Posted in France, Re-blog

Eric Ravilious and 20th century British Art

Some lovely and captivating paintings. (I like the alliterative rant halfway down too!)

Blog-sur-Aude

img_20161128_085926I found this painting in a junk shop in Birmingham. It was filthy; but oil paintings are tough and almost always clean up well.

Even in that condition I could see the strong composition, colour & form.

It’s unsigned (unusual if it’s by an “amateur”) An unsigned work is more often that of an artist who is working prolifically, but is not of celebrity status and so doesn’t have to think about provenance later down the line!

This is by someone who understands classical painting and has been classically taught ( it’s sketched out in Prussian blue, and quite right too, my old Art tutors would have lynched the class of 71-74 for using the colour black ANYWHERE!)

My junk shop painting here has the colours, the look and the feel of  1920’s-30’s British Art, a taste of which is currently celebrated at the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings UK. www.

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Posted in Cambridge, Literature, Re-blog

When CTG met … Andy Martin writer of ‘Reacher Said Nothing’ (and Lee Child!!)

This is fascinating. An interview with an academic on how they observed a crime thriller author write their latest book.

crime thriller girl

Andy Martin is the Cambridge academic who sat behind Lee Child as he wrote the 20th Jack Reacher book – MAKE ME. Andy observed Lee’s process, his routine, and (amongst other things) the amount of cigarettes he smoked and coffees he drank. For a huge Reacher fan like me, it sounded like the perfect way to spend seven months. I wanted to know more; what was it like to be there as the story was created? How did it feel to be writing a book about the making of MAKE ME? I guess I wanted to know more about the making of the making of book – REACHER SAID NOTHING. Sure, Andy said, let’s talk. So I drove to Cambridge, and we did …

April 14th. Andy’s house. Cambridge. Afternoon.

I’m sitting at Andy’s kitchen table. Andy is making coffee – proper coffee, ground especially and everything…

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Posted in Architecture, Literature, London, Railways & Trains

Re-reading Harry Potter

I find the Harry Potter series enthralling. I have read the whole series at least three times now. Generally, if I can I’ll read them one after another. I read quickly but this is still a fortnight of Hogwarts. I am currently halfway through the Goblet of Fire, episode four of the set. It is not my favourite! The first one is still the best. I just love the fairy tale quality to it, it has an excitement and innocence that I love. The wand shop in Diagon Alley is a favourite location, it reminds me of a very old shop near where I live. Though it was stacked high with small boxes of Airfix models, rather than wands. Continue reading “Re-reading Harry Potter”

Posted in Architecture, Cambridge, Re-blog

Survival of the fittest: HKPA’s ideas competition for Darwin College

HKPA allsorts

Studying the drawings at HKPA’s archive last summer, I noticed this label on ‘roll 24’:

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These, I discovered, are the drawings for HKPA’s in-house ideas competition for their additions to Darwin College, Cambridge (designed 1965-6, built 1967-8). It’s slightly ironic that while these have survived, the practice’s main set of drawings for the job appear to be missing (although Darwin retain a full set).

The base drawings – showing existing buildings – are dated 4 March 1965, so I suppose the competition was held a little after that date. Bill Howell mentioned an ‘office competition’ when presenting a revised scheme to the College in May. Most of the entrants had a go at the challenge of slotting a new dining hall into a narrow gap between the Hermitage (left on the photo below) and Newnam Terrace (right), ensuring privacy and security for those in the garden while maintaining visual connections…

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Posted in Architecture, Railways & Trains, Re-blog

9 ‘Lost’ Railway Stations

I love railways, and especially old stations, so here is a post from Heritage Calling, the blog of Historic England.

Heritage Calling

1. Birmingham Snow Hill

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This fine Edwardian station was demolished in 1977 despite a public outcry.  The historic fabric was razed and trains on the old Great Western line to Leamington were terminated at Moor Street – originally devised as an overflow station for Snow Hill. However, the damage to cross-city services was so severe that the station was rebuilt, in a smaller, far more utilitarian idiom, in 1987 – a mere ten years after the station had disappeared.

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Posted in Architecture, London, Railways & Trains, Travel

Mounts and Crosses

I’ve travelled to London since I was child. Then we moved around by Tube. I think my mother felt that London was a dangerous place for young children, and thus clung to the perceived safety offered by the underground. If it wasn’t near an underground train station we simply didn’t go there.

South Kensington had a tube station, so all the museums in Exhibition Road museums were duly visited. Even better the pedestrian tunnel under the road allowed uninterrupted subterranean access.  Continue reading “Mounts and Crosses”