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Local reports from Udaipur this week confirm that, thanks to the quick-thinking magnanimity by the ruler at the Delwara Fort Palace, a clash of some ugly proportions did not come to pass. Early last Friday a band of insurrectionaries emerged from the Aravalli Hills to the walls of the fort, setting up camp in the heat and dust of the orchards. By Saturday night fuelled by french champagne and enlisting military drummers the rabble took a short 45 minutes to get to the gates. Cleverly, they had employed tailors and couture from the region, hairdressers and make up people to disguise their ...

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    WE made it to the Uttarakhand region Himalayan hills on the north-eastern reaches of India in the nick bordered by Nepal and Tibet. At about 150 km south of the highest peak in India, the 21,000 feet of Nanda Devi, loomed on the horizon in the gin clear air as though it was a short walk away from our mere 7000 feet hillocks.   Steep and intriguing hills rolling into the distance alive with activity. With eagles souring and woodpeckers sounding, the local doves and great barbetts make the most sound in the short twilight when the temperature changes markedly -  ...

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In a landscape where serried ranks of vines line the hillsides it doesn't take much to move off the beaten track and just along the unfenced yards to a point where the hedges laden with fruit drop away on the southern slope. And here is a special place to be found. But all the more joyous when the chatter of  manual harvesters are not replaced by machinery. For we are on a private estate in Italy where care is paramount. And on they go and all is quiet again. And this reminds me of a similar exercise, now an annual event, ...

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   My father as a WWII soldier always used the expression "remember belgium!" not by way of direct reference to the 1915 campaign to recruit into the allied forces - see poster - which in itself was a reference to the tremendous atrocities in that country  in 1914: but to emphasise that when lobbing artillery fire towards a german force from allied lines in the spring of 1946 might go a little too far and so to speak over their heads and of course land in Belgium.... and in so doing, bring back those endurances the dear folk suffered in WWI. And of course they ...

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Art in its many forms provides a quiet distraction from the workplace where this small exhibition is set in the heart of Exeter's business area, close to the Cathedral and the refined architecture of Southernhay. On the evening of the 6th October 2106 Philip Kerr presents some west country scenes on the walls of Senate Court as a tiny contribution within the Two Moors Festival of special music and that evening Mozart, Elgar and Gershwin will be played to an invited audience and my pictures. This event is kindly sponsored by  lawyers Foot Anstey who will host the evening with a debate ...

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 PHOTO-PEINTURE: Thalia rushing to St Catherine's Lighthouse Eleven hours in a boat race is a trial but when its on the oldest craft in the fleet with gunnels continually running the water, a pretty strong blow and a lumpy sea then its an adventure. For Thalia built as a gentleman's cruiser in 1888 will have seen such seas before as crew will have white knuckled to haul the un-winched sheets at the wetted sharp end as we did to trim the acres of cream canvass. And what fun to understand the heavy and purposeful slosh through the water as six tons of long keel kept us from ...

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Huts dotted on outcrops at Ecrehou When eighteen friends and family who have known each other for about 35 years are thrust together to celebrate a sixtieth birthday there's quite a buzz. When it takes place in referendum week on the waters of the Channel between the UK and the Continent (I think we used to call it), this physical fault-line coupled with our hosts choice of activity added to the befuddling of minds amongst us. For in 48 hours we managed to leave mainland UK through Southampton water, arrive in continental Cherbourg three hours later, to be set aboard a sailing vessel to back ...

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The place is simply a joy and no wonder those who visit Barcelona hardly ever complain. The active narrower streets nicely separate the main traffic from all the good parts - making such difference to getting about and allowing a host of small enterprises to spill out onto the pathways and squares all of which makes for interest and an unsophisticated order with family concerns jousting out of the shadows - yet there is little gaucheness as the natural rhythm is calm, is proportionate and is subtle. Staying close to the University at Hostal Grau describing itself as an eco-chic hotel, I could not have hit ...

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Those who dare read these notes should be made aware that my other life is more mundane but an absolute necessity to keep bread on the table. That said my work boils down to requiring a creative streak to be most effective and sustaining. So in a fit of blue mooding I brought two of the parts of my life together in a writing called 'why develop' - not so much of a question but a statement about the absolute necessity to move on and improve; but to  do it in such a way that is fulfilling, long lasting and ...

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[caption id="attachment_1328" align="alignnone" width="289"] Strong Shaddows[/caption] The milky but nevertheless strong sun as late at five in the December evening creates shadows not there in the summer months when I usually find myself perched above the Lot on some affleurement deep in the hills. And what joy of colour, silence and warmth with an autumnal scent of ever so slowly rotting oak leaves that dance up in whisps in the breeze. And just down the valley the pre-Christmas market around the large church in Praysaac is packing away its local cheese, soiled and knobbly vegetables and taking back the lucky caged capons to ...

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