Showing posts from January, 2015

Boxes of Delight

  In December, I wrote a blog about The Box of Delights , which fans of the Christmas classic were kind enough to enjoy.  For my birthday, I received my very own box of delights, a keepsake box with a secret way of opening.  What could I possibly keep in it?  How could I make it as magical as the box Cole Hawlings gives to Kay Harker?  Obviously, it couldn't really transport me into the past or on an adventure with Herne the Hunter.  Or could it?  What if I turned it into my own miniature cabinet of curiosities? Cabinets of curiosity have fascinated me for a while now.  They feature in Brian Selznick's wonderful children's book, Wonderstruck .  I once went to a multi-arts event entirely inspired by them.  And I've just (in the last hour) looked round an exhibition very much in the spirit of the curiosity cabinet, Stranger Than Fiction by Joan Fontcuberta.   The artist has created photos (and actual taxidermy) of strange beasts, of the sort our ancestors used to collect

Arty New Year!

Well, it's 2015!  My Christmas decorations are coming down, which is very sad, but there are lots of things to look forward to in the new year.  Of course, no one can predict the future, but these are some of the arts and history things I'm looking forward to this year: 1. A glut of costume dramas exploding onto my TV as the new year kicks off.   The Musketeers, Grand Hotel, Foyle's War a nd Mr Selfridge , to name but four I know of. 2. Watching my two Christmas gift DVDs that I haven't yet seen: the new La Belle et la Bête and Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart. 3. Going to the Sam Wannamaker Playhouse in London to see Farinelli and the King  in February.  Not only is the play about my all-time 18th-century icon and the subject of one of my most popular blogs, but it's in a theatre I've been dying to see, and stars Iestyn Davies, one of my favourite countertenor singers. 4. The Manga Jiman Competition exhibition at the Embassy of Japan.  My daughter is involved