Thursday, September 29, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
We're heading back in time just briefly - to last Sunday, when Gill and Mike took me to Chatsworth House. It is a spectacular stately home owned, lived in and preserved by the Duke of Devonshire. It has belonged to the family since 1549 and has been added to and altered with the most magnificent art and opulent ornament since then.
Here is Mike using one of the nifty little mirrors they provide for viewing the ceiling, so you don't have to strain your neck to see it. I can just imagine gaggles of gorgeous ladies subtly angling their compacts to have this effect back in the day. (When did mirror compacts first go into production anyway? Late 19thC?)
coat - vintage
skirt - charity shop and altered by me
blouse - London designer sample sale
cardigan - Lonon vintage fair
shoes - Dansko (new! And oh-so-comfy!)
After my Bronte adventures last weekend, it seemed fitting to go and see Jane Eyre this weekend. So after a lovely day of market-wanderings (post to follow shortly), I whisked myself of to the cinema. The thing is, I have never been to the movies by myself before. It always seemed like a social thing, an excuse for an outing with friends. So off I went, on my own, to watch Jane Eyre.
It was stunning, completely beautiful - such magnificent photography. But the story is still sad! It is hear-breaking to watch poor Jane struggle through life, alone and lonely. When I got up to leave, rugged up in my shawl and out in the cold windy night, I could't help feel a little Jane-like, facing the Saturday night cinema crowd alone, then trudging up the hill, nose running in the night air. So when I got home, I rushed to my computer and skyped my 'Mr. Rochester'.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Anyone who knows me well knows my unwavering love of museum audio guides, in fact, maybe just audio in general (Ira Glass you make my life complete!). While I am out and about being a tourist I get great joy from a museum visit and the accompanying audio tour. I love the cheesy music, or the special children's tracks, the atmospheric sound effects, or the imagined voices of the artists brought back to life through my headphones. But not all guides are equal. So here you have it, a new feature on the blog to help guide you through the guides.
The National Gallery (London)
This audio guide was my preferred type - it looks a bit like this - small and easy to wear, with headphones for easy hands-free listening. At first I really liked this guide. It is far more scholarly than most, offering an in-depth discussion of most works in the permanent collection. However, I quickly realised that listening to info on every work would make my visit into a week-long mission! So I started getting more selective, and just listened to a few tracks per room. But even then, I soon got sick of that too, because the first half of each tract simply described the image! The image in front of me. The image I can use my eyes to see, while I listen. I much prefer a guide that assumes you are able to see the basics in front of you, and offers background, contextual info, or interesting stories about the artist, patron or subject. So I guess all in all I was pretty disappointed with this one. I wouldn't recommend it folks - take your glasses and read the wall panels instead!
rating: 2 stars
Friday, September 23, 2011
museum, where no photography was permitted - so here you have photos of the cemetery that surrounds it.
There were long tomb stones filled up with the names of family members who had died in quick succession - the average life expectancy was only age 25! This grave was one of the many commemorating the life of a child. There is something terribly moving about such care and craftsmanship going into a work of art that commemorates such a tragedy.
Can you imagine living in a house surrounded by this? It's no wonder many of their stories are filled with such sadness. The premature deaths of Anne and Emily are also testament to the terrible living conditions, particularly considering their house had a private well - so they were better off than most of the town folk.
This church was built in the late 19thC in place of the one the Bronte's would have attended. Their tomb is to the right of that stained glass window.
Even the sales assistant was dressed the part! (And very kind to put up with my photography request!)
Perfectly posed cats! And also a delightful vintage shop with a wonderful collection of hats - that I was so taken with, I forgot to snap any photos of the shop!
We then ate giant Yorkshire puddings at the pub and delicious caramel and custard for dessert. So sooo delicious.
To round up the day, we zipped over to Halifax to see the Northern Broadside's play by Blake Morrison, We are Three Sisters, based on the lives of the Brontes. It was really a perfectly Bronte day!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
On Saturday we went on a little trip, first stopping in at Saltaire for lunch and wanderings. This little town was built and owned by a rather impressive man named Sir Titus Salt, who owned the town mill. He built all the houses, churches, schools, halls and shops to service his workers, so they entire place has a lovely sense of harmony and repetition. It is now a UNESCO world heritage site.
Gill has been super efficient and blogged about the whole weekend at her brand new blog!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
After a delicious lunch in town, we took the scenic route home, stopping a charming little church in the countryside where Little John from Robin Hood is buried!!
I have so many photos I am splitting them up! So stay tuned for part II - Saltaire.