Saturday, July 24, 2010


Entrance to Poole harbour can be quite exciting in summer!

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Friends and relations

Old Harry Rocks near Poole in Dorset.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Crosshaven to Portland

A friend asked me to help him crew his yacht back from Ireland. Wow it turned out to be a trip “above expectations”! Crosshaven was a delightful place and the Cronin pub was, well it deserves a post of it’s own……to follow!

So the wind was just right force 4 SW. Sea state wonderful for “fairground fans”, significant waves turning into big Atlantic rollers; just wonderful…..24 hours of tummy churning regurgitating sea water slowly rising and falling, kicking and swishing every morsel in the lower stomach like a washing machine in the slow cycle! I found it exhilarating, my companions less so! 24 hours on we reached Landsend and the others were feeling better so I got some rest; not for long……rudely awakened, I was informed that my lifelong dream to sail with dolphins had arrived! “Robert, Robert dolphins”! Up like a shot, life jacket abandoned I sat for an hour and twenty minutes on the bow and, like Toad on seeing the motorcar for the first time, with a mixture of tears and wonder whispered “Oh my, oh my…poop..poop”. The camera clicked and clicked but by the time I had started to hold it still it let me down and failed to click.

This was nevertheless a very important moment. There are great moments in a life some good some bad and some of great significance. This was a moment of reflection; wild animals, for whatever reason, within touching distance, effortlessly swimming along with me, turning their tummies toward me as if to be tickled; singing a strange song which I had heard the night before but not realised they were there. I called to them and they rose repeatedly out of the water with a clap on the waves in response. No clichéd word could possibly express the wonder I felt…………no, ”not little things” you might say, just a very special, once in a lifetime (perhaps!) moment.

I recommend the Helford River, Dartford and the inside passage round Portland. Great trip, thanks Jon.


Saturday, July 03, 2010

Two years in the making

"The Music Lesson"

Daphnis, the boy, is teaching Chloe to play the pan pipes. Daphnis, being very shy about showing too much affection in case he is rejected, snatches the pipe back to kiss them where her lips have been. She pinches him above the hip (as in the Laocoon) her fingers pressing into his skin (as Bernini's Pluto and Proserpina), their knees touch and, no doubt both hearts "flutter", the real tummy butterfly effect! The dog looks on with suspicion and some jealous protectiveness!

I plan to try once more to caste this extremely difficult project. 147 piece plaster mould. I have chosen to use perhaps the most exquisite material of all. It is between porceiline and bone china but better than both and so a street above Marble. I have used it before with a portrait bust which worked well. Helped by the Master of all potters in England we will try one more time in a week or two. see here, a year ago!