Words about pictures, and other things, too.

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  • 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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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • 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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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • 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 Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • 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
  • Vincent's harvest landscape

    Vincent’s harvest landscape

    I’ve been working on this painting Vincent’s harvest landscape since October and I’ve finally completed it: It’s based on Vincent’s own painting Harvest landscape which he painted in July 1888. His painting is such a joyous celebration of the landscape to the east of Arles and I find it deeply moving. I could dissect it for you and tell you

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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • Steve Earle sparkle and shine

    Basingstoke holds nothing but unhappy memories for me, but last night at Basingstoke’s Anvil Theatre, those ghosts were blown away by Steve Earle who we saw sing and play. From our front row seats we were treated to a spellbinding performance from this most troubled of American singer-songwriters. His turbulent life of seven marriages, a stay in prison for drugs

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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • Midwinter solstice at Abu Simbel

    This blog contains human remains which some readers may find disturbing At 5am on midwinter’s day 2007 we rose happily from our beds in Aswan, Egypt, to catch the plane for a half hour flight down to see the temples at Abu Simbel, just 20 miles from the Sudanese border. The temples were built to aggrandise pharaoh Ramses II in

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  • On the banks of the Nile

    On the banks of the Nile

    Of all the wonders of Egypt – the glittering pharaohnic treasure, the magical ancient temples, the astonishing tombs, the warmth and hospitality of its people – the river Nile reigns supreme. Without it, Egypt would be nothing but dry sand and rock. Its blue waters running north for 4,000 miles, created by rain falling in Ethiopia, are the life blood

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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • A felucca called Dolphin

    I first went to Egypt in July 2000. One of the highlights of that trip was four days’ sailing on a felucca (a small open sailboat) up the Nile from Aswan to Luxor, camping out on deck under that stars. The design of these highly-manoeuverable boats rem...

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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson
  • Birds of Egypt

    Birding in Egypt is a particular pleasure with so many different habitats on offer, and especially because of Egypt’s position on migratory routes between Europe, the Middle East and Africa.   Commonly seen, in just about every habitat, were the busy pied crows.     The little egret, with their dayglo yellow feet, the cheerful white wagtails: and the beautiful

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    The Art of Jane Tomlinson