Monday, February 25, 2013

Postcard from Yorkshire

It struck me when I was writing Christmas cards last year that rather than posting cards to people I don't see frequently enough, wouldn't it be nice to actually go and visit those people? From such random musings are great projects born. Well, I posted the cards and thought I'd leave the actual visits until the weather improved. Mistake. I remember the weather being balmy at Christmas, while February has been stuck in the freezer.

My Christmas card list encompasses most of the UK - from Inverness to Devon - and while it would be fantastic to take a few months off and drive round the entire country, it's more practical to break things down. So, to Yorkshire. And very fine it was too.

In addition to visiting friends from school (one last seen in person about twenty years ago!), I got to the Hepworth Museum and Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield, the galleries, museums, shops and pubs in Leeds, the cafes in York and took this picture on an incredibly scenic drive through the Dales.

Britain is brilliantly diverse and so crammed with spectacle that the distances you have to drive to see such variety aren't actually that great. Well, not if you've made the sensible decision to base yourself in the Midlands and haven't looked into that visit to Inverness too seriously anyway. As much as the catching up with old friends though, I just loved being out on the road. Am already planning my trip to the south west this summer. Surely me turning up on the doorstep with a bottle of wine is better than any Christmas card?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Postcard from Charlecote Park

January 2013 was notable for snow. I'm sure you saw enough of that without me posting from it. February's treat is snowdrops: brave portents of spring. I found these at Charlecote Park in Warwickshire, along with deer, mice on swings (in sculptural form) and woven willow balls.

I love to find sculpture in a landscape and wonder what "Capability" Brown would have thought of the additions to his landscaped grounds. He tried to perfect nature but I'm all for eye-catching additions and don't mind a little whimsy. The snowdrops were the stars though. No competition.

Yes, I know, you're convinced I can't have had an outing without setting foot in a cafe. Well, turn 180 degrees from the view above and there's an Orangery within which I ate delicious soup and a delightful cream tea. Jealous much?