my IKEA wine rack


For this Michelangelo commission I had great fun yesterday trying to convey the sound of metal ladders being pulled up from the damned as pictured in The Last Judgment and that of angels’ long-stemmed trumpets knocking the heads of the elect. I found the right sound for this latter action by bouncing the bowl of a ladle against the top of my IKEA wine rack…

Attrib. from “Attrib. and other stories” by Eley Williams. The Angel isn’t not Michelangelo at all, but I imagine the sound of trumpets knocking would be quite golden so I decided this angel might be a better fit.

Joan Miro Fondacion


Faced with one last day in Barcelona, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend it inside an art gallery.



It felt like what I’d do in London and therefore maybe a waste of time in Barcelona where I was meant to be doing something different.


But in the end, the fact that tickets for the Sagrada Família were sold out freed up the time and a trip to Montjuic meant I could follow up on the numerous recommendations to take in the Joan Miro Fondacion.


I’d never been a huge Miro fan, but seeing his works in the flesh was a revelation.


The variety, the fact that he changed tack from painting to textiles to sculpture and back again, constantly innovating was impressive, and the works themselves are housed in a fittingly distinctive building.


The fondacion also has temporary exhibitions and when I was there it was one on Lee Miller and Surrealism, a pleasant reminder of my Farley Farm visit years ago.


All photos Nov 2018.

Meera Sethi

Foreign Returned is a term used to describe Indian expats who’ve returned to India. Artist Meera Sethi created a series of portraits drawing on Mughal miniatures and their iconography  to portray some of the foreign Returned – each one holding a visual clue about the multiple identies they spanned.

Moat interesting of all to me was that Meera chose to record these portraits using both the subjects’ legal names (“good names”) and their anglicised abbreviations.


from top to bottom, Sudhar/Sue; Parminder/Paul; K Swaminatham/Sam; Mariam/Mary. All images via where Meera’s newer projects are also on show and can be bought for very good prices – the Auntie series is going to be a particular hit, I imagine. Meera is also on Instagram @meerasethi

Bright sparks


Because in winter it’s still good to remember colour and light. From top to bottom: house in Tavira by @jlinford; @lissovacraft’s studio; sketch by Alice Stevenson; the music room ceiling photographed by @landmarktrust; quinces in @elfredapownall’s garden



The kulebiaka must make your mouth water, it must lie before you, naked, shameless, a temptation. You wink at it, you cut off a sizeable slice, and you let your fingers just play over it…. You eat it, the butter drips from it like tears, the filling is fat, juicy, rich with eggs, giblets, onions…

Chekhov – The Siren

Painting – The Waitress, William Macgregor Paxton


It’s been too hot for much I’d be this summer to really want to cook, and I suspect I’m not the only Londoner who’s reverted to copying other cuisines (Mexican, US Southern, Turkish) for short cut ideas instead of meals. However as the heat wanes and nights start to shorten, the idea of wanting to eat and eat outdoors begins to seem nice and not hellish. This is where Hilda Leyel’s 1930s guide comes in…

Some surprisingly modern flavour combinations and menus sit alongside the grouse and mulligatawny.


Republished a few years ago, there’s bound to be copies still online. I was given a further nudge in this direction by the excellent Edward Bawden exhibition at the Dulwich Picture (on till September 9th), which includes his many book covers fornthe equally eccentric 1930s food writer Ambrose Heath.