It’s well known that the English are eccentric. ‘Only mad dogs and English men…’ and all that. Nothing expresses this national characteristic more than the passion for folly building. Aristocrats with more money than sense set up turreted towers, sham castles and ornamental gateways on hill-tops, in gardens, and in the middle of nowhere, for no better reason than that they could. These places are … Continue reading Foibles and Follies.
Only one day in Paris! What to do? We went to our favourite museum – Musée d’Orsay – and I became spellbound by the face of a woman who lived 95 years ago. What do I see when I look in your pale, oval face? Hair neatly parted, scraped back in a bun. Deftness. Quietude. A certain passivity. You don’t look like you’d be the … Continue reading Madame Cezanne.
Ernest Hemingway described Venice as a ‘strange, tricky town’ and walking in it as ‘better than walking crossword puzzles’. ‘You stay one month’, Nicola spluttered, ‘what are you going to do’? We want to walk, and walk, and then walk some more, I told him. There’s nowhere in Venice that you cannot reach on foot. A tiny city, only twice the size of central … Continue reading Walking