Recent Post -  Patmos Garden From the Archives Desert Island Discs

Thursday, 31 October 2013

DOCUMENTARY: The History of Art in Three Colours

Not Lord Clark of 'Civilisation' but nevertheless very good watchable TV and erudite: James Fox eloquent, far-fetched but pleasurable.

'The History of Art in Three Colours' - GOLD / BLUE / WHITE. 

No longer available on BBC Iplayer but full episodes can be found on You Tube.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

ART / COMMENT: Frieze Masters 2013

This month in London there were 3/4 art fairs, the best of these for contemporary art, Frieze, has been going for years. Frieze Masters, started in 2012, is art until the year 2000 - a very remarkable collection of galleries from all over and of very high standard, a welcome newcomer.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

LIVING BY DESIGN: Chester Square, London in the 1970's

A first floor [US second floor] Drawing Room.  An Arshile Gorky painting, three JS chrome cloud tables and a brown leather armchair by Zanotta, a pinoleum blind on the window.
A plain, sandstone fireplace with a real fire
 - always desirable if possible.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

ART I admire: St. Jerome by Cosimo Tura [c. 1470]

Saint Jerome is shown beating his breast with a stone while praying. This refers to the two years he spent in the desert of Chalcis (376-8) repenting of his sins. The lion, one of the saint's attributes, is on the left. According to legend, Jerome befriended the lion by pulling a thorn out of its paw. The other animals may symbolise evil or simply suggest the wilderness. The wall-creeper and the owl may symbolise evil (the owl's nocturnal habits were sometimes associated with sin) or may simply suggest the desert setting.

Thursday, 24 October 2013


Despite its critical acclaim, I resisted Vince Gilligan's Breaking Bad but finally gave in [the series came to an end in September in the U.S. - Alberqueque gave the Walter White drug baron a civic funeral] 

It is so compelling and funny and mesmerising - many more episodes to watch--hurray!  The best thing I have seen since David Lynch's Twin Peaks.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

BOOKS: Darling Monster by Diana Cooper

A great beauty, a life enhancer, she spoke and wrote with a particular turn of phrase, she had a sense of humour, a vivid intelligence, once a friend she was always loyal.   Diana Cooper, when staying at my Dorset cowsheds, would give my butler Mr. Aubrey [mispronounced Miss Strawberry] unicorns; he ended up with a stable of these lovely creatures.


Why not read the autobiography - three books published in one volume by Michael Russell
(Publishing ) Ltd .

Monday, 21 October 2013

LIVING BY DESIGN: Portugal - Building Containers

Age-long craftsmanship adapted to modernity:
containers with all mod-cons, made to look traditional they can be dismantled and moved if need be in 48 hours!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013


JS Paulina from the Claudia Collection in Pink/Navy

John Stefanidis Fabrics available from:

LondonUK - Tissus d'Helene
Showroom: Chelsea HarbourLondonSW10 0XF
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7352 9977

MiamiUSA - Monica James
Showroom: 40 NE 40th StreetMiamiFL 33137
Phone: + 1 305-576-6222

Los AngelesUSA – Harbinger
Showroom: 752 North La Cienega Blvd,West HollywoodCA 90069
Phone: +1 310 858 6884

Friday, 11 October 2013


In summer, in the Mediterranean, one becomes cruise ship conscious.  Hideous, ungainly giants dwarf Venice and the Greek islands.  Yachts are even worse, built as they are for individuals and not the mass tourist market. The French call modern yachts 'fer à repasser' - an iron for pressing... 

'M/Y Limitless'

When it comes to boats I am a super snob.  Design star of the last decades is, beyond doubt, M/Y Limitless.  

Thanks to the owner's meticulous eye for detail, 'M/Y Limitless' is faultless, luxurious and impeccable, it has not aged an iota since being built by German shipmaker Lürssen in 1997, it has an elegant and restrained interior by the Parisien designer Francois Catroux.


A sailing yacht design classic 'Dorade' by American yacht designer Olin Stephens II (1908-2008), extensively restored by my Uni friend at Oxford, Giusepppe Gazzoni Frascara at the The Monte Argentario shipyard, Porto Santo Stefano, Italy.  He has excellent taste in boats.

Giuseppe also built 'Anemos' with Nautor's Swan in Finland 
- an ocean going marvel. 

'Anemos' is a 34.34m (112'7" ft)  sail yacht