The Monument of Penelope Boothby

Nige visits one of the most touching monuments in the country... Ashbourne in Derbyshire is a fine and flourishing town, full of handsome buildings, including the house of John Taylor, Dr Johnson's old schoolfriend, whom he often visited. A most unclerical cleric, Taylor's chief interest lay in his herd of milch-cows - ... Read More...

Carl Larsson – More than Swedish charm

Nige appraises Swedish artist Carl Larsson, who along with his wife Karin virtually invented the 'Ikea' style... Born on this day in 1853 was the Swedish painter Carl Larsson. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that this supreme master of the blissful, love-infused domestic interior (and exterior) and celebrator of ... Read More...

John Snagge, Wally Hope and the Counterculture

Nige on a legendary hippie and his surprising family connection... One of the more surprising facts about John Snagge, the old-school BBC radio announcer and boat race commentator ('I can't see who's in the lead, but it's either Oxford or Cambridge') is that he was the guardian of a legendary figure of ... Read More...

T.E. Brown in the Garden

Luxuriating in his suburban idyll, Nige considers the blackbird, and an effusive Victorian poet... There are sometimes nights when the sun is out, the air is warm, and one is able to enjoy that supreme expression of the suburban idyll - sitting out in the garden in the cool of the evening as ... Read More...

The Suburban Sublime – Southgate Tube Station

Nige admires the work of Charles Holden, the architect behind Southgate Tube Station, one of London's finest Art Deco Underground stations... That is not a newly landed art deco UFO above - it is Southgate Underground station, towards the end of the Cockfosters branch of the Piccadilly Line. I discovered this part of ... Read More...