Category: General

Van Gogh, Wheat Field With Cypresses – Lush Exuberant Study, 1889

van Gogh (1853-1890) was a master of oil painting who changed the post-impressionism movement, as well as painting holistically, forever. He was largely self taught but was inspired by Gauguin, Pissarro, Monet, and Bernard, living with Gauguin in Paris for a time. To say van Gogh was troubled would be an understatement especially with our cutting edge understanding of mental illness. He dedicated himself to his art and developed a vivid instantly recognisable style which influenced Expressionism, Fauvism and early abstraction and much more besides. Working at an often furious pace van Gogh produced more than 2,000 works of art, including...

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Douglas – Hannah Gadsby Shoots and Scores Again

Self deprecation is a go-to for comics, this much goes without saying. In her first Netflix special, Nanette, Gadsby blew up the form of comedy and took self deprecation to its logical conclusion. Comedians will often address humorously crippling anxieties and life struggles in order to satirise them but Gadsby went further, using her platform to address directly the mechanisms in place which allowed for her suffering to occur in the first place. This is something which is seldom done in comedy for the purest reason that it is seldom funny. But it isn’t meant to be. Gadsby realised...

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Medicine Bakery – What the Doctor Ordered, Birmingham

Medicine Bakery was an extraordinary discovery for Matthew and I. The remarkable thing about this bakery is that it is hidden right in the middle of town, on New Street no less. While we have not yet had time to sample all of the deliciousness on offer, we have tried a fair bit and cannot but recommend this wonderful eatery and art gallery to you. Medicine was born out of a discovery of abandoned space, of new possibilities and an inquisitive quality for creating something vital and diverse. An artisan bakery and kitchen, café and gallery, which is rooted...

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Il Napoli – Extraordinary Pizza, Chambray-lès-Tours

Tucked away in a suburb of Tours, Il Napoli proved to be an exceptional culinary experience. This is not someone would expect from a pre-fab building in the middle of an industrious suburb of a lesser known French town. But coming to Il Napoli with all the necessary reservations (pardon the pun) will ensure the greatest experience. You will not predict the feast you are about to ingest. 4 FORMAGGI: Tomate, mozzarella fraîche, chèvre fermier, Gorgonzola, fromage sec Italien rapé. After a necessary gulp of artisanal cider, Mother ordered the Four Cheese, as is her wont. This included mozzarella,...

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Marillion, Misplaced Childhood – AOTM July 2020

1985 was a great year for music. One saw the likes of Rush’s Power Windows, Saint Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love (work of genius), Cupid & Psyche 85, Smiths’ Meat is Murder (see Barbarism Begins at Home), Propaganda’s A Secret Wish, and of course, Tears for Fears’ massive hit Songs From the Big Chair (personal favourite). But lurking in the shadows of these smash pop goliaths was a prog rock masterpiece by the name of Misplaced Childhood. I first heard this driving to and from the Saturday market in Loches, a charming French market town which boasts excellent almond croissants....

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