Green Mountain

Love Letters

The Centre Will Not Hold

The Centre Will Not Hold (2017), produced by the late Joan Didion’s nephew Griffin Dunne, is an interview documentary that can be watched time and again. Joan Didion’s wisdom always inspires. Writer and art critic Hilton Als says, “The weirdness of America got into her bones and came out on the other side of a typewriter”.

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You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Monocle’s Chiara Rimella is the source of my 2022 commitments. On Christmas Eve she shared that “Ultimately, it’s the things that meant the most to us that will stick. And if there’s one lesson that we should have learnt in 2021, it’s to embrace the things that really matter to us – and not to fret about the rest.”

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From What Remains

The Michaelis School of Fine Art 2021 Grad Show has now closed. You can view the art works of the fifty two graduates online, a privilege to visit and a privilege to revisit here at home.

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Palimpsest

Palimpsest is a (hard to say) word that I have learnt from art reviews. It is commonly defined as “a manuscript in which later writing has been superimposed on earlier (effaced) writing. In other words, a palimpsest is a multi-layered record.

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Black Olives

In April 2020, when Wildekrans Country House’s olive team was safely at home, our family of four were left to harvest the one hundred odd trees planted by us twenty years ago.

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Why Guided Hikes Are Good For You

Matthew Crawford’s “The Case for Working With Your Hands, or why office work is bad for us and fixing things feels good”, while published back in 2010, is even more relevant now, eleven years on. If you’ve ever wondered why doing the laundry at your holiday spot makes you happy, read this book. In reviewing the writing, Jeremy Williams says, “Crawford’s point is that ‘manual labour’ has been devalued in an age of information.

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Fight or Flight

Paolo Staccioli is a sculptor and ceramicist living in Scandicci, on the outskirts of Florence. I visited his studio last month, a treasured experience that I hope to share with visitors to Casa di Simonetta.

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My Bestie, You Need To Book, And Elgin Open Gardens

When the daily grind gets too much, a fun “pick me up” distraction can be a life saver. Iko Iko (My Bestie) by Justin Wellington will get you dancing on the bluest morning. It caught my attention on the radio recently, and on looking it up, I discovered that this original New Orleans song  was written under the title “Jock -A-Mo” by James Crawford back in 1953! Crawford explained that Iko Iko was a victory chant that Indians would shout and Jock-A-Mo, a chant when going into battle.

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Pan co’ Santi

Central Italy’s region of Tuscany is filled with hilltop villages. Lecchi is our most visited, being only two kilometers from the borgho of Adine, home to Casa di Simonetta.

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