Palazzo Massimo


A three minute walk from the main Rome train station is part of the national museum’s collection, the Palazzo Massimo.


If you’d said to me before would I want to spend a morning looking at Roman art, I’d probably have said no (too many memories of the British Museum’s overcrowded and ill-displayed galleries), but as with so many things, a look at Simon Martin’s Instagram page put me onto it.


And I’m so glad we went – it was a whistle stop tour of the best part of a thousand years of power and art, and by the end the medieval age had definitely begun.


All pics December 2018. From the archives this time last year: the Rodin museum.



Shanghai bicycles photographed by @clarenced from her recent trip to China; the Jonathan Anderson bag for Loewe and a Delft platter on sale from Fisher London. Shapes, loops and dark tones for what is often an unexpectedly-cold stage of the year.

Elizabeth, jewelled


Close ups of this beautiful 1560s portrait of Elizabeth I.


The overall face is idealised, but what’s interesting is that these close ups look pretty realistic when compared with portraits of Elizabeth’s grandfather Henry VII.


Under an equal sky


“Under an equal sky” by Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg, in Canterbury Cathedral. A good reminder that I want to see more of Kent this year. Photo by the excellent @georgianlondon, who seems to love the Spitalfields area as much as I do.

A tough life needs a tough language


I’ve never previously wanted to read Jeanette Winterson, which just shows how easy it is to get a wrong impression of an author from public dialogue. (Dickens is a prime example of an author I loved as soon as I actually read him.) This extract is funnier and blunter than I’d have expected and now I’m curious to read her memoir “Why be happy when you could be normal?”