‘I really like it. It looks beautiful, the colours are lush and it’s a refreshing perspective on the world. I love the idea of excellent dates engaging with Pliny’s figs and mushrooms, your thought provoking note on innocence, and the concept of the songs of men deep in the heart of grape buds’ – Nicki

Of open gates

Of open gates

An image of both friendliness and security, a place where you can leave your gate open. Eventually they reached an open gate - open because in those days life in the country was so secure that a closed gate signified either unfriendliness or else that the owners were...

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Afternoon tea (I)

Afternoon tea (I)

Must be the Brit in me, but I love detailed descriptions of sumptuous teas and picnics, although I have failed to win my Italian husband over to either concept.  So abject has my failure been that when I once mentioned a picnic, he innocently asked, 'But why do you...

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In praise of dubious eggs

In praise of dubious eggs

A wonderful voice of hope, wryly recognising, however, that potential can be fragile, as eggs can break.  But then again, they can hatch...In fact, the world is full of hopeful analogies and handsome dubious eggs called possibilities. May your dubious eggs of...

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Like a cradle-song

Like a cradle-song

Such a comforting line this, from a letter by the German poet Hölderlin. The sky and the air embrace me like a cradle-song.May they embrace you,...

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Of radical innocence

Of radical innocence

Innocence is one of the key themes we chose for this website (here's why), and I believe Dante backs me up.  I mean innocence and not naivety, and...

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Within and without

Within and without

A thoughtful assertion, that cheerfulness is as much internally derived as externally influenced.   Wish you the conditions needed to have it come...

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Relationships matter

Relationships matter

Saint-Exupery highlights the essentials of life revealed at the moment of death.  A reminder to be conscious of the mesh of relationships binding us...

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Richness on the world

Richness on the world

A lovely summer image of blueness infusing the landscape. The hills Lullingford way were blue as a summer sky, a deep promising blue, and there was...

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First taste of freedom

First taste of freedom

Freed from labour camp in September 1953, following the demise of Stalin, the few survivors still standing left the camp and headed for the nearby...

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A grandfather’s love

A grandfather’s love

The Hungarian poet Faludy gives an enticing description of his grandfather, seen through a boy's eyes.  I like how he pitches his speech...

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Paying the bill

Paying the bill

A charming admission of costs incurred by a character who appears in György Faludy's memoir of life in Communist Hungary.  This outrageously...

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Now, at last

Now, at last

The Hungarian poet György Faludy had a full dose of adventure in his long life. On the eve of the Second World War he opted to leave his native...

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Make your soul grow

Make your soul grow

A warm and wise letter written by Kurt Vonnegut in 2006 in response to one received from a class - and its teacher Miss Lockwood - at Xavier High...

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Of sweets and violets

Of sweets and violets

How about this loving description of a driver who charms Golding in Istanbul, handing him and his companion endearing gifts.  None of which...

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Delight in small things

Delight in small things

A personage who takes delight in small things he finds on the wayside - I loved this eclectic selection of things spotted, gathered up, carefully...

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Long way to go

Long way to go

Barry Lopez sums up the challenge of adulthood: how to face and acknowledge the 'dark threads of life' while somehow living in an exemplary way (I...

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Life as miracle

Life as miracle

Attributed to Einstein, this gives us two clear-cut approaches to life.  Babies and small children seem more alive to the miraculous but a challenge...

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