Sunday, 27 March 2011

Wallis and Nicholson

The Alfred Wallis and Ben Nicholson exhibition at Compton Verney is small but definitely worth seeing.

But first a look at the renovated ice house.

and then the first glimpse of the main house

Wallis loved St Ives and painted it tirelessly

He painted on pieces of card and everyday objects

using household paints

being a former marine scrap merchant he found this form of recycling natural.

An abstract painting by Nicholson

There is a second exhibition called 'What the folk say... folk art interventions'.  This exhibit is the 'Resurrection' from the 1400s - the folk art intervention is an egg cosy on Christ's head: one of the more controversial exhibits...

A walk around the grounds after lunch and we come upon the giant horse by Marcia Farquhar

A last look at the bridge before we head for home.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Packwood House

An afternoon spent at Packwood House in Warwickshire

A view of the gardens from one of the upstairs windows

The yew garden is spectacular

and another view, with the house in the distance

they are so huge!

and then a walk around the small lake

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Yew trees

Sean, or Mr Weedy, as he is professional known, has been and has trimmed the yew trees, and don't they look good!

Monday, 14 March 2011

By the river

A day out in Stratford is always a winner. We often drive there and park at the Recreation ground

facing us then is the newly renovated Shakespeare Theatre

then over the bridge

where we stop and admire the view

not that many swans today

 a last look at the island,

and then we leave the river behind...

Thursday, 10 March 2011

No cuts

The cuts that the Coalition Government are proposing are going to be disastrous for Britain. They are going to hit the vulnerable, women, the disabled and the poor. Meanwhile, bankers are enjoying high salaries and obscene bonuses.

This is our chance to show the government that what they are proposing is wrong and is not acceptable.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Upton House

Upton House was a 1930's millionnaire's summer retreat.

It is an imposing sandcoloured stone house which you can see immediately once you come through the gates and start walking up the tree lined avenue. We thought it would be nice to spend an afternoon around the grounds and we intend to visit again once the house has opened for the spring/summer.

The back of the house is as imposing as the front, the terrace leads on to a long sweeping lawn which looks like it is stretching on forever. This is deceptive however as the lawn is in fact two lawns separated by a small valley where you will find a ha ha, a kitchen garden and the mirror pool. The simplicity of the lawn makes this a very modern garden in line with its 30's heritage.

So we leave the house and rather than walk across the lawn, we take the shaded winding path on the left

secretive and sheltered

 And then we come to the mirror pool

which has been very aptly named, as you can see

astonishing colours in the water

as are the different shades of green

and nearby the golden crocuses

and then a line of three trees with some kind of membranes hanging off them which had taken on this amazing red hue from the sun behind them

And then back to the house. I sat on the steps taking it all in: the sun low in the sky, the shadows of the trees on the lawn, the quiet of the hour,  while Ken decided to walk to the edge of the lawn to look at the ha ha and the mirror pool again.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Trees in winter

We have been back in the U.K. for a week now, it is cold, it has been mostly very grey and this has made me think of the range of weather and temperatures we have experienced this winter - and winter is by no means over yet.

I took this photograph in December when the whole country was at a standstill, gripped by (what felt to us) Arctic weather. On that particular day Ken and I went for a walk to Old Milverton and on to the Saxon Mill. It was snowing, it was grey, hazy, dark and it felt threatening.

The next day the sun was out, it was very bright. We did the same walk and it all felt so very different. We saw this tree in the beginning of our walk and the red berries sitting next to the snow with the blue sky as background looked beautiful.

The pond just before you reach the weir by Saxon Mill was frozen,  it all looked so beautiful,

magical almost


I love the stark outline of trees in winter against the blue of the sky


and the gold of the few remaining leaves.

This on the other hand is the minosa we planted in Maria's garden in Kalamaki.  When our apartment block was being built 4 years ago, the developer asked Maria if he could cut another of her pine trees and she said no to the second one.  A few months later when that tree proved to be a real problem for us I asked Maria and this time she very kindly said yes. I promised we would plant another tree for her which we did. Every year it doubles in size and it has given Maria and us, a great deal of pleasure.

This flowering almond tree is in Manthos' garden, three doors down from us and it is tiny even if its flowers are not

This lemon tree is in a garden opposite our neighbourhood bakery so I look at it every morning on my way for fresh bread and rolls

We saw a whole row of these orange trees lining a pavement in Glyfada one day when Tatiana and I went for our weekly retail therapy and lunch expedition. Tatiana was trying to find something to photograph for the daily Glyfada blog which she writes as part of her job and I was enjoying the sunshine and trying to help her look for things to photograph and write about.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Charlecote Park

An afternoon stroll around the grounds of Charlecote Park.

The House itself is still closed for the winter, and a lot of building work is being carried out so it was difficult to get a picture that did not include the scaffolding...

I love this little cottage in the grounds, and every time I see it I can imagine the children who lived there having a great time playing with their friends. The inside was empty this time but I remember on a previous visit when we had a look through the window and there was a table all set out with afternoon tea in dolls' house china.  Aahhh. 

The snowdrops are out and this is a sure sign of spring being just round the corner

There is a sculpture exhibition around the grounds at the moment so we had fun following the sculpture trail.  This one is called 'Chilled' and I must say, they both looked chilled and relaxed.

This one is called 'Swinger'

The lake

 And a closer look...

Some deer were lazing in the sunshine but immediately got up when they saw us approaching.

And finally the river.

A highly enjoyable afternoon.