Showing posts from September, 2015

National Trust

Mister E and I have been joint members of the National Trust for as long as we have been married. Membership gives free entry to National Trust properties. The number that we have visited, however, is relatively small. Instead we have paid our annual fee with the aim of helping to preserve our coastline and countryside, missing out on visiting stately homes and other places of historic interest. Indeed, there have been many years where the only benefit we have enjoyed has been free parking at Dungeon Ghyll in the Great Langdale Valley. Nevertheless, whilst staying in Langdale this summer , we also included visits to two properties in the ownership of the Trust, namely Sizergh Castle , the seat of the Strickland family, and Allan Bank , one of William Wordsworth's homes. I am not sure why we have spent so little time in the past taking advantage of our membership in this way as I love walking around such properties, imagining that I am back in the past, living there: skippi

Busy and Dizzy

Since returning from our trip to the Lake District, the last couple of weeks has passed in a blur, with visits from the eldest as well as the youngest, who is still with us. We even managed to fit in an unexpected sailing trip (probably the last of the season) in the early part of this week when we had near perfect conditions and the Firth of Clyde to ourselves (sea birds and porpoises excluded), or so it seemed.  Unfortunately, and despite our best made plans, the weather this year off the West Coast of Scotland has really been truly awful for short-handed (well I am small) sailing with low pressure system after low pressure system rolling in, one after the other. It seems that 2015 has been one of the windiest in Scotland for decades and with snow already appearing on the mountain tops, the temperatures too have been, shall we say, challenging. Naively we kept thinking that conditions would settle and summer sunshine, fair breezes and warmth would arrive at some stag

Impact of Glass

I love the way an art exhibition can leave you energised and often it is unexpected objects or paintings that have the most impact. So today I am feeling inspired and motivated, recalling not only the creations of Henry Moore at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park but also a display of glass art  there by the Venetian siblings, Laura and Alessandro Diaz de Santallina. The exhibition was inside a chapel which, after deconsecration, has been turned into a unique white painted gallery where the light floods in. Outside, on long term loan, is Iron Tree, a sculpture by Al Weiwei who has also exhibited there. Peering through the door, I spotted a row of glass vases and immediately thought that this was going to be a bit dull.  How easy it is to be wrong. The pieces demonstrate and experiment with both transparency and reflection, distorting the light and reverberating colour. The effect was simple yet mesmerising. The trouble is, short of writing this

Landscape and Sculpture

I have always been attracted to the sculptures of Henry Moore and today the youngest and I paid a visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park where 500 acres of his native Yorkshire countryside plays host to many of his larger pieces. There was also an indoor exhibition of his work, aptly entitled "Back to a Land," where his deep relationship with the land was explored. In light of my current "well-being and nature kick," I'm wondering now if the appeal of his work to me lies in its relationship with the natural world. Moore himself is quoted as saying: "I realised what an advantage a separated two piece composition could have in relating figures to landscape. Knees and breasts are mountains. Once these two parts become separated you don't expect it to be a naturalistic figure; therefore you can justifiably make it like a landscape or a rock. If it is a single figure you can guess what it is going to be like. If it is in two