It’s been uniquely hot in England over the last few weeks – we wait a decade for a spell of good weather like this then I find myself spending much of my days in a cool darkish room in our three hundred year old stone cottage, writing. My companion on the desk has been this picture. It’s an image on a book mark for a book that I bought – hence the names of the authors visible on the section I’ve reproduced. I didn’t particularly choose to have it there but the desk tends to accumulate objects that take up residence – until it all gets too crowded and I shoo them off, but I like this face, and it’s survived the recent clearing back.
It seems to me the face of a man who has lived his life and come to terms with everything. The cross is evidently there as an emblem of his faith and deeds as a crusader for Christ. I have to say the meekness of the face rather clashes with the known facts. Da Gama enjoys a terrible reputation as the conquistador of the