Tuesday, 31 May 2011


Having escaped the clutches of the gallery for a couple of days, Saturday afternoon found us in deepest Northamptonshire, celebrating - too well and not wisely - Alison's Godfather's 80 years on the planet.  Not satisfied with creating a delightful home woven into the fine weave of the village, he has also cunningly contrived to have as a neighbour, garden designer Johnny Amos.  Whilst the planners (bless their hearts) decreed that the neighbours should not be allowed to enjoy views of this, Johnny very generously invited us all to have a look.

Within what is really quite a small plot, he has created a truly wonderful garden with an intricate series of interlocking spaces. And the plants ... just beautiful!

Sunday morning found us taking the air in one of my childhood haunts - Stratford upon Avon. Growing up less than 20 miles away, it has always amused me that people travel from the 4 corners of the earth to pay homage - whilst we only went as a last resort if nothing better could be found.  Much remains the same... but the Theatre has changed - for the better.  Quite a revelation and very much worth a look if you're in the area.  47 years ago, as a family we visited the Exhibition celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth and tucked away inside the new theatre is a wonderful exhibition, FOLIO, of prints produced at that time by amongst others - Frink and Tilson. This runs until October and is free!

Making the most of our brief sojourn we eventually - the road signing is absurd and should be ignored - found our circuitous way to Compton Verney. This stately pile, the work of Robert Adam, found itself in near terminal decline as the 20th century progressed. However it is now home to a gallery (the work of Stanton Williams I think) and a collection that is of international standing. Definitely worth a visit - and a pleasant way to pass an hour or two.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Heat of the moment

Clearly I am in the wrong sector. I am reliably informed that at the Boat/Boot sale at Overy Staithe this afternoon I offered to sell two items at £2 each or £5 for the pair. Oh well it's all in a good cause.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Another Bank Holiday!

If it's Friday or Monday it just must be a Bank Holiday - or so it seems!  Can't quite remember a normal week as it feels like everybody's been on holiday or celebrating or... for weeks.  Equally the sun continues to shine which is fantastic unless you want the garden to grow - and at the moment there is just no sign of rain in the forecast.

In the gallery, NICKY LOUTIT's exhibition got off to a great start with a really well attended private view and some pleasing sales.

It's been really encouraging to see that Nicky's highly distinctive paintings have been so appreciated and that there is a market for serious art in these slightly strange times.  The exhibition has received some deserved coverage in the press and there have been a number of visitors who have travelled considerable distances to view it.  It runs for another two weeks, so there is still time to see it - and they really should be seen, reproduction only conveying some of their quality. Since its opening it has been visited by over 200 people which is not bad for a small gallery competing with wall to wall sunshine and a royal wedding!

Speaking of which, in the same time we have celebrated two family birthdays, one on the Welsh Borders looking out over the sublime landscape of Hergest (Mike Oldfield) Ridge

 and one one closer to home here in Norfolk, which got pleasingly entangled with the Royal Wedding!

I suspect the next few days are going to seem rather quiet by comparison!