Monday, 23 February 2015


When Mum and Dad got home from Europe, the garden in a sorry state; the reticulation had failed so we had patchy grass, a sad looking herb garden and a few dead prize plants.

It wasn't too much of a surprise as our garden water is pumped from a mill stream which can run dry over summer and some plants end up dying anyway, despite Mum's hawk-like attentions. It was devastating for Mum though as it was somewhat more severe than usual.

By the time I returned a week later, some things were in the process of being revived.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Through the Lattice Window

A recent discussion with a friend made me realise that in addition to Gargoyles and Grotesques, there is another thing I have a tendency to take photos of when touring old cities and old buildings. That of a landscape through a window, but with elements of the window incorporated into the shot. Sometimes it's unavoidable as the lattice is so small it's difficult to capture the whole view without getting some of the window into the shot. On other occasions though it adds a reminder of the location of the photo, making it more than just a landscape shot from a higher viewpoint. Instead it adds an element of the building, drawing the inside out, as opposed to the outside in. 

So here are just a few, some with lattice windows, some without the glass at all. 

From the Castel Sant'Angelo towards St Peter's, Rome, Italy

Looking in to the Bath Assembly Rooms, UK

The grounds of Fontainebleu, France

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Cup of Tea Biscuits (Tea Biscuits)

Not only are these biscuits great to have with a cup of tea, but they contain tea leaves which add an interesting added element to the taste.

The original recipe calls for Lady Grey tea, but I find that so long as the tea is a very floral tea or a tisane, it doesn't matter what exactly you use.

If you want the biscuits to have an even more intense flavour, leave the dough overnight before baking, or freeze the dough and bake it at a later date, allowing the leaves time to absorb moisture and infuse the dough with flavour.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Faces of Europe

Many of my family and friends are probably aware of my fascination with Gargoyles and Grotesques.
They're the delightful little carvings that make an ordinary house or church into something a little different and a little more personal. No doubt they officially represent the evils of the world, or the various forms of the devil, or something slightly boring. However what is wonderful is just how much variety there is between them, and no doubt how much joy the carvers got from creating them, knowing that others, now and in the future would get as much delight viewing them.

Bayerische National Museum
So, as I was nice, and decided not to inundate the posts of my travels around Europe with photos of the many beauties I found, I decided to save them up for one post so you too can appreciate their delight in full.

Salzburg's Franziskanerkirche, this lion is standing over
 a wounded man supposedly having mauled him to death.
I would take a more kindly view towards the lion,
but it is in a Catholic church. 

18th Century Embroidery

On my latest trip to Europe I was fortunate enough to find a couple of museums with historical fashions on the floor.

Usually historical fashions are few and far between particularly as for every few months on display they are ideally required to spend a few years in deep storage to counterbalance the impact of the light and heat on the delicate fabrics. As a result, some museums are only open when they have a temporary exhibition on.

Other historical fashion collections are not even given their own museum, but are discretely incorporated into cultural or 'time period' museums with little or no external reference even to the existence of the collection within.

On this trip I had discovered a few small references to these collections which ensured my determination to see them. I was not expecting them to cover the same field. The first exhibition was Fashion Unframed at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich, and the second part of the permanent exhibition at Palazzo Mocenigo, Venice.

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