My Daughter Listens to Trees

My daughter listens to trees. She always has. When her legs ceased to buckle and she could toddle freely about, she’d find her way across to the Silver Birch in the playground and hug it like she would my leg. I thought she was giving it a kiss, but then I saw her ear pressed to the peeling bark and I slowly came to understand. She’s seven now and she can tell all the trees apart by their whispers. I humour her, taking her on trips to the botanic gardens so she can listen to the Cambridge Oak...
Hektoen International

Hektoen International - Mary Cassatt

The year is 1868, and the twenty-two year-old Mary Cassatt has had her first painting, The Mandolin Player, accepted by the famous Paris Salon. The painting is in the realist style and is reminiscent of Rembrandt’s 1659 Self-Portrait. The background is lit as if there were a candle behind the sitting mandolin player, a young girl dressed in the colors of France: a white blouse half-hidden by a red sash and a deep blue skirt.
The Telegraph

Just Back: fairground fun in Tbilisi

Christopher Walker wins £200 for his vision of old Tbilisi from the high vantage point of a rickety basket on a rusty Ferris wheel I was wandering about old Tbilisi, trying to find my way to the funicular. Inevitably I got lost in the maze of tumbledown houses and narrow streets, though they were all so beautiful in their dereliction that I didn’t mind. Eventually I spiralled around to the funicular station, and happily paid the three lari (90p) to be lifted up the hill.