AMEDIEVAL January, for all its dreary skies and sodden fields, saw the last golden days of Christmas. It was a time of reflection, as well as—if you could afford it —feasting and present giving, punctuated by stories of the Christ Child, not to mention the festivals of saints whose legends you had known since childhood.
By the late Middle Ages, it was commonplace for the wealthier laity to commission manuscripts from scribes and artists (places such as Oxford had a lively landscape of commercial workshops). Psalters were especially popular and contained Psalms to guide Christians in their daily devotions. The books were often decorated, and the text preceded by a liturgical calendar.
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Lost in the maze
THE world’s largest classical labyrinth is currently being constructed from traditional Cornish hedging in the heart of Bodmin Moor, a project that has unexpectedly led to the foundation of the Outdoor University of Cornish Hedging.
It takes a family to raise a village
A hangover from the days of landed gentry, there are still privately owned villages scattered throughout the UK. What is it really like to be at the helm of a community, asks Alec Marsh
My favourite painting Neil Mendoza
The Painter and his Pug
SIXTY years ago almost to the day, on March 15, when the Jaguar E-type first hit the tarmac, Frank Sinatra took one look and said ‘I want that car and I want it now’; shortly after, Enzo Ferrari dubbed it ‘the most beautiful car in the world’.
Myth and magic
Two homes in Devon offer unique insights into the county’s complex history, from witches and hounds to the village where time stood still
Black (and white) beauty
March is the month in which female hares bat away unwanted suitors, but, sadly, the sight of boxing hares is becoming ever more rare. Over the past century, a loss of habitat and predation has resulted in an 80% decrease in brown-hare numbers. Cumbrian sculptor Andrew Kay has created this 5ft-high artwork in steel, priced at £4,700, 15% of which will go to the Hare Preservation Trust. A smaller work, Life Size Hare, costs £840 (www.andrewkaysculpture.co.uk)
In pursuit of a social climber
Of wisteria, noble litter pickers, lockdown funerals and shaggy hounds
Roll me over in the clover
Finding a four-leafed example might be lucky, but, as we toast St Patrick’s Day, Ian Morton investigates why the clover (or shamrock) is so important to the Irish
Bright lights, empty city
For John McEwen, the enforced constraints of the pandemic have engendered a greater appreciation of our capital’s abundant parks and wildlife
A right basket case
From wet woodland to a warm Welsh kitchen: Nick Hammond meets the resourceful craftswoman who has woven a new career from her love for wild places
LONG LIVE THE KING
JEAN LE CAM WAS ALREADY A LEGEND, NOW HE’S THE UNDISPUTED HERO OF THE VENDÉE GLOBE, WRITES ED GORMAN
ARE YOU BLUEWATER READY?
WHAT ARE THE SKILLS YOU NEED BEFORE CASTING OFF ON A TRANSOCEAN OR BLUEWATER ADVENTURE? OFFSHORE TRAINING SKIPPERS SHARE THEIR ADVICE
Keanu & Alexandra's - EXCELLENT DOUBLE DATE!
Whoa! Keanu Reeves’ girlfriend Alexandra Grant has a fan in his Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure costar Alex Winter.
NO, REALLY, ARE WE ROME?
The sack of the Capitol was thwarted. But history suggests that corrosive change can be hard to see while it’s happening.
PUBLISHING AMID A PANDEMIC: How Board Games Survived and Thrived in 2020
COVID’s lasting impacts on our health and economy are still far from being understood. It will take many of us years, perhaps even a decade, to unravel what has changed in the last year. But some patterns are emerging, at least in the board gaming hobby, that indicate many publishers were well ahead of the curve even before the threat of a pandemic affected their supply chains worldwide. As the world began locking itself down to quell the threat of COVID-19, people continued to find solace in hobbies. Soon, the business journals and magazines of the world began tracking the increase of sales across a wide swath of interests as people did anything and everything to take their minds away from the weight of a pandemic circling the globe. Turns out, everything from toys, guitars, crafts, and board games were selling well despite a deflated economy. Report Linker’s “Board Games Market - Global Outlook and Forecast 2021-2026” estimates that sales in the hobby will grow by 13 percent in the next five years, even with continued lockdowns. But what about the hobby as a whole? This article examines how 2020 affected the board gaming industry through three facets — big box stores, local board gaming cafes and stores, and the digital space — and how the pandemic has shaped them in the interim as well as moving forward. Is this projected forecast of its growth still as rosy?
John F. Martin – The Early '70s Manhattan
"This series was shot around Manhattan in the early '70s. I was using a Pentax Spotmatic loaded with Tri-X film. I processed the film and printed it. These are scans from the prints and negatives".
A Wee Dram
There’s more to love about Scotland’s favorite libation once you discover the magic
SLIDING FOR ADVENTURE
For the last 25 years I’ve been riding off road on everything from a 450cc lightweight to a heavily laden 1200cc adventure motorcycle. Although I was usually able to handle anything through rough terrain at slower speeds, I struggled at higher speeds on loose surfaces. And the biggest pucker moments occurred while approaching tight turns on gravel roads at high speed—barely navigating them safely.
Oxford's dirty business
A gas station-turned-plant shop is a perfect spot for an OIL change.
THE MAKING OF PEARL
JANIS JOPLIN IN 1970: A NEW B AND AND THE MAKING OF HER CLASSIC ALBUM, PEARL.