White Apuan marble being quarried at the head of a dramatic V valley up for the river Secchia. This is the “Tuscan Fault” where the Corsica-Sardinia block is abutting the Po Plain, pushing up the Alpi Apuae and crumpling the crust to form the Orecchiella range. The rocks exposed in the Alpi Apuae have been subject to great pressure and heat, which are now quarried for their building properties and beauty.
Short stay in the northern hills of Tuscany, the Garfagnana. The Secchia river flows down this valley between the Orecchiella and Alpi Apuae natural parks. The topography and geology are radically different on each side of the valley due to the “Tuscan Fault”. We're staying in a family hotel, there's a fine view over the roofs to the twin peaks of Pania della Croce (1,858 m.) and Pania Secca (1711 m.). A trip out to the Passo delle Radici (1,529 m.) found a road with views of the whole of the Alpi Apuane range. Motorbikers out from Lucca, Pisa and Firenze told me they were riding the pass on a touring circuit including Spedaletto.
Round the bay from Monaco and the last town on the French Côte d'Azur before the Italian frontier, with streets lined with lemon trees or palm trees, Menton has a charm as enticing as its climate.
My Tuesday morning riding between fields of poppy flowers and along roads lined with flowers of Provence. A circuit of the Sainte Victorie massif, the next bump south from the Lubéron. Still Goldilocks temperatures, not too hot and not too cold. Some riders of trikes from Aubagne helped with the photos. Then back to a salad lunch in Marseille (thanks Terry), tank hugging for streamlining on the road over the rocky shoulder where the mountain ridges in to the Var plateau.
Not just dance and not just circus. This is dance with serious acrobatics, circus with character and all through social comment and much humour. Plus a dash of nostalgia for old Soho, including Madame Jojos and the quieter side of life in Soho Square. The language of dance and circus portraying vividly the rush of complex experiences and emotions of inner-city life lived to the max.
A major retrospective of the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe drawn from the Getty collection. The curators are proposing Mapplethorpe as an artist: his photographs are presented in an art gallery. By featuring his commercial portraiture as much as his more well-known (notorious) leather subculture photography, the curators are rebalancing his oeuvre and particular reputation as well as advancing the general cause of the photographer as artist. This exhibition was originally mounted in New York, then Los Angeles, followed by Montreal.
This is light touch curating, it would have been useful to have commentary remarking on the various visual references Mapplethorpe employs, from David Bowie to Andy Warhol. Equally the way in which Mapplethorpe’s work has influenced and inspired a generation, from Grace Jones’ cover for “Portfolio” through to the adoption of leather fetish imagery by mainstream fashion image makers.
Just 162 m. altitude and a ten to fifteen minute walk from Keswick town centre, Castlehead offers a famous panorama of Derwent Water, Bassenthwaite Lake and the surrounding fells, which today were clouded with numerous shades of grey. The geological evidence is that this was once a glacial valley and even earlier was the lower slopes of the Borrowdale volcano.
Saint-Julien clarets are reckoned to be amongst the finest available because of the well-drained soil and their many generations of experience since the growers were listed back in 1855. My Father first bought bottles of Château Léoville-Barton in honour of our neighbours in Cambridge, the Bartons. This bottle of 1989 vintage was one of the last bottles of Léoville-Barton he laid down for drinking much later. The same year, 1989, he also inscribed and presented to me a copy of Féret’s classic guide Bordeaux and its wines.