Monthly Archives: September 2015

Madonnas, Mawkins and Mammets

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Rara Avis

Birds seem to creep into my work try how I might. I’m reminded of the Latin tag from Juvenal – Rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cycno. “A bird rarely seen on earth, and very like a black swan.” Juvenal chose … Continue reading

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Dancing Beak to Beak.

I think I might have already found my favourite place in Florence. It’s La Specola; the extraordinary zoology museum housed in a old and splendidly dilapidated palazzo. It is home to a spectacular collection of wax anatomical models. I am … Continue reading

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79 Perth Road

Every day I walk down the Perth Road and I pass by an old church, Ryehill, which was converted into flats in the 1980’s. But without its tower, it is not quite the dignified place of worship of its glory … Continue reading

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Come to Mecca

I’m staying on the wrong side of the Arno and I like it very much thank you! It is quiet and we seem to be almost the only tourists. We were taking a little constitutional along the riverside, noticing how … Continue reading

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The Eyes Have It

Normally I would say that I’m not that interested in graffiti. Until I came to Tuscany. Right now it’s not the Renaissance architecture that’s floating my boat -it’s the deliciously vibrant (and amazingly well drawn) street art that I’ve found … Continue reading

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Cracking Sugar in Heaven

  I’ve just discovered the poems of Rumi embarrassingly late in life. And the line  “The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar as we laugh together, you and I.” reminded me of these beautiful parrots from the great fireplace at Hospitalfield … Continue reading

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Crambe Repetita – rhyparographia or rhopographia?

Crambe repetita: Cabbage warmed up the second time; hence used proverbially for any tedious repetition of a truism, an old story, etc. The expression comes from the 2nd century Roman satirist Juvenal: occidit miseros crambe repetita magistros – literally cabbage repeated is the … Continue reading

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Flamingo Croquet

There has been an addition to the crows. Alice thought she had never seen such a curious croquet-ground in her life; it was all ridges and furrows; the balls were live hedgehogs, the mallets live flamingoes, and the soldiers had … Continue reading

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