Archive for September, 2007

A Breeder’s Life

I’ll never forget the colleague, a lady plant breeder, who, while inspecting row after row of late season petunia trials for signs of botrytis resistance, looked up from her stud records and sighed, “I just love being pregnant – if I could, I’d be pregnant all the time”. She revealed on another occasion – I […]

Design Culture

Mediterranean societies view trees as rare and prized possessions. As a result they are seldom found in towns and cities except as monuments or landmarks. Orchards and forests are cultivated away from cities and vice versa. Cemeteries are cleared, as are most sacred places. By contrast, trees thrive in Northern Europe even in the densest […]


Named after ‘Impression Rising Sun’, a painting by Monet, impressionism revolutionized painting to an extent he neither anticipated nor welcomed. “I am in it (the movement) but I seldom see my colleagues . . . the little chapel has become a school that opens its doors to any hack.” A truly inspired and extremely rare […]


Once I visited a military museum at Saumur in France, housed in a castle there. Its main collection was of saddles—every example of whatever man has fashioned to seat himself on a horse was on display, from almost all the armies in the world, old and new, north and south, east and west. I was […]