Squaring the Circle

Waking in Camigliano I can hear buzz-saws snarling down in the valley. A team of woodcutters, probably Albanian, is at work thinning down the trees of the macchia, mostly the tough Mediterranean holm-oaks, Quercus ilex. The logs will be left to mature and then piled up in huge lorry-loads, to make perfect firewood for pizza …

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Lotto again

In a former newsletter I wrote of the particular pleasure in leaving behind rooms in an art gallery full of religious paintings, however wonderful, to come across portraits of ‘real’ people. Such an experience has been recently available at the National Gallery. The exhibition exploring the relationship between Giovanni Bellini and his brother-in-law Mantegna will …

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Eagle Eyes

Forty or so years ago seeing a Buzzard used to be a special thrill, only to be experienced in mountainous areas of Britain, but now these birds are ubiquitous. I see them frequently flying over my home, two miles from Oxford city centre. Even more common are Red Kites from the Chilterns, and I’ve seen …

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