Words about pictures, and other things, too.

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  • Swimming with dolphins in Kaikoura

    Moth and I fell in love with the little town of Kaikoura on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Until very recently it was just another sleepy coastal settlement, with a bit of a crayfishing going on, but mainly it was a hub on the main road south for the livestock farmers in the nearby hill country. Its

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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • I love keas

    The one place you don’t expect to see parrots is in cold mountains… …but such is the evolutionary weirdness of New Zealand’s fauna, this is exactly where the kea (Nestor notabilis) makes its home. They are long-lived, intelligent, playful and highly inquisitive opportunists, not shy of human company. Far from it; they have learned that wasteful humans provide easy meals

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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • The Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • California wildlife: elephant seals

    A week before we went to California, my Californian friend Karen tipped me off about a rookery of elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) at Point Piedras Blancas seven miles north of San...

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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • California wildlife: ground squirrels and sea otters

    We found a motel at Morro Bay and as we checked in, the bloke running the place noticed me pick up a postcard of a sea otter (Enhydra lutris). “Would you like to see some?” he asked. We replied enthusiastically! He said if we hurried, that before sunset we might see some in the bay. “Just park by the big

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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • Paul Gauguin’s grave

    On the Marquesan island of Hiva Oa artist Paul Gauguin is buried. I’ve had a strange relationship with Gauguin over the years; I’ve admired his single-minded vision, his bold compositions loaded with meaning and his dazzling use of colour. But I’ve always been uncomfortable with his abandoning his family and taking teenage Tahitian brides, and blamed him for the sharp

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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • Jacques Brel’s grave

    Jacques who? I knew nothing of Jacques Brel until I kept bumping into him during my research into the Marquesan island of Hiva Oa. In the French-speaking world singer-songwriter Brel is as famous, as legendary and revered as perhaps Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen is in the anglophone world. Such is his popularity he has sold 12 million albums in

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  • Tikis at the edge of the world

    The French Polynesian islands of the Marquesas, make up the archipelago farthest from any continent in the world, lying more than 3000 miles from Mexico. Being so remote and isolated for so long, the islands are home to rare flora and fauna. The archipelago was first colonised by people in about 100 AD, probably by Samoans. The people remained neolithic

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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • Darwin: Big idea exhibition

    Today I had the enormous pleasure of visiting the Darwin - Big idea big exhibition at the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London. ...

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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • The Temptations send me to Cloud Nine

    There are few vocal groups that can truly be called legendary. The Temptations is one such group. Last night at the Oxford New Theatre I had the privilege of witnessing th...

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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • The Feeling

    The Feeling of pop again

    Power pop band The Feeling are a band of genuine musicians, not a record-company manufactured ensemble of talentless pretty boys in it for a quick buck. Their success is entirely due to their brilliant, unashamed pop songs which are varied, riffy and melodic.  Their musical influences, which hang out all over the place, are mostly 1970s radio fodder, in fact

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  • Quagga – a great striped hope

    One hundred and twenty-five years ago today, on 12 August 1883, the last quagga died in Amsterdam zoo. ...

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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • Carlos Santana

    Carlos Santana, right in front of our eyes

    Last night at the NEC arena in Birmingham, Moth and I had the good fortune to be right at the front at a Santana gig. And I mean right at the front, pressed against the crash barrier there he was, ...

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  • The hills are alive with the sound of birdsong

    We got back from Sardinia at the end of last week after nine fascinating days. From my point of view there's plenty to see and do. We did a good deal of stone-hugging; ancient monuments litter the mountainous landscape. Here's me at Li Lolghi tomba ...

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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • Neil Young at Hammersmith Apollo

    The day finally arrived when we would see legendary Canadian musician ...

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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • David Attenborough

    A moment with David Attenborough

    Last night I dreamt me and Moth arrived in New Zealand and met David Attenborough, who was expecting us and greeted us like old friends. He took us to see an elephant seal colony… Fantasy perhaps, but today part of that dream came true… I met my hero, David Attenborough, at a book signing at Borders in Oxford. When last

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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson