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.

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