France August 2015 – Sancerre

Sancerre…renowned for great wine, delicious cheese…and ruddy, big ice-creams.

I’m not sure what this flower is, but there were a lot about and they were absolutely beautiful…

…as was this shop front.

It was great to see this old house…

…restored to some of it’s former glory.

Outside and inside the church we were menaced by a busker, who followed us round playing the guitar.

This BVM is very kitsch, but very effective. I have a vivid memory of seeing it when i was a child. Seeing it again this summer dropped me back into that memory, a very strange feeling.

My lovely Boys :-).

Milan 2015 – The Duomo

Milan cathedral

…has a very strict dress code…

…and a beautiful floor.

At the moment it’s home to an exhibition by the sculptor Tony Cragg

This is St Bartholomew who was flayed alive. A number of people were taking selfies in front of him…each to their own I guess.

Up on the roof we were able to see this lady…

…this beast and his pal.

The boy fits in quite well!

The stone work is absolutely lovely…

…so delicate…

…and clearly takes a lot of upkeep.

I found these steps rather scary.

The majority of the exhibition was up on the cathedral terraces.

Watching them being installed must be quite something!

It really is quite magical up there.

Henry Moore and Auguste Rodin at Compton Verney

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to blog these photos. I took them in July on my first of two visits to an exhibition of Moore and Rodin sculptures and drawings at Compton Verney in Warwickshire.

[Rodin’s Cybele in the foreground, ‘The Arch’ by Moore’ across the lake]

I hadn’t been aware what an important influence Rodin had been on Moore, and the similarity in their treatment of the human body, was all the more pronounced having seen the contrast between Moore and Bacon in an exhibition at the Ashmolean earlier this year.

[Moore ‘Seated Woman’]

The exhibition was very well curated. Placing Moore’s ‘Reclining Figure: Bunched’…

…next to Rodin’s ‘Fallen Caryatid with Stone’ emphasised their common sinuousness.

 Moore’s ‘Upright Motive No 9’ looked quite vulnerable next to…

Rodin’s confident ‘Walking Man, on a Column’.

 Moore owned a casting of this bronze, and took lots of magnificent photos of it…

…which were on show, along with sketches, models and some exquisite small pieces inside.

Rodin’s ‘Eve’ hid in dabble shadow, whilst…

…this magnificent ‘Three Piece Sculpture: Vertebrae’ by Moore…

…shone in the sun close to Rodin’s ‘Monument to the Burgers of Calais’.

My favourite? Moore’s ‘Seated Woman’, who reminds me my beloved Moore’s ‘Draped Seated Woman’ at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Old Flo).

Lisbon 2013 – Gulbenkian Museum (Museu Calouste Gulbenkian)

Another rainy day sent me off to the Gulbenkian Museum, which (along with the Gulbenkian Foundation, which funds the arts, social welfare, education and science) is housed in some interesting Modernist buildings.

The buildings are set in a beautifully landscaped park, and softened by lots of plants.

Calouste Gulbenkian was a very interesting man, who made his pile acting as a middleman in oil deals in Iraq post the breakup of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th Cent. His shrewd business deals lead to his nickname ‘Mr Five Percent’ (note to self, must look for a good biography).

His extensive art and textile collection would have probably ended up in the UK, had he not followed the French government to Vichy. The British government declared him an enemy alien and sized his oil revenues. You can’t blame him for being a bit miffed.

The collection is absolutely superb. My favourite pieces were the little, Egyptian cat sarcophagus (above) and the collection of Mamluk glass.

Burgundy 2013 – Out and about in Saulieu

We had a little trip to Saulieu, one of its famous sons is the sculptor Francois Pompon.

The local estate agent had made a brave show in their window…

…we had lunch at this lovely cafe, which is run by a lady from South Cave, near Hull (where my Dad’s cousin Jo lived for many years).

Luckily, it wasn’t Accordion Night!

I spotted this little chap outside the cathedral…

…the Pompon Museum is next door.

I was able to commune with this polar bear.

We spotted this rather fancy cinema…

…interesting grafitti…

…and great door furniture.

Ludlow War Memorial


The was memorial in Ludlow is very beautiful. It’s in the shape of a cross with two birds in flight.

I’ve done a wee bit of research on the Internet, but I don’t seem to be able to find out who the artist is. I have a theory that it might be the sculptor (Captain) Adrian Jones, who was a Ludlow lad. The Cavalry Memorial at Hyde Park Corner is his best known work.

To be a tourist…Blenheim

Ah…the English summer…with the lovely black clouds.
We have some relatives visiting from France at the moment, so we toddled off to have a look at Blenheim Palace.
The answer to the question “who lives in a house like this” is someone vulgar!
That said, they do have their own post-box.
There are lots of lions…this one looks rather taken aback.

Obligatory arse shot.

Godzilla in Jesus

Your intrepid documentary photographer was out and about in Cambridge this weekend.
I glimpsed these amazing dinosaurs through the gate to Jesus College.
A kind student let me in (security, what security) and I managed to have a close look.
These wonderful monumental beasts are an installation by the Chapman Brothers.
I loved the way they menaced the buildings…
…and seemed to be thinking about eating the odd student.

Turkey 2010 – Ephesus

This is a place that a set of photos really can’t do justice to.

So here is just my personal take. Here is the front of the library…

…Sophia, wisdom…et moi…

…and example of the amazing detail.

The market place where St Paul got into trouble…

…a wee gladiator…

…a fantastic duck…

…wolf…

…cow…

…lion…

…and a goat.

“Ave Adz!”

What you have to do to get an Equity ticket in Turkey…!

Obligatory cat photograph!