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1. The miniature paintings by Frank Walter (David Zwirner, London) use colour in a big way: abstract blocks in highly-saturated tones layered and collaged together. Painted on scraps, rough-edged and worn, Walter's miniatures spoke directly to the Gee's Bend Quilt Collective that was on display 10-minutes across town (Alison Jacques, London). 

Quilts made from scraps and left overs, the individual units of colour and texture come together and feel as if they're falling apart all at once. Each element with its own history, the signs of its previous life still visible in the seams and tears, the stains and marks.

Both have the energy and unpretentiousness of the outsider artist: Walter worked feverishly, a self-taught artist and writer, whilst the women of Gee's Bend worked at a slower pace, evolving generation-to-generation, riffing off each other, returning again and again to their collective craft. 


2. After all this time at home, eating out is less about exceptional food, and more about who has a terrace and some availability.


3. Entering from a different direction, the Great Pagoda greeted us at Kew Gardens. The Disney-style Chinese pagoda - the true definition of a folly - was gifted to the founder of the Gardens.

Designed by Sir William Chambers, who travelled to China in the 1740s, is a faithful reproduction of the pagodas that he would have studied. Our demands of the artist or architect has shifted over the years: when travel was inaccessible to the masses, artists and architects were tasked with sharing what they had seen in a direct and factual manner, but as more and more people explore the world, witnessing its otherworldly artefacts and atmospheres for themselves, we now ask of the artist that they masticate, digest and interpret what they see. Abstract expressionism is the logical conclusion to our modern appetite for the world reimagined, where the viewer is invited to see what they like, rather than liking what they see. 

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n.b. Ways to Change the World: James Wong on Racism and Classicism in Gardening, and the House Plant Craze.

Trained as a botanist at Kew, James Wong's analysis of gardening's whiteness was fascinating and enraging. Raising questions about the enduring influence of Capability Brown, Wong explained that the roots of the 'English' style of garden does not, of course, originate from here. 

4. On the subject of the Folly, we moved into a detached building - the word 'house' would be misleading - which comprises three small rooms stacked one atop the other. Lots of window and even more staircase, there is a distinct lack of storage, wall-space and floorspace - but there are two floor-to-ceiling glass cubes that look onto the street that look to be designed for go-go dancing.


5. Prince Philip and the Art of Wearing Formal Clothes Casually (Robert Armstrong, FT, 15 April) was a touching homage to Prince Philip after his death. The female of the species is oft analysed in terms of clothing and style, yet it is less ubiquitous for the male. A softly sloping shoulder, a discernible waist, a full break in the trouser, and a two-inch cuff are the style signifiers of HRH.

Walking through The City - the last bastion of daily suiting - the jackets have become shrunken, and the trousers more like peddle-pushers. This is, "Too bad. [As] a little extra fabric above the shoes conveys ease" and is infinitely more elegant - however, the obsession for gym-honed shoulders, biceps and calves means that the suit no longer fits. 

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6. H&M Home. I am trying to resist the objects of Instagram. Buying cheap copies of the things-of-beauty that populate Instagram doesn't seem very fair to those that struggle to stay in the creative industry. You have to pay a fair price for the things that you want, whether that is a steak, a vase or a jumper. 


7. Intimations, Zadie Smith.

It's a strange experience to hold a book in your hands that speaks so directly to a time that you have just lived through. 

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8. The age-value proposition for whisky is a marketing tool. And whisky doesn't have an 'e' in English, but does for Whiskey in American English, which bucks the trend for dropping letters in the US version of our language. 

9. Rory turned 6! She's got long hair, longer legs, and - like every other 6-year old - a love of unicorns. 

10. This month felt like a warm-up for the impending return of normality. 


10. This month felt like a warm-up for the impending return of normality. 

12. Promising Young Woman - a rom-com gone rotten, as the saccharine visuals give way to much darker themes. The light and bright all-American look is comforting as a viewer, eventually creating a dissonance between the film's style and substance. 


Blow the Man Down is a counterpoint to Promising Young Woman's poppy MTV visuals. Perhaps comes more highly recommended. 

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