I need to dig out my holiday photos from Palermo a few years ago, but here’s a cheat: web photos of the amazing Oratorio Di Santa Zita. Whipped cream a go-go.


St Paul’s


Probably my favourite building in all of London. I love it in every weather: on a cold winter day with blue skies and big clouds


on a grey morning where it blends in with the Victorian and 1950s offices on Ludgate Hill


or on an unexpectedly golden afternoon.


All photos December 2016.




Stunning halo effect in this photo by Joachim Baldauf, which simultaneously references Frida Kahlo, the excesses of high Baroque Catholicism, fine lace and the mandala.

Image via Pinterest.


One of the things I found strangest in the States was that museums were expensive to get into, but the price would include automatic entry to all shows and the ability to take as many photos as you like. In contrast, British institutions are free, but a single exhibition might cost £15 and you can spend £10 on postcards of things you don’t really want.

Currently on at The Met is an exhibition on the material culture of Jerusalem from 1000 – 1400, which thanks to the suggested entry fee policy I got to enjoy for $1. Each area in the exhibition is grouped thematically rather than chronologically, and whilst I wouldn’t say it aims to give a detailed history of the Crusades, it does really conjure up what the life of the elite must have looked and felt like during this period through the choice of stunning objects on display.



Eyes as big as plates



How phenomenonally beautiful is this idea & this photo from Karoline Hjorth and Riita Ikonen? Their Kickstarter page is here & I wish I’d seen it when it was open. Instead I’ll keep an eye out for their book.



The rhubarb camouflage made me laugh too – my dad has killed more rhubarb with his lawn mowing than a school kitchen’s worth of crumble, so this hideout would be perfect for him!

To save one life is to save all humanity



These are the White Helmets, civilian volunteers who enter bomb sites and collapsed homes in Syria to rescue the wounded. That they didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize saddened me, as it showed how manipulated the prize can be (no shock here, given the effective rigging of the literature awards in the 1920s) – but there is this campaign to donate the same amount they would have received under the prize.

Let me say again, these people are volunteers. No conscription or intervening NGO leads, directs or forces them to act. Their choices straddle the boundary of All Souls and All Saints feasts today.

Photo via

Round 1 at The Met

I can’t really say that I did the Met, but I think that it did me, on two consecutive days.







All photos by me, from top to bottom: The sculpture gallery; a screen by Jean Dunand from 1925-26; the Louis of France, the Grand Dauphin by Francois Girourard; a 2nd century painting from Roman Egypt and a Byzantine mosaic; one of the period rooms in the Met; Venus and Aeneas by Jean Cornu; a floral still-life in carved lime wood from 1784; another period room rescued from a French chateau; the American Court; Amor Caritas by Augustus Saint-Gaudans; two paintings by Sargent (including details of the three Wyndham sisters); Maurice Prendergast Central Park; another period room; Europa and the bull in the sculpture court; the entrance hall.