Golden blue


This time before Christmas is beautiful as the dark blue air meets the gold and white of stone, paint and decorations.


This is one of my favourite colour combinations, conjuring warmth, excitement and security.


Photos from St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol – taken one morning before work. As I walked round, the volunteers put up a Christmas tree in the nave.




And I enjoyed the quiet side aisles, with stained glass and carvings.

December 2016. For more, it was Birmingham last year.

Refugees run



A beautiful image by Tatsuro Kiuchi of an adult struggling to adapt in a new land that could serve easily as a metaphor of the Annunciation (that light fall could be the angel, and the incomprehensible text the mystery she is asked to grasp).

Down the road the refugees run

A child, a father and mother

Scared by what they’ve left behind

And what they fear to discover

The illustration belongs to an article on the refugee crisis and the lyrics, from Wild Goose Hymns, a disc that played most Christmases at our house when I grew up, reminds us of another family on the run – the new family of Mary, Joseph and Jesus, who in the current church calendar have to flee with a child a few weeks old. The holy family are the patron saints of refugees.



More images on Tatsuro Kiuchi’s website, or article available at the Lehigh Review.



Weihnachten fancies


As soon as I saw this picture of the Stadtschloss in Weimar I could imagine drawing up in a sleigh through the snow, ready for a ball. Maybe it’s time to finally read Fontane’s  After the Storm,  sometimes described as a German War and Peace, which has been on my shelf for about four years.

Gotha, Schlofl Friedenstein


Schloss Friedenstein Gotha.


On the otherwise hand, finding this lady and her coquettish bonnet and scarf on my photo roll, and then coming across this interesting article by Kathryn Hughes, has made me fancy a bit more George Eliot.

Euphemia White Van Rensselaer by George P. Healy, photo October 2016 from the Met. Schloss images via the German tourist board websites.

Home comfort



You know you’re getting comfortably middle-aged when you start thinking tea towels would be a nice gift (or re-usable wrapping paper), or that your idea of an internet shopping splurge is a cherry tree (only £12.99!), or maybe a pear.

Berry teatowels by Emily Gilmore via her Etsy shop; Otomi teatowels also via Etsy but found on Cup of Jo. Also check out Emily’s beautiful berry paintings on her Instagram page.