By: Kate | August 09, 2017

Wassily Kandinsky has long been hailed as the first abstract artist but there may be worthy challenger to the title, with the rediscovery of the works of Georgiana Houghton. Born in 1814, Houghton was a Victorian medium who claimed that the spirits of the dead worked through her to produce a number of extraordinary works. She held her first exhibitition in London in 1871, three years before the inaugural Impressionist exhibition in Paris and an astonishing 40 years before Kandinsky's Composition V.


Read more here.

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By: Kate | July 19, 2017

In July 2017 the internet exploded with the news that Jodie Whittaker had been cast in the role of Doctor Who. And while this move represented another move forward in the quest for gender equality, I’d suggest that real equality looks like this: m'neh.


News stories that exclaim “ooh, look! A female hero / a Muslim mayor of London / a transgender person on the Vanity Fair cover!” tell us that we are making valuable progress towards equality, but also indicate that we aren’t there yet. We will know we have reached true equality when these events don’t make headlines because they are no big deal. (And of course the Who-related tantrums of the man-babies - "there'll be a Tardis full of bras!" - and the tabloids' decision to p...

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By: Kate | July 13, 2017

Time management is a particular interest of mine, for two reasons. Firstly, as an Occupational Therapist my goal is to help people to occupy their time in a way that enhances their health and happiness. I’m convinced that using time wisely is the key to a good life.


The second reason is that I suck at time management. I find practically everything in the world interesting and am easily distracted, so my plans are regularly pulled off track when I spot something appealing. I’m also prone to laziness, so deferring and delaying unpleasant tasks is another common problem. In fact, I am a champion procrastinator. This obviously clashes with my professional wisdom, leading to plenty of inner debates, recriminations and frustration.


As a result, I ...

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By: Kate | June 28, 2017

Although travelling can be exciting and interesting, there are inevitably boring patches when it is necessary to find ways to entertain oneself. Books, puzzles and card games are terrific options. And of course there is that old favourite - mocking other tourists. My husband and I have whiled away many happy hours with our regular targets:


The Cattle Tourists These are the package deal tourists, who descend in hordes and trot like cattle behind their guide, who is usually carrying a flag on a stick. The herd mentality makes them oblivious to those around them, as they monopolise walkways, converse loudly and block the view. Most of them will be wearing chunky joggers and bumbags, and many will be carrying enormous cameras.


The ‘Bingo’ Touris...

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By: Kate | June 14, 2017

Holidays are high points in our lives. A chance to luxuriate and relax, or a chance to explore and be challenged. Holidays allow you to be dazzled by new and amazing people and places. Holidays are AWESOME!!


Except when they are not. When planes are delayed, and there is a screaming child on board. Or it rains, or we get sick or the accommodation is cramped/grubby/noisy. Or the tourist sights are a letdown or the best rooms in the National Gallery are closed due to strike action. There are so many small and big hassles that can mess with our plans and leave us feeling letdown or short-changed.


Some time ago I noticed that the higher my expectations for a holiday were, the more likely it was that reality wouldn’t match up. So now I realise tha...

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