Monday, 16 October 2017

Visible Monday - mid season jacket

Such a strange light this morning, a pinkish-yellow glow. And up in the sky the sun was looking quite peculiar!
I learnt on the evening news that the reason for this was that Storm Ophelia had dragged up red sand from the Sahara. Rather freaky weather, the wind was whipping everything about yet the temperature was warm. 
Last week I was given the present of cotton indigo-dyed jacket, made in Japan. It is blissfully comfy, like wearing a dressing gown, perfect to wear outside in this mid season and inside in the winter.
It's a simple and very traditional-looking design,  like a piece of peasant clothing, (just the thing for me!) sold by Toast. I think it will look as good dressed up with skirt and heels as it does in battered old jeans. The colour will fade over time. The wind has conveniently blown open a corner of the jacket so that you can see the simple cotton lining. 
Joining with Patti who hosts Visible Monday.
My hair was whipping about all over the place but the topiary pheasant's tail was firmly in place - Himself has tied it down so that it will grow into a better shape.
By the afternoon things were looking more normal.

The pear branches had been staked
but I still had a busy time picking up windfalls.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Cambridge, Degas exhibition.

Last Saturday, on a rather dank autumnal day, we went to Cambridge to see the Degas exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum. 
But first we walked to Christ's College to look at the gardens.
A good display of window boxes in First Court




and interesting gateways to walk through,

or not!

More gateways elsewhere in town.
Not everywhere open to view.
Our gown buying days are long gone!

And reflections in the glass have spoilt your view of this glorious attire!
I'm always on the hunt for a really zingy-coloured shirt for Himself. But no luck here.

We walked through the market to the museum.


Some rather foggy images taken from a short film of Degas walking along a street in Paris.


It's a very comprehensive show, full of interesting detail, with so much to absorb that we did it in two halves with a break for lunch in the middle.


Apart from the expected images of dancers, horses, portraits and the like, there were some surprises. This lovely landscape I would not have recognised as a Degas. It was hung between a Corot and a Thomas Jones and it was this sort of intelligent hanging, and the accompanying text, that made it such a fascinating show. 
Such interesting details, this X-ray of the figurine of a dancer showing the shop-bought armature that Degas had purchased and adapted for his particular use.
We left Cambridge as the rain began to fall
but they were still punting on the river!

Friday, 22 September 2017

Under cover

Today is the autumn equinox and summer is officially over. We've packed the garden furniture away, it didn't see much action this year. Strong winds have created havoc with my bean sticks so I'm in the process of dismantling them before the canes break. I've already stored most of the squash inside the greenhouse that's attached to the garage. They look colourful placed amongst the potted plants.
All the citrus are back undercover for the winter.
It's crowded!
The small greenhouse attached to the house is accessed through my workroom.
It's also full of plants, there's just enough room for us!
We are still enjoying sitting there, although not for much longer. It's single skin glass and now that the sun is lower in the sky it gets shaded by our neighbour's trees. Very soon it will be too damp and chilly to tempt us in. But just now it is perfumed by the many lemon flowers.


Wishing you a happy weekend ahead.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Afternoon tea

On Friday afternoon we went to visit a former colleague, at ninety-nine years of age still going strong and excellent company. We had left home in a downpour but arrived to sunshine and sat in the colourful back garden to drink tea, eat apple pie and reminisce.

Black clouds and another downpour eventually took us indoors.
The house is crammed with all manner of things, collected not for their value but for their beauty and the pleasure that they give. We had come to look at his collection of drawings and prints. The large blue paintings are the artist's own work.




Transformed behind a Japanese mask.
A mantelpiece of small delights.
I love a home like this where objects have been assembled over years. It's so far removed from the awful interior design make-over programmes and bland 'themed' schemes that have nothing at all to do with the personality of the people whose home it is. The etching on the mantelpiece is a Degas print of Manet. Such beautiful marks, something to drool over! It's a reject piece, scored over by the printer. This makes it of no interest to those who collect art as a financial transaction. It was bought when our friend was a student, his only means of affording to buy a superb piece of draftsmanship. The scoring takes nothing away from the beauty of the work.
And the same with a Picasso print.
Art and good company -
what a great way to spend an afternoon.