New Films: Belle

I can’t wait to see this film which opens today.  Apparently it was inspired by a painting that resides in a country house I’ve been to – so I’ve seen it!

There is another reason it is interesting this is coming out now as it coincides with something else I’m hopefully doing next week – so watch this space I shall be back to talk about it later…

Here’s the trailer for those of you that are interested in seeing Belle.  A true story that you couldn’t possibly make up.

YouTube Preview Image

Wombat Friday: In Which Wombats May Win Prizes…

Hello fellow wombats!  It has indeed been a while.  Ruskin, Top and I have been away making the most of our writing, and exploring art museums and galleries.  They particularly enjoyed Tate Britain where they were allowed to take a few pictures of their favourites.  Their favourites were many…

This week, we have a wee competition for you all – wombats – and indeed their humans may win the postcard of their choice!  The wombats chose them all from Aberdeen Art Gallery where they all reside.

Wombat compo

Postcard A: is Penelope and Her Suitors by John William Waterhouse, 1912

Postcard B: is Titian’s First Essay in Colour by William Dyce, 1857

Postcard C: is Bright Eyes by John Everett Millais, 1877

Postcard D: is Mariana by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1870.

All you have to do is post a one line reason in the comments section why that postcard should be sent to you (or your wombat).  You should state the postcard of your choice, or just say any if you are happy to receive any one of the four.

The best answers picked by Ruskin and Top (The Ruskin always has the deciding vote) wins, and you will be asked for an address for your card to be sent to.  The wombats would also be happy to see when that card arrives at its destination.  Competition is open worldwide, and finishes on the 29 September.

Happy Wombat Friday!

Londinium Calling

It was so good to get back to London for a week!

I managed to see awesome members of family and fabulous friends to catch up and check out what they had been up to (my Aunt has taken to making awesome gemstone jewellery, which I’ll share some pictures of later as I bought some of her unique pieces).

Good people, good food – caught up with one of my fabulous fellow writers from Tuscany, AND I managed lots of revisits, sightseeing and shopping!

Places included –

  • National Gallery
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • Tate Britain
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Sir John Soane Museum
  • British Museum
  • Apsley House
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Hyde Park
  • Bloomsbury
  • City of London
  • Westminster

Here are a few highlights:

Apsley HouseApsley House

  St. Paul'sSt. Paul’s CathedralBMBritish Museum


A Study Update! Honours Ahoy

I can’t believe another study year has gone by already.  Well, it felt very long at the time but still…

As many of you will know I’ve been studying for my degree for several years now part time.  The good news is, I’ve now passed all my exams and got the requisite grades to study honours next year!

I’m really excited about getting the next level of History of Art, even if it still means several more years ahead.

Progress is good.

Thanks to those of you that have been cheering me on for your support so far.  Here’s to the academic year 2013/2014.

Houghton Revisited


The art collection once belonging to Britain’s first Prime Minister Robert Walpole is on a visit back from The Hermitage in Russia for the first time since Catherine the Great bought it after his death more than 250 years ago.

I am hoping to get down there in July to see it at Houghton Hall, and will let you know if I do.

Anyone else excited?

You can read more about it and the hall here.

Art Tour Update and The Steam Fair is Coming!

Thanks to all of you that sent me messages wishing me luck on my first art tour, which happened yesterday morning.  I think that it was a success, with just the right number of people in the group to move easily about the castle to see the different paintings and hear the different stories.  If you were one of them, I do hope you enjoyed it.

Along with the regular garden tours, the next big event happening at the castle will be one of my favourites – which is the Bon Accord Steam Fair – and it is coming on the weekend of the 15-16 June 2013.  You can see a mini poster below with more details, but full information can be found as usual on the NTS website.

Hope to see you!

Steam and Vintage Fair 2013

My First Castle Art Tour

Yes, am squeeing a bit here – May is my first Castle Fraser art tour.  Please do email or phone if you are interested!

Castle Fraser Art Tour

















As always, you can find the full list of events on at the castle this year via the NTS website or the Facebook page.