Monthly Archives: February 2016

Object of the Month: February

I urge you to visit the small but perfectly formed exhibition currently in the Shiba Room of the Fitzwilliam Museum, which contains flower paintings from the wonderful collection of Henry Rogers Broughton (1900-73), 2nd Baron Fairhaven, whose bequest to the … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Botany, Gardens, History, Museums and Galleries, Natural history | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unlit Candles

What I know about the Tractarian controversy of the nineteenth century could be written on the head of a very tiny pin and is mostly drawn from the fiction of Antony Trollope (though I have no reason to believe he’s … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Classics, History, London, Music | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Only A Pigeon

I have discovered (as I imagine that many (very) amateur naturalists do) a strong strain of speciesism in my makeup. It’s only a daisy, when looking for wild orchids at Fulbourn Fen; it’s only the collared doves, eating the nyger … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Botany, Cambridge, Gardens, Natural history | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Plant of the Month: February

I decided to write this month about blackthorn, or sloe, the white-blossomed, early-flowering, native shrubby tree so often seen in hedgerows. Then I started doing some research, and discovered how complicated it all is, but I have tried my best … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Cambridge, Gardens, Natural history | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Akragas

So, there we were on Monday morning at Palermo train and bus station, clutching our remaining possessions to us, not sure what else the robbers might home in on – the clothes off our backs, perhaps? Or was the university … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Botany, Gardens, History, Museums and Galleries, Natural history | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Orto Botanico

The things I most disliked about Sicily were (a) being robbed; (b) the number of wild birds (especially goldfinches) hung up in tiny cages. On the plus side, there were plenty of things to like, including the Botanic Garden at … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Gardens, History, Natural history | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Cost of Sunshine

‘Apart from that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the evening?’ My recent encounters with the criminal fraternity of Palermo were pretty trivial by comparison with the assassination of a President of the United States, but they really brought home to me … Continue reading

Posted in Art, History, Museums and Galleries | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments