, the charity that teaches needlework to prison inmates and sells their cushions, quits and other work, held a sale a the Leathersellers' Hall on 19th November that was very well attended. The guests were welcomed by the Master, Charles Barrow, and the past Master, Michael Binyon, gave a fine speech about the value of the charity to prisoners' self-respect. The prisoners do the work when they are locked in their cells, and the work gives them a skill and their earnings give them hope and independence.

“Fine Cell Work gives these men dignity in work and through this, dignity in life. When a man gains self-respect he may start addressing his offending behaviour” Officer, HMP Wandsworth

There is a new video about Fine Cell's work on their website

Lat year the event was held at the Drapers' Hall

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Favourite Places




The view of the City from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park. Click to enlarge. Click the heading for more photos

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Anish Kapoor's Exhibition


Anish Kapoor's Exhibition at the Royal Academy has been rightly feted. Click the heading for some more photos

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Ruskin on Pugin's Roman Catholic Conversion

Augustus Pugin converted to Roman Catholicism in 1850, perhaps somewhat unwisely describing the experience thus:

'Oh! Then, what delight! What joy unspeakable! .... the stoups are filled to the brim; the rood is raised on high; the screen glows with sacred imagery and rich device; the niches are filled; the altar is replaced, sustained with sculpted shafts, the relics of saints repose beneath, the Body of Our Lord is enshrined on its consecrated stone; the lamps of the sanctuary burn bright; the saintly portraitures in the glass windows shine all gloriously; and the albs hang in the oaken ambries, and the cope chests are filled with orphreyed baudekins; and pix and pax and chrismatory are there, and thurible and cross......

Perhaps he deserved it, but John Ruskin responded with some fine invective:

'But of all these fatuities, the basest is being lured into the Romanist Church by the glitter of it, like larks into a trap by broken glass; to be blown into a change of religion by the whine of an organ-pipe; stitched into a new creed by gold threads on priests' petticoats; jangled into a change of conscience by the chimes of a belfry. I know nothing in the shape of error so dark as this, no imbecility so absolute, no treachery so contemptible.'

Shortly afterwards Pugin went mad and was confined to Bedlam, and died the following year.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Favourite Writings - Marcus Aurelius - Meditations


Remind yourself constantly of all the physicians, now dead, who used to knit their brows over their ailing patients; all the astrologers who so solemnly predicted their clients' doom; the philosophers who expiated so endlessly on death or immortality; the great commanders who slew their thousands; the despots who wielded powers of life and death with such terrible arrogance as if themselves were gods who could never die; the whole cities which have perished completely, Helice, Pompeii, Herculaneum and others without number.

After that recall, one by one each of your own acquaintances, how one buried another, only to be laid low himself, and be buried in turn by a third, and all in so brief a space of time. Observe, in short, how transient and trivial is all mortal life; yesterday a drop of semen, tomorrow a handful of spice or ashes. Spend therefore these fleeting moments on earth as Nature would have you spend them, and then go to your rest with a good grace,as an olive falls in its season, with a blessing for the earth that bore it and a thanksgiving for the tree that gave it life.


Marcus Aurelius - Meditations

This reminds me much of The Rubiyat of Omar Khyyam and somewhat of The Tale of the Heike

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Religion Flowchart

Favourite Poems - Animals



I think I could turn and live with animals,
They are so placid and self-contained
I stand and look at them long and long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied,
Not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another,
Nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or industrious over the whole earth.


Walt Whitman - Animals

Favourite Photos


Starlings by Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2009 Danny Green. Click the photo for a larger view

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Favourite Places

The entrance hall


I am reluctant to tell anyone about this magical place, an hotel high in the hills to the south of Florence. These photos tell only part of the story; it is like staying in the house of someone like Guiseppe di Lampedusa. It's usually almost completely empty and one only rarely sees a member of staff. There are dark bars full of the arms of long-perished families -the house was built by a friend of Dante's - and breakfast is served on a shady terrace, but there is no restaurant. The rooms look out over the city or back to the cypress-cloaked hills behind. It's a place of perfect peace. 

The hills behind, from the terrace, on a rainy morning

Florence in the evening from the terrace







Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Valentina


The new Valentina in Putney. Click the heading for more photos

Valentina, the best Italian delicatessen in south London for almost twenty years, has now opened a branch in Putney, and it's another star. The original deli added a cafe last year that serves delicious pasta, risottos and other Italian dishes, but the Putney sibling is a more striking design and has a cafe area where Guispeppe and his team serve 'spuntini' - small dishes in the manner of tapas (but better and more substantial) - for £3-4 each and there is also a larger restaurant and bar upstairs. As in the Sheen cafe, there's free wi-fi, a godsend if you are a visitor from overseas.

The delicatessen is still the main event here, and it's superbly well stocked with wonderful breads, oils and pastas, but also offers cooked foods such lasagne and raviolis to take away. The spuntini menu contains delicious antipasto di mare and a frittatina - and omlette made with courgettes and onions finished with mozarella - and other delicacies.

Upstairs the bar and restaurant are decorated with photos of the owner, Bruno Zoccola's ancestors and those of his cousins, who also work in the business, a still-life with scooter and sidecar, and a flat-screen TV showing old black-and white Italian films. Wines are spectacular, from the highly prized and highly priced Tuscans to more modest but still delicious chiantis and atelier wines. My favourite is the La Grola from Allegrini.

Altogether a perfect place to shop for food, relax with a plate of something or go with friends for a meal. If I'm not at home, you'll probably find me there.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Ramesh Balsekar 1917 - 2009



Ramesh Balsekar the great Advaita master, has died. Click the heading for some photos of Ramesh and here for a letter from Wayne Liquorman

Sunday, 27 September 2009

The Big Issue



Photo by Froge on Flickr

I have always admired John Bird and The Big Issue which he started 18 years ago to help homeless people earn a little money and so get off the streets. It's been a brilliant success and has helped countless homeless people. At the same time it gives them - instead of begging - a public face that encourages people to treat them as human beings worthy of help.

Now through Centrepoint one can also sponsor a room for only £12 a month in which a homeless person can live and receive support - and even hold down a job (which usually requires an address) while they get back on their feet. The donor has the added satisfaction of getting regular e-mails about the person living in the sponsored room and can take a 'virtual' tour of it on the internet.

Charities like Centrepoint (which manages The Big Issue) and Fine Cell, which helps prisoners in jail by giving them needlework cushions and embroidories to make and sell, are a great advance on simple tin-rattling charities, where you rarely have much feel for what your money is doing.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Favourite Places


As a counterpoint to Winchester Cathedral, which makes up in length what it lacks in height, I was lucky enough to pass nearby Salisbury Cathedral, which has the tallest spire in England. Click the photo for a better view.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Drapers' Almshouse Outing to Winchester 2009



The Drapers' almshouse outings this year were for the first time to Winchester, a slightly lengthy journey for Queen Elizabeth's and Walter’s Close who had to navigate across London, but both took place on fine autumn days which got progressively warmer after a cloudy start, and were greatly enjoyed.

Unusually, this time residents were given a guided tour - of Winchester Cathedral - immortalised for most of the older residents in song. The beauty of the architecture is inspiring and the whole structure makes up in length what it lacks in height (it has the longest nave in Europe).

On the first visit, Sir Nicholas Jackson (whose grandfather was Cathedral Architect at a critical juncture in the Cathedral’s history – it was about to fall down and was saved by Jackson, Fox, an engineer and Walker, a diver) - knew the Cathedral’s Archaelogical Consultant, Dr John Crook, and the latter was kind enough to give the residents an introduction to the Cathedral and cover some of its fascinating history from the time that Winchester could be said to have been ‘the capital of England’. (The same history was covered by the excellent guides on the second visit).

Sir Nicholas was also found, to the residents’ astonishment, to have played in the Cathedral, a fact that the Drapers’ were accused of hiding, and this gave the visit added flavour as they surveyed the enormous Willis organ from the choir and wondered how such a monster could be tamed.

Although few residents climbed the stairs to see the Winchester Bible and none went up the tower, all were impressed with the beauty of the place and amazed at the extraordinary West Window which is made from fragments saved by the townspeople from the destruction wrought during the Reformation.

Most residents took their lunch in the Cathedral Cafe and then dispersed to the pedestrianised High St and beyond, some walking up to the Castle and into the Great Hall to see ‘King Arthur’s Round Table’ as well as the beautiful gates commissioned for Charles and Diana’s ill-fated marriage, and to survey the town below.

A few adventurous souls passed through the Cathedral Close and were taken on a tour of Winchester College by Herry Lawford, an Old Wykehamist, but only Christopher Barker passed by the meadows where Keats is said to have composed his ‘Ode to Autumn’, on his way to call on his old friend, the former Bishop of Winchester, who lives at St Cross.

Winchester is blessed with an extraordinary number of cafes and tea-rooms as well as fine gardens and riverside walks and pleasant hours were easily passed before the coach arrived for the journey home.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Monday, 14 September 2009

The Law of Unintended Consequences

All bad precedents have their origin in measures that at the time seemed good - Julius Ceasar

Even the liberal lawyer Helena Kennedy QC admits that the best intentions in legal reform can sometimes produce unexpected and unpalatable consequences.

She is particularly concerned about the development of alternative systems of justice that bypass the courts. Restraining orders to protect the victims of domestic violence, once championed by lawyers like her, have in recent years been broadened in scope and application by politicians, particularly by David Blunkett, with very troubling results. She discusses this on BBC Radio 4 which can be heard iPlayer by clicking on the heading.

This reminds me of the deeply unwise extension of laws relating to terrorism; the flawed new law championed by the idiotic Jacqui Smith against the clients of prostitutes; and the Home Office's supine acceptance of a lop-sided extradition treaty with the United States as well as the extraordinarily ill-thought out vetting of people who regularly work with young children. In each of these instances, media-championed attention seems to bring out the worst in law-makers, who consistently forget that any change in the criminal law has far-reaching and easily unforeseen consequences.

The core of all this foolishness is the absence of wise and experienced minds in government. Wisdom, and the moral authority to say no to the silly ideas put forward by well-meaning but narrow-minded reformers, seems to have disappeared compeletely. The appointment of Jacqui Smith was possibly the lowest point the country has ever reached in its long and distinguished criminal justice history - the nation that created habeas corpus and based justice on establishing mens rea through transparent due proces is now allowing small minds to nibble away at these cornerstones of liberty.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Friday, 11 September 2009

How to Draw



Camellia by Masumi Yamanaka for the RHS

To lean to draw a flower, it is best to place a blossoming plant in a deep hollow in the ground and to look upon it. The all its qualities may be grasped. To learn to draw a bamboo, take a branch and cast its shadow upon a white wall on a moonlight night; then its true outline can be obtained. To learn to paint a landscape too, the method is the same. An artist should identify himself with the landscape and watch it until its significance is revealed to him.

Kuo Hsi, a painter of the Sung Period (AD1000)

This reminds me: 'What is a lovely phrase? One that has mopped up as much truth as it can hold.'

Last Words























I have always admired the humble last words of Sir Isaac Newton, one of the greatest minds of any age:

'I do not know what I may seem to the world. But as to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.'

This reminds me of Bagehot's reference to Homer and the sea:

A man who has not read Homer is like a man who has not seen the ocean. There is a great object of which he has no idea.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Wine Writings



It's a great art to be able to write well about wine. Most descriptions singularly fail to capture the experience. But this piece, ostensibly about birdwatching, comes close
.

The first bird I searched for was the nightjar, which used to nest in the valley. Its song is like the stream of wine spilling from a height into a deep and booming cask. It is an odorous sound, with a bouquet that rises to the quiet sky. In the glare of day it would seem thinner and drier, but dusk mellows it and gives it vintage. If a song could smell, this song would smell of crushed grapes and almonds and dark wood. The sound spills out, and none of it is lost. Then it stops. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. But the ear hears it still, a prolonged and fading echo, draining and winding out among the surrounding trees.

The Peregrine by JA Baker

This imagery reminds me of the wine notes of Gerald Asher, whose wine descriptions are superb:

Chateau Lynch-Bages - just the wine for those who like the smell of Verdi. Dark colour, swashbuckling bouquet and ripe flayour. Ready for drinking but will hold well showing a gradual shift in style as it ages into graceful discretion.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Architecture and Modern Development



Chelsea Barracks is a huge cleared space on the left. On the right is the beautiful classical 18th Century architecture of the Royal Hospital and the Margaret Thatcher Infirmary which has recently been completed in complementary style
I am a great admirer of architects, and count some of the best ones as friends (Adrian Gale and Wilkinson Eyre) but the profession's outrageous reaction to the re-thinking of the Qatari development in Chelsea following the objections of the majority of local residents and of course Prince Charles, has been shocking. As a member of the Civic Society, I was happy to read this excellent piece* by Griff Rhys-Jones on his blog and who helps greatly to rebalance the debate towards the sensible and reasonable:

"There is enormous pressure to build houses at present. Some very small proportion will be built by architects. The majority will be ordered up by the yard by developers and will be blank and unimaginative dormitory housing. Why there should be so much opposition to a relatively small area of genuine experiment I have no idea. The worst enemy of the architectural profession is their own sensitivity. They are mired in orthodoxy, over-defensive of their clubbish practices and unschooled in principles of either science or aesthetics. So “fake” is derided and rigorous is upheld. There is no proper absolute moral value in this. It is matter of personal taste. The notion that “truth to materials” or “honesty” is holy writ should be treated with the same searching enquiry as any other mystical pronouncement. What is important is what works, what meets human approval. There has been an era of experiment without the slightest understanding of what experiment really means. If you try a process and the result is Cumbernauld you need to try again, and blame the experiment not the result. What Prince Charles is engaged in is a true experiment. It should be seen as part of the overall move to discover what can work in any age. And it should be recognized that the pattern of building for an age is partly created out of individuality not orthodoxy. I don’t particularly like Poundbury but I like it a lot more than the vast majority of the greenfield developments that you might visit. And I recognize that my objections are based on personal taste. I find the mad mullah, heretic-burning hysteria that breaks out from architects at its mention absurd and truly dangerous to their profession."

Griff Rhys-Jones on his Civic Society Blog August 2009

*I wouldn't have included poor Shane Warne in the diatribe however.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

British Food - and Other Embarassing Observations


A lovely mapo tofu dish from Hong Kong. Photo by Kang of the London Eater blog

I often wonder how 300 years of interaction with delicious cuisines (think Chinese (via Hong Kong), Malaysian, Indian and Arabic) and living next door to (and sometimes actually in) France could have left us with nothing more than haggis, steak and kidney pie and fish and chips. (Alright, roast partridge and smoked salmon are superb, but they're not exactly everyday fare).

One answer is the incipient Puritanism that still affects many of us. But I fear that there's a deep-seated prejudice - probably originating from our being an island race like the Japanese (who suffer from similar prejudices but have created a superb cuisine nonetheless) - against assimilating other cuisines. We never married into other cultures until recently; part of the same prejudice, I suspect. Maybe the defining characteristic of the Brits is snobbery. Anyway, I'm sure Kate Fox would have it nailed.

Friday, 21 August 2009

The Joy of Fly Fishing



Fishing on the River Itchen. Photo by Derek Hampshire

I regret that I have never taken up fishing, apart from catching minnows in the Meon as a child and doing some desultory sea fishing from boats in Wales in my teens. I should have done so, particularly as we inherited my step-grandfather's rods and tackle. I always knew that he was a keen fisherman, having beats on the Bourne and the Test when he lived at Dunley, but only recently did I come across a monograph which he wrote in the thirties about some of his fishing experiences. It's a marvellous read, and the full text of it is on the Archive here. It's also been given to the Fly Fishers' Club where an old friend is Secretary.

Here are some extracts:


And then I discovered the dearest of all little rivers, the Leach, which rises among the downs and runs through Eastleach to join the Thames at Lechlade Mill. Eastleach was a much larger village in the past; there are actually two parishes Eastleach and Eastleach Turville. The two churches are hardly a stone's throw apart and the custom was to hold morning service in one and evening service in the other.

On the Leach, Haig, Downing, Bankes-Price, my eldest daughter Gladys, and I had great times. There was a good Mayfly rise and for some time before and after its appearance the Alder was very successful. Indeed, even while the mayfly was on, trout would often prefer the Alder.

As I have not kept a fishing diary, I can only trust to memory for some of the good days, but some recollections come back to me: A wonderful Mayfly rise, in heavy rain, Penson carrying a huge umbrella, pointing out the rises and laughing with delight as one fat trout after another came into the net.

Another day on the water below Arkell's when I waded a rather deep stretch of not more than a hundred yards and came out with nine good fish all on the Alder.

Still another day when my daughter, Gladys, and I got twenty-two trout before lunch an not one after, and once more when whole day's fishing had resulted in nothing up to six o'clock, then it suddenly turned cold and the fish came madly on and six brace were killed.

But every day on the Leach was delightful, whether the bag was heavy or light, and I remember every twist and turn of the stream with the regret that the fishing is no longer mine, but with the hope that my lucky successors have as good times as I had.

Here is my ideal:- to wade up a long and broad shallow in May or June, the water just deep enough to come halfway up one's thigh, and with patches of weed alternating with clear spaces of clean bright gravel; a gentle breeze at one's back, bright sunshine but with occasional clouds and a gentle shower every now and then; a rise of Olives or Iron Blues, just enough to bring the trout out from their shelters to take up feeding positions over the gravel patches, and with the light just right so that every fish can be seen.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Roses at My Window


One of the delights of summer - the early morning sun adding gold to these yellow roses at my study window

Monday, 27 July 2009

Chopin Society Recital


Superb recital of Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Chopin by Mikhail Kazakevich and Elena Zozina for The Chopin Society at St Gabriel's Church, Warwick Square . Click the heading to hear them playing Chopin's Rondo for two pianos in C, Op 73.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Favourite Cities - Bombay






















The Gateway of India reflected in a window of the Taj with the Arabian Sea beyond

Mother of Cities to me,
For I was born in her gate,
Between the palms and the sea,
Where the world-end steamers wait.


Rudyard Kipling - Bombay

More Kipling here
More Taj here (Terror Attacks) and here

Vitaï Lampada



There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night
Ten to make and the match to win
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play, and the last man in.
And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat.
Or the selfish hope of a season's fame,
But his captain's hand on his shoulder smote
"Play up! Play up! And play the game!"

The sand of the desert is sodden red -
Red with the wreck of a square that broke
The gatling's jammed and the colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed its banks,
And England's far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks -
"Play up! Play up! And play the game!"

This is the word that year by year,
While in her place the school is set,
Every one of her sons must hear,
And none that hears it dare forget.
This they all with a joyful mind
Bear through life like a torch in flame,
And falling fling to the host behind -
"Play up! Play up! And play the game!"

Henry Newbolt 1897

More war poetry here

Commander Colin Balfour 1924 - 2009


Cmdr Colin Balfour, RN, DL, who died last week after suffering an eight-year illness brought on by a fall, was a most charming and amusing man and, with his wife Prue, one of my parents' closest friends. He was brought up in Oxfordshire and was an early friend of Bill Birch Reynardson's and was with him at Eton. Both of them went to war in 1942, Colin joining the navy and Bill the army, and saw a great deal of action (and Bill was wounded). Colin retired from the navy in 1952 and took up farming on his family's estate at Wintershill and in Scotland, which he loved. He was for many years chairman of the govenors of the local school, chairman and treasurer of the Parish Council and a church warden at Durley Church for 24 years. An excellent shot, a superb mimic and story-teller (and mathematician) and a kind and generous man, he and Prue maintained a wonderful social life in Hampshire and in Scotland. Among my parents' fondest memories (apart from many hilarious dinner parties) were when they visited them in the South of France and the annual cricket matches against the village, played on the pitch at Wintershill.  Prue, the daughter of an admiral, who died in 2016 was as charming and gregarious as he was and both enhanced the lives of all those around them.
I have a particular reason to be grateful to Colin and Prue as it was when my father was shooting at Wintershill that he met Bill Birch Reynardson who offered me a job at Thomas Miller where I happily remained for 39 years. 

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Japanese Airports



Where would you rather be, in an interminable queue at Terminal 3, or at Haneda, Tokyo where despite the crowds, smiling girls help you with your luggage?

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

The Painted Hall, Greenwich



The Painted Hall at Greenwich - formerly in the Royal Naval College and now part of the National Maritime Museum - is such an impressive room; even more so than the Drapers' Hall It almost rivals the Palazzo Colonna in Rome. This was an RNLI dinner. Click here for some more photos

Monday, 6 July 2009

Favourite Places


No prizes for knowing where this is - but does anyone know of a finer setting for dinner/

Britain's Amazing Welfare System

A friend who hadn't worked for about twenty years and who was finding it hard to maintain herself recently applied for welfare. She now gets her housing paid for (she rents a modest room), plus £60 a week for food and necessaries. National Health Services - doctors, hospitals, medicines, dentists, glasses etc - are of course already free. Libraries, art galleries and museums are free. Tube and bus travel are free to over 60s. And one is allowed £15,000 of savings without affecting these benefits. Whatever anyone says about Britain, one has to be proud of the way its citizens are looked after when they get into difficulties.

Favourite Places - Novington Manor


A timeless scene - my parents at Novington Manor

Friday, 3 July 2009

Japan - Early Morning Chimes



Early morming chimes in a Japanese village. The chimes are played at 6.00, 12.00 and 17.00 each day. Click here to hear the evening chimes.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Favourite Paintings


Kei is working in the arts at the moment and has found some lovely watercolours. Click the heading for more.