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If we couldn't get abroad we had to return to the old hunting grounds on the Cornish coast. The trick was to avoid the traffic and to get into a spot away from those who would normally be in the med. That was only possible by leaving a eleven at night and booking the lodgings two years ago and we squeezed north and south in all weathers. We got jabbed by the wind, jabbed by the rain and nothing else to worry about but food and our maps. Doubly good for the soul. Helford on the Lizard side - as glorious ...

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So where did the summer go as June faded into storms and the May heat left the ground beneath our feet?  With solid shoes, a coat and scarf I went down to the sea the first clear morning after midsummer and captured the mood.  A few days later the evening sky at home showed no compassion for us requiring warmth so we could eat comfortably outside. I bounced along the cliffs west of charmouth where old fashioned fields with a wild sward of healthy grasses abound with colourful  butterflies and tiny creatures loving the weather.   And larger beasts too cuddled up against the ...

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Like many the lockdown to us is at the same time as confusing to the rhythm etched into our dna as it is offering a strange liberation. But without end, there is a persistent search for what might come and out of that some good contemplation of ideas for the future. My method of adjustment partly took me to the fields around home at Yarcombe always within range of the closed church which I now notice slightly changes shape as each evening stroll was recorded onto paper. 

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     Not that the indigenous peoples of Morocco would necessarily wish to agree but the French influence provides a rather agreeable ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the experience of a visiting incomer. French has integrated into the language to the extent one can often hold a full conversation: but perhaps its most prominent legacy is in the food and there is brilliant fusion through for example the use of fresh herbs and spices with bright uncontaminated tomatoes with things like local mutton and chicken. As we wander through tracks and poor villages see the raw simplicities of the people eking out a ...

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  Not everyone agrees that walking in the snowy mountains can be every bit as enjoyable as the fast thrill of the skis nicely cutting down a red slope: or was it black but more like blue I'd say? However the thought of all that tramping around in cumbersome extended boots bleeping through the gates into drafty lifts just to fly for a few minutes, perhaps with agony on some muscle or snowboarding hooligan, only to repeat, is a long way from the tranquil soft uncomplicated pull into the parts where clattering metal apparatus and such speed is unknown. Just to the right ...

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We have a friend with a lovely place on Paxos -  in amongst the olive trees and not far from some stunning rocks with a private view of the sunset. The ideal place for quiet rest and painting. The day consist of three things - a good walk along the shady droves, a swim in the azure warm sea and a paint somewhere along route: however this has to be interspersed by successful coffee time, grabbing some fresh delicacies and a good lunch. Sleep is not allowed. [caption id="attachment_2039" align="alignnone" width="300"] Serenas boat in Loggos[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2038" align="alignnone" width="300"] another of Serena's ...

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I suppose ever since Napoleonic times the British have had a hankering to get away to Corfu and it does remain a place with a very good feeling in the autumn sun as home dives into rain and cloud. We stayed a couple of nights at the Belle Venezia though I was told the Hotel Cavalieri was supposed to be better and with a with a roof terrace atop. So I visited the platform for an expensive beer whilst doing a sketch but and realise our little place was preferable   [caption id="attachment_2040" align="alignright" width="315"] The ok view of the mainland ...

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    WE made it to the Uttarakhand region of the Himalayan hills on the north-eastern reaches of India in the nick on the map 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 ...

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A paint with friends in the Tuscan Hills on one of those bright very warming autumn days brings an interesting dimension to the same view. Sitting in a vineyard in the shade of the olive trees along the drive to the ancient building in which we were all holed up for a few days, we concentrated on tone and shapes and  nine of us produced some marvelously different results but all saying the same thing. With discipline of just three colours per painter, quiet distant chatter from the grape-pickers, and an errant puppy bouncing its uncontrollable paws into pallets and spilling the water pots, ...

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