All Saints’ Day

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Wonderful icon of saints Felicity and Perpetua.

Posting this late this year, but as ever, at this time of year I’m grateful for the friends I have in my life: the friends I text jokes with, who I can discuss  worries with, who come out to the good, the bad and the I-need-a-cocktail-now ugly of the theatre scene, who I chat and laugh and carve pumpkins with, who come out to dinner to celebrate, who share cat pictures, who are doing amazing things in their jobs, who are starting families, who hold nights for quartets that are really an excuse to eat cake and talk about hedgehogs, who are up for trampolining, who discuss politics, who share book recommendations, who are making homes and lives for themselves and who have known me better than I know myself for two thirds of my life. And of course, family and the man who is there every day.

1946

Gerald arrived exactly when she asked him, and he brought a very beautiful fern as a present. “I didn’t know what you’d like,” he said, “but I’ve never liked cut flowers myself, and there wasn’t much choice of things in pots. It’s funny,” he went on, as they tramped up the stairs to her room, “but I kept wanting to bring you a cat as a present. Then I thought you might have one anyway. Have you?”

She said no, but she missed having one. “I haven’t got a garden.”

Casting Off by Elizabeth Jane Howard. The start of Polly and Gerald in post-war London with ferns, kedgeree and dark green walls.

Mannheim

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Mannheim Baroque Palace, home to the Wittelsbach dynasty, one of whom married Napoleon’s niece and adopted daughter, Stephanie.

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The enfilades of state rooms are half high Baroque and half Biedermeier, united by the central Ritterssaal (Knights Hall), with chandeliers and statues a go-go.

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Minimalism is not encouraged, but it did stay my Vienna cravings.

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July 2017.

Rural idyll

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As most bank holidays involve a trip out of London but I chose to stay at home for this one, here’s a final shot from the previous one. Bosham church, Easter, 2017.