The Vale of Rest by Sir John Everett Millais, Bt, 1858-1859.

Two nuns in a graveyard at dusk, one sits looking at the viewer, holding prayer beads, the other has sleeves rolled up digging a grave
The Vale of Rest by Sir John Everett Millais, Bt, 1858-1859

Image released under Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND (3.0 Unported)

I was chatting with a friend the other night about art, and about visiting art galleries. It got me thinking about this painting, The Vale of Rest, by Sir John Everett Millais that used to hang in the Tate gallery on the north bank of the Thames back in the mid-1990s.

Continue reading The Vale of Rest by Sir John Everett Millais, Bt, 1858-1859.

Queen—All Dead, All Dead (with Freddie Mercury vocals)

Queen’s News of the World (1977) album turned 40 years old this year. I was five years old when it came out. It would be six or seven years more until Queen were firmly on my radar, and so would begin a lifelong love of the band.

To celebrate the anniversary of the album’s release, Queen are releasing a box set on Friday 17 November that includes a number of recently unearthed out-takes and rarities.

News of the World 40th anniversary box set
News of the World 40th anniversary box set

Among the rarities is this hybrid version of “All Dead, All Dead” (side 1, track 4) featuring alternative lyrics and vocals from Freddie Mercury.

What I didn’t realise, all these years of listening to the song, is that the song was written by Brian May about the death of his childhood cat.

It’s a beautiful song, even if does have the ‘wrong’ lyrics.

The box set is released on Friday 17 November costing £109.99.

Snail Monkey

Artists impression of what a snail monkey might look like: a monkey with a snail shell on its back
Artists impression of what a snail monkey might look like

It all began with a weird conversation one bedtime between my son Isaac (6) and me. Somehow—I can’t remember the route—the conversation settled on fantasising about a creature called a ‘snail monkey’.

Isaac then asked me to create a website for him to share the news with the world.

How could I possibly say no?

So here it is: snailmonkey.wordpress.com.


It turns out, that we weren’t the first to think about this. Check out our first blog post called Maybe there is such a thing…

Meet the Other Gareth Saunders

Oyster card

Recently, while reviewing various online accounts, I discovered that my Oyster card—the travel card used on London transport—was out of date: a first generation Oyster card. I was advised to apply for a second generation Oyster card.

As I was completing the form I wasn’t able to select ‘Rev’ from the options available, so I selected ‘Other’.

This is the letter I received today, with my replacement card.

Wait! This letter isn't for me, it's for the Other Gareth Saunders.
Wait! This letter isn’t for me, it’s for the Other Gareth Saunders.