Friar’s Crag

The Lake District is my home from home. I have been coming here for years, the first time on a family holiday when I was eight or so. I became entranced by the rugged beauty of the places, the clearness of the rivers, the colours and roundness of the stones, the single-word poems that wereRead More

Journeymen

Cricket is first and foremost a dramatic spectacle. It belongs with the theatre, ballet, opera and the dance … It is so organized that at all times it is compelled to reproduce the central action which characterizes all good drama from the days of the Greeks to our own; two individuals are pitted against eachRead More

Kurt’s barn

The jazz singer and art lover George Melly was fond of telling a story about when he was confronted by some thugs with broken bottles outside a Manchester club. Running not being much of an option for the rotund Melly, and fighting or negotiating still less so, he chose instead to give a recitation ofRead More

15 favourite paintings

On we go with the lists, and now we have fifteen favourite paintings of mine. They’re not all great works, but each has struck me in a particular way and lingered in the mind. Often they represent a particular time and place (London, Dublin, Canterbury, Manchester) that help make them specifically memorable for me. I’veRead More

It’s a square world

This weekend I went to the Whitechapel Gallery in London for its new exhibition, Adventures of the Black Square. This marks the 100th anniversary of Kazimir Malevich’s epoch-making painting ‘Black Square’, which was exhibited in Petrograd at the Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings 0.10. The Whitechapel show celebrates a century of abstract art and itsRead More