Autumn in Umbria

It is distinctly autumnal in north Umbria. Mushrooms, truffles, gourds and pumpkins are on display in the shops; and chestnuts.


The view across the valley from L’Ospidale to Monte Santa Maria Tiberina is beautiful. L’Ospidale was probably a hostel for pilgrims and was restored by its current owner about 25 years ago.



Today we drove north into Tuscany for lunch with an English architect who, seven years ago, bought some land on a hillside. This is what he built.



“Amazing” is an over-used word but in describing this house it is apt.

Only Connect

What did E M Forster mean when he wrote “only connect” at the beginning of Howards End? I may have had a theory when I sat English A Level but I don’t have a clue now and I still remember that Howards End was not only not a page-turner but massively boring. OK, so now I’ve blown any crediblity I might have had as a high-brow blogger, clean out of the water. The connections in today’s post are also tenuous. Continue reading Only Connect

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose


(That’s the only French content in this post.) This is what the old Odeon in Kensington High Street will look like after it has been re-developed as flats with seven cinema screens in the basement. Looks good to me. The Art Deco facade has been preserved but the conservationists are still furious.  Continue reading Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

Three Artists

Alan Ellison and Ronnie Wood have an unusual connection. Both are in their sixties and both are artists. Alan lives in Wales and has featured in a previous post (The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore). Ronnie is making his first appearance in these pages. While you are mulling over their connection I will show you one of Alan’s pictures, probably painted in America, judging by the coach in the background. Continue reading Three Artists

Keep Buggering On

A recent comment, by John Fairhead, turns my thoughts to the entry barrier to London clubs. It was reported that Jeremy Paxman was blackballed from the Garrick a few years ago; “too pleased with himself”, apparently, but then he does have a lot to be pleased about. Continue reading Keep Buggering On