My Last Post on Twitter

About five years ago my blog was automatically connected to Twitter, such that everything I wrote was instantly broadcast in a much wider medium. As a result, I gradually began to follow Twitter myself – with mixed feelings. I have learned a huge amount from it. I like seeing pictures of Beaumaris posted by Jon Savage and of Lochaline by Hugh Raven. Is it worth the time it takes to follow it ? Yes and no. I sometimes think it is an electronic addiction, destroying the ability to concentrate more systematically.

Well, this morning, I received a message from WordPress telling me that from today what I say on my blog can no longer be connected to Twitter. Please disconnect. I’ve found the button. Do I mind ? Not especially. I have always regarded my blog as a niche interest, mainly for friends, and I sometimes forget that anyone reads it.

I haven’t followed all the changes that Elon Musk has made to Twitter and hitherto haven’t noticed any great changes to it. Actually, I’m secretly rather relieved by this change as it will maybe help cure my addiction. So, farewell Twitter. It will give me time to read more books.


Barbican (3)

A benefit of going to a concert at St. Giles Cripplegate was that we were in an unfamiliar part of the Barbican as the sun was going down making one look at it in literally a new light:-


Conway Library

Having the Conway Library available online as of today is a pretty amazing resource – rich in imagery precisely because it is a bit haphazard. I checked its selection on Castle Howard – lots of images, mostly post-war, very high quality, including those of Anthony Kersting, one of the best and most knowledgeable architectural photographers, and including a photograph of the Temple of Venus which Kerry Downes must have added (he was pretty serious as a photographer). There are nearly 1,000 photographs taken by Sir Anthony Blunt, from which it would presumably be possible to deduce the full range of his architectural interests – French seventeenth century, Sicilian baroque. I particularly like the way you get pictures of the boxes as well.

It’s fantastic to have it so freely accessible.


Richard Saumarez Smith (3)

Slightly mysteriously, the Guardian in its Tuesday edition when I was away printed the short obituary I wrote about my older brother following his death in January (see attached), correcting the minor errors in the online version – he went to Delhi in 1969 and only retired in 2016. I have been touched by how many more people have seen it in this form.


Browse & Darby

Very fascinating news piece about the listing of Browse & Darby. Cork Street has been so knocked about of late. I sense that Native Land who developed the east side of the street have made strenuous efforts to attract international galleries, but it doesn’t feel as if it has worked: the ecology has changed; it’s a bit too uniform; the rents are probably too high.

In a discussion at Sketch on Thursday, it was clear that the character of Mayfair is dependent on the layering of history – buildings like Browse & Darby, once a brokers, then a silk importers, becoming a gallery in the 1920s. The texture of these buildings is obliterated by redevelopment, so it’s good this has been recognised.


Glenthorne (2)

I see that Glenthorne is for sale again: one of the more magical, if spectacularly remote, houses I have ever stayed in, down miles and miles of a precipitous and winding track, through several gates until you emerge in front of an early Victorian – or is it late Georgian ? – country house perched on the edge of the Bristol Channel.

We used to love going to stay there which we did for many years. In another life, I would retire there and walk along the coastal paths again eastwards to Porlock or west to Lynton. £7 million seems not so expensive. But I guess the complete isolation may not be to everyone’s taste.


Gavin Stamp (1)

An article I have written about Gavin Stamp has just appeared in the May issue of The Critic. The article is likely to appear online at some point in late May. Meanwhile, the exhibition, which I very much enjoyed, closes on May 5th.



Bellagio is, perhaps not surprisingly, a bit too touristy for my taste, even first thing in the morning. So, I walked over the hill to Pescallo and then past olive groves:-

Back across the hill again to Giuggate, with its tiny church, S. Andrea, and an impressive baroque gateway to an otherwise apparently ordinary house:-

And back past the Romanesque church of S. Giovanni in Lòppia:-