Unexpected highlight of my trip to Cardiff: the wall which protects Bute Park from the traffic-clogged Cowbridge Road. Perched on the coping stones are delightful animal sculptures some with glass eyes making them seem so alive I imagined them poised on the point of escape into the city centre. I may start a campaign for all walls everywhere to be fitted with these.
The actual purpose of the trip also mixed the imaginary and real worlds - I went to see a painting which featured in Margaret Forster's book 'Keeping the World Away'. The book is part fictionalised biography of the artist Gwen John and part story of other women who've encountered one of her paintings. It's the one on the right below and is called 'Corner of the Artist's Room'. You can see she used the corner as backdrop for other paintings, there are even several versions of the 'Corner' itself and a print of it hangs in my own house. Cardiff Museum and Art Gallery are lucky enough to own an original, well worth driving 100 miles to see. I love the picture because the dormer window is similar to that in my 'book nook', although my view is of south Birmingham tree tops rather than Parisian roofs.