Friday, 18 April 2014
Sorry about the gap in posting.
I haven't posted on my blog this week because I have had a relative staying and we have been gadding off each day into our beautiful countryside. Sometimes you need to do that in order to appreciate just what a beautiful area you live in. And the weather was kind to us, although you wouldn't think so from my photographs.
On the first day we went over to the Lake District to have lunch with friends who live in Windermere. Lovely lunch, lovely company, lovely sunlight and a really splendid journey both there and back again. Coming back we decided to come up the Kirkstone Pass, along the side of Ullswater and out on the Penrith Road.
My niece was driving quite a large hire car with which she was unfamiliar, so it was a bit of a hairy drive, although I was most impressed with how well she handled it. Half way up there was a giant hold-up when a bus and a lorry met on what is a very narrow road. Over quite a long time, with wing mirrors folded in and inching along very slowly, they managed to get past and we were able to continue. The view out over the hills and the Lake were spectacular. I just wish the photographs showed just how sunny it was.
Yesterday we went to Barnard Castle, to The Bowes Museum (built by the Bowes family to which Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, belonged) to see an exhibition by Gavin Turk. Large neon signs mounted on the walls of a pitch dark room - very impressive. Outside, mounted on the top of the wall of the museum frontage itself was a number, Seven Billion,Two hundred and one million, nine hundred and sixty four thousand and two hundred and thirty eight - this being the specific median population of planet earth as the exhibition opened on January 24th 2014 at 6.30pm. He says this is "a symbolic threshold inviting visitors to transcend through a fixed point in time bearing testimony to each individual's solitude, power and transient existence as part of a whole."
This kind of thing always leaves me wondering whether it is a case of 'the emperor's new clothes', although I must say I did find it quite interesting.
Much more to my liking was the Manet on show, the work which showed the execution of Maximillian in Mexico. The work had been cut up and some parts very badly damaged. Degas rescued some parts and the bits which were restorable have been stuck on to a new canvas - it is most impressive and I sat looking at it for a long time, marvelling at the workmanship and the way the onlooker was so drawn into the painting and to the figure of the man about to be shot. Brilliant.
Then it was lunch in the lovely cafe at the Museum and out into Teesdale. I love this area, mainly because it is so much bleaker than here in the Yorkshire Dales. I took one photograph: The River in the valley bottom is the Tees, just South of High Force.
We called in Middleton in Teesdale, a lovely village, ablaze with daffodils, but jolly remote, as are all the villages up here.
Now my niece has gone. This afternoon, on another brilliantly sunny afternoon, I wandered round our fields, stopping to converse with two ponies in a field next to ours, looking at the marsh marigolds in the beck, laughing at the baby rabbits playing hide and seek with Tess, (who is useless at catching them) and thinking how jolly lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place, be able to walk through our own fields, and have such a lovely life. I really must make the very best of it and enjoy every moment.
Oh, and it is good to be back in blogland!