A Visit to Compton Verney, Warwickshire, in December 2021

Compton Verney in Warwickshire is one of my favourite places; an elegant Georgian house set in a glorious landscape. A visit here and a walk through the Capability Brown parklands always gives me a feeling of bliss and tranquility. Capability Brown knew what he was up to when he rode through the grounds of theseContinue reading “A Visit to Compton Verney, Warwickshire, in December 2021”

A Tribute to a Gifted Friend: Multifaceted Artist Alison Hird-Beecroft

Today I want to celebrate a rare soul and gifted artist, a lover of the structure and form and beauty she found in the world, both in nature and in the built environment, who cunningly wove that into her own exquisite artefacts: Alison Hird-Beecroft. Alison was a dear friend of both myself and my sisterContinue reading “A Tribute to a Gifted Friend: Multifaceted Artist Alison Hird-Beecroft”

Spring 2021 Writing News

Spring is almost with us and new hope is rising. What’s new here in Warwick, during what we hope will be the final months of the final lockdown? I’m following lots of online courses  – Pilates classes; online song rehearsals with community choir Songlines; a writing course with the amazing sitcom scriptwriter Paul Kerensa, which I do with my comedy blogger son Jamie;Continue reading “Spring 2021 Writing News”

Inspiration for Creative Writers From Grayson Perry in Grayson’s Art Club

Honesty and truthfulness – these are the outstanding virtues of a great artist. And as a creative writer I am currently finding inspiration from  artist Grayson Perry as he showcases “Covid-19 lockdown art” in his TV show “Grayson’s Art Club” on Channel 4. Grayson makes use of our contemporary culture which he transforms into artContinue reading “Inspiration for Creative Writers From Grayson Perry in Grayson’s Art Club”

Australia and New Zealand Mini Series Part 28: Queensland, Australia: from University Campus to Botanic Gardens and Iconic Lookout: Brisbane Highlights

This is the twenty-eighth and final post in my series of short reflections on different places in Australia and New Zealand, as experienced during my November 2019 visit. In my last post I wrote about our final visit in New Zealand: Auckland Botanic Gardens. Whilst there we enjoyed the outstanding Sculptures in the Gardens exhibitionContinue reading “Australia and New Zealand Mini Series Part 28: Queensland, Australia: from University Campus to Botanic Gardens and Iconic Lookout: Brisbane Highlights”

Australia and New Zealand Mini Series Part 27: North Island, New Zealand: Auckland Botanic Gardens

This is the twenty-seventh post in my series of short reflections on different places in Australia and New Zealand, as experienced during my November 2019 visit. Today concludes my account of a journey through New Zealand’s North Island. In my last post I wrote about our visit to the Coromandel Peninsula. I described our stayContinue reading “Australia and New Zealand Mini Series Part 27: North Island, New Zealand: Auckland Botanic Gardens”

Cornwall mini series Part 3: The Eden Project

This is the third in a series of short reflections on places in Cornwall. There will be few words, and mainly images. The Eden Project is now famous for its extraordinary vision, which emerged from the original idea of one man, Tim Smit. And now it is a glorious display of the wonders of thisContinue reading “Cornwall mini series Part 3: The Eden Project”

Glass Sculpture Transforming Kew Gardens

I recently made another visit to Kew Gardens, where we were enchanted by several glass sculptures by artist Dale Chihuly. Placed in the most surprising areas – at the top of the Sion Vista, just outside the Temperate House, hovering over the pond in the water Lily House, or cunningly nested in amongst the tropicalContinue reading “Glass Sculpture Transforming Kew Gardens”

Film and Book Review: ‘Silence’ by Shusaku Endo: and The Film Starring Andrew Garfield

Silence by Shusaku Endo is one of the most compelling and powerful books I’ve ever read. I wrote about it in this way on my website as part of a blog post about an exhibition at the British Museum, Living With the Gods. When I first read the book, several years ago, I think oneContinue reading “Film and Book Review: ‘Silence’ by Shusaku Endo: and The Film Starring Andrew Garfield”

Ian Hislop’s Search for Dissent: ‘I Object’ Exhibition at the British Museum – Brilliant and Cheeky Tribute to the Spirit of Independent Thought

Free will means that even in the most totalitarian regime, individuals keep within their hearts and minds their secret thoughts and views: but with ingenuity they will find a way of expressing it. When Private Eye editor and TV personality Ian Hislop stepped out of his Private Eye offices – as shown on video atContinue reading “Ian Hislop’s Search for Dissent: ‘I Object’ Exhibition at the British Museum – Brilliant and Cheeky Tribute to the Spirit of Independent Thought”