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Making

St Paul’s Cathedral

I have loved this building since I was a young child and as soon as I discovered the name of its architect, I elevated Sir Christopher Wren to the rank of hero. This view is taken from the Cheapside approach, but the Ludgate Hill aspect works as well for me.

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Making

St. George

The church of St Mary of the Castle (Our Lady of the Castle) faces up Ippoton (the Street of the Knights) in Rhodes Old Town. Now a museum, it has had an interesting past. It dates back to the eleventh century, when it was the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Rhodes. By 1322 (when it was mentioned in a Papal Bull of Pope John XXII), it had become the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St Mary. After 1522, the building was used for Islamic worship as the ‘Enderum Cami’.

I visited recently, alone in the building apart from an attendant in heated discussion with her mother on the phone. The structure has both a light and airy aspect, and an air of peace and calm (despite the best efforts of said attendant). It wasn’t my first time visiting and won’t be my last – the place appeals to me. To mark St George’s Day, I took these two photographs of the work of unattributed seventeenth century artists.

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Making

Under Construction

Under Construction

Rhodes, Greece, 14 April 2018.

A corner of the fourth century BC Temple of Apollo, as reconstructed by Italian archaeologists in the early twentieth century, shrouded in twenty-first century scaffolding.

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Making

Double Trouble

My two terrierists, Zoe and Frank, captured beautifully (and adeptly) in a rare still moment by Tori Andrews

Image: © Tori Andrews

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Making

The Bastion

It’s no secret that, for some years, Akakies has been The Pink for me – still or sparkling, my favourite Greek rose wine. But this year, at the urging of the same people who got me hooked on that Kyr-Yiannis staple, I tried La Tour Melas Idylle. Produced in Achinos, between Athens and Thessaloniki, on Kyros Melas’ estate, it’s paler, more elegant and more grown-up than Akakies. It is Bordeaux in style, with a Provençal air about it. On a Greek vacation spent in two towers and the shadows of a bastion, it seemed even more fitting to try this wine and picture it here – on a September evening as dusk fell.

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Making

Living History

New life springs from the Roman wall on Balkerne Hill, Colchester. This section of the town's old fortifications is currently undergoing restoration. In its time it has, of course, seen many more aggressive occupants. In the eleven-week Siege of Colchester in 1648, the Parliamentarians damaged the wall in their, ultimately successful, bid to oust the Royalist troops during the English Civil War. It was a period which caused great suffering to the starved, besieged locals. Rumor has it that this was the origin of Humpty Dumpty, the English nursery rhyme: a one-eyed gunner had inflicted many casualties on the Parliamentarians from the tower of St Mary's church, a two-minute walk from where this photograph was taken, before he and the tower were laid low by cannon fire. Whatever his provenance, Humpty Dumpty certainly helps other Colcestrian favourites, Old King Cole, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and the Teletubbies in keeping our stories alive.

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Making

A Spring Concert

 

On 1 April 2017, I took a stroll through Hyde Park at dusk with members of my family before attending the Spring Concert of the King’s College London Symphony Orchestra at Holy Trinity Church, South Kensington, London. The musical director was Jonathan Lo, the leader, Rebecca Babbage, the assistant conductor, Igor Maia, and the guest conductor, James Ham. Debbie Barnes was the bassoon soloist. There was a programme with a nautical twist: Mendelssohn’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Op.27, followed by Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto in B-flat K.191, then Mendelssohn’s The Hebrides Op.26 and finally, Debussy’s La Mer.

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Making

Persepolis

The perfect ice-cream. Rose water, pistachio and saffron – a taste of heaven.

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Making

Thought of Train of Thought

On show in St Pancras International Station, London, until January 2017, is this 18-meter aluminium artwork by Ron Arad. Designed by a man from Tel Aviv, made by Dutch shipbuilders and erected by British riggers, the sculpture floats, suitably internationally, above a border control point. The station now has 48 million visitors per year and is, as you would expect, bustling. This temporary installation draws eyes upwards as it barely rotates, reflecting the light from the glass above. That roof, designed by William Henry Barlow, was itself a wonder when first erected; in 1868, it was the world’s largest single-span construction. The combination of the two – the glass and the aluminium structures – stills the viewer. I love it now, but have had an affection for St Pancras station since childhood, when it was dark, dingy and dirty – covered in soot as a relic from from the days of steam. A little later, yet long before it became ‘International’, I was a teenager there, in the grimy early hours of a Sunday morning, waiting to catch a slow ride back on the paper train after a night out in town.

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Making

Undeniable Kiss

On Rue Sainte Marthe in  Paris, #WRDSMTH marries the photograph, ‘The Kiss’ by Robert Doisneau, to the #WRD.

#WRDSMTHinParis