The Patient Gardener

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I’m on a much anticipated holiday in Madeira. It goes without saying that it is tinged with anxiety about COVID-19. It appears that anyone arriving tomorrow will be quarantined for 14 days. There are no cases in Madeira so you can understand why they want to keep it that way. The holiday is an embroidery retreat, just 8 of us including our tutor. Today, our first full day was spent travelling around… Read More

After the temples, culture and tradition of Kyoto, Naoshima was quite a surprise. Situated in the Seto Inland Sea to the south east of Kyoto, Naoshima is a small island known for its modern art museums. The  island, with a population of only around 4000,  has a Mediterranean feel about it with sandy beaches, a sunny climate and feeling more laid back than the mainland. You reach the island by ferry, the… Read More

Kinkaku-ji, or the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, is the iconic temple of Kyoto. Dating from the late 14th century, the temple was originally the retirement villa of the shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.  After his death in 1408, in accordance with his wishes, it become a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect. The temple is built over 3 floors with each floor representing a different style of architecture. The first floor, housing statues of… Read More