I will keep the Japanese aesthetic to the perimeter and the English look close to the house - I can see this will work better. Have started already...
Coxwold and the gardens at Shandy Hall.
I love both the English and the Japanese look. Why has it taken me so long to realise that I shouldn't be mixing them in the garden!
I will keep the Japanese aesthetic to the perimeter and the English look close to the house - I can see this will work better. Have started already...
This development under a motorway flyover is made of old shipping containers. There is a stage, table tennis, a cafe in an old bus, small smart shop/business units, a green wall and lots of healthy looking plants.
Do you know of any developments which make imaginative use of what is usually dead space?
From the welcome in Urdu
to the parents lying on mats with their babies on a gallery floor or playing games outside
beautifully proportioned vistas, quality materials
Thought provoking exhibitions - contemporary and from the collections.
and the most elegant drainpipe ever seen
I love what they are doing at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester.
Take a look at their Natural Cultural Health Service.
I could have spent the whole weekend there: in the park, the gardens, the cafe, the galleries, the shop. Free, family friendly, well-used on a sunny Saturday - well done my old University of Manchester! I liked to go to the Whitworth when I was studying but it was darkish, and old fashioned with a played out park outside and very few people inside and the cafe consisted of two tiny tables in the entrance way.
I love a holiday that includes both!
A North Yorkshire market town and village, a glimpse of medieval York and a look at Manchester.
A week of contrasts in the company of good friends.
Nice to be home too.
Do you feel that after a holiday?
.. I love flying.
A few days before I left for New Zealand I was on the beach watching a gull effortlessly soaring high in the air and I thought I'd soon be up there with her, though to get me up there would take the efforts of thousands of people, millions of pounds, hundreds of gallons of flammable and polluting fuel, and systems so complex and amazing that they blow my mind. I've flown in a balloon, gliders, a sea plane and various small aircraft, a Hercules and the usual commercial planes, but this long haul flight was the first time I'd flown in an Airbus. Emirates Economy Class is pretty luxurious.
I always have a window seat ( I gave up learning to fly a glider when I realised that all I really wanted was to look down. I don't think I'd have made a very safe pilot!). My favourite feature of this comfortable and quiet aircraft with its 14 flight attendants speaking 18 languages, is the flight information panel (forget the zillion films). I am up here looking down on the earth. Real geography, maps come alive, names conjuring up history and memories as I fly over Europe including Dresden where my husband's father was born, mountain ranges and deserts, the flares of the oil rich gulf states in the darkness, place names which are familiar only because people there are at war.....
In the quiet and almost empty early morning airport in Melbourne, a family have made a little camp. Mother and baby lie on a yoga mat on the floor, equipment and luggage are spread out in an orderly way over 5 or 6 chairs and father is entertaining a toddler who has such a delightful and infectious giggle that I move a few seats closer to hear him better.
On the way home we follow the night. Fourteen hours of dark is challenging but I get this shot of sunset on the wing over Sydney
We are not going to stop flying.
It's not going to happen.
..to see these two buildings in Paris was mindblowing!
We saw Sainte Chapelle in the morning and Frank Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton building in the evening.
Neither building has anything to do with shelter from the elements! They are about power, wealth and status, poetry and spirituality, and skill and daring and large egos - and they are both exciting to see.
Both buildings are outrageous in their own ways, in their audacity and extravagance. I think that's what we respond to...
I want to know more. It was built in only seven years, it was built to house holy relics brought from Constantinople as it then was, many ordinary people were living miserable lives in Paris in 1248, it employed skilled often itinerant engineers and craftsmen some of whom worked all over Europe. Literally awesome!
Awesome could also describe Frank Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton, which is a gallery and concert hall.
In a (rather grudging) review in The Guardian Oliver Wainwright said that Frank Gehry 'doesn't know when to stop'. The same may well have been said of Louis 1X.
Here are Heather and I reflected on the skin of this extraordinary building. It was open until 9pm, not busy and there was a beautiful sunset.
Tomorrow LOTS of photos of this building....
..by Les Nympheas in L'Orangerie. (Be there when it opens.)
Here's what Monet said about them..............
..Nerves strained by work would relax in its presence...for he who would live in it, this room would offer a refuge for peaceful meditation.
I was also charmed by this fabulous lightshade in the cafe.
It's about 5 or 6 feet across and so lightweight it moved slightly.
As for the stunning Musee D'Orsay, words fail me so here are 10 photographs!
It was marvellous to see the originals of so many Impressionist paintings familiar to me in reproduction. Do you have an artwork you long to see in the original?
The real thing.
have to be added to my little New Zealand souvenir book.
Shock. Disbelief. Dismay. Grief.
..and some souvenirs.
The favourite sandals I took with me to New Zealand literally fell apart when I got there - they looked fine on top but great lumps of sole fell off around the flat and we wondered what all these bits were...I found a lovely pair of shoes in a sale in the nice (air conditioned) department store Ballantynes. I just know I'm going to love these.
I could have spent a lot in the beautiful Art Gallery shop but just bought this little bit of silly decoration because the colours are so lovely..
And I could not resist this tiny tiny notebook though I don't know what I am going to put in it.
to Abel Tasman National Park where we heard this.
Many of New Zealand's native birds are ground nesting (and some are flightless), and in this National Park they are increasing the numbers by getting rid of introduced predators like possums, rats and weasels.
There are no roads and you can only reach the eco lodge we stayed in by boat -a gorgeous trip dropping people off at several idyllic beaches, a somewhat rougher trip coming back! The boat drops you on the sand and you walk along the beach to a board walkway and some steps and as soon as we were among the trees we heard the bell bird and the tui. And the loudest cicadas I have ever heard. There were also eels and glow worms in the wetland below our balcony. We took ourselves out at night using the torches on our phones along little paths, listening to many strange noises in the bush (intrepid adventurers that we are!) to spot the glow worms. - I loved this place.
See more about the conservation projects here.
The road north ends at the small resort of Kaiteriteri and from here it is boat or helicopter or by foot on the huge network of hiking trails.
The wetlands from our balcony.
I liked the architecture
Tree ferns everywhere
..and agave, cordyline, eucalypts, hebes.
The outdoor part of the restaurant..
The kind of place where you dress for dinner by putting the laces back in your sandshoes!
When a dear friend who is living in Christchurch for six months in a beautiful flat with a spare toom invited me to stay in February, it took mere moments for me to change the New Windows label on the savings to New Zealand.
The fact that it is summer in New Zealand in February added to the thrill.
I'm not quite down to earth yet, but give me a few days and I'll sort out my photographs and my head (and my sleep patterns).
Have any of you been to New Zealand? Or followed the sun in February? It is sunny at home too and quite warm, and I have been grounding myself with some gentle gardening.
Thank you for the lovely welcome home messages.
Do you like a change of pace? Some city buzz, some country quiet?
A dynamic business set in the peaceful surroundings of the North York Moors, Gillies Jones have an international reputation. It is worth a call to see if the glassblowers will be working when you visit as it is fascinating to watch them in this small workshop.
One day I will buy one of these.
If I could just decide which colour....
Mannion in York and Helmsley make the best scones ever. I said to the guy who served me 'I wish I had the recipe for your scones' and he flashed back, with a big smile 'Not on your life!'
Time to wander fantastical shops (Harry Potter music) and magical Christmas decorations.
Browsing the bookshops..
Bought this one
Noted this one.
A seat in the sun outside Carluccio's in St Helen's Square, people watching and listening to a singer with a voice like an angel.
One of the best views of the Minster is from the cafe in Marks and Spencers store
Three buses, two trains and a ferry later to a very different, simpler, quieter and calmer environment.
Love them both.
Happy to be home.
I do like a change of pace and am lucky enough to enjoy both city life and country life at different times.
A few slightly faster paced days in York went down a treat and I'm going to log lots of photographs in this post....so visually stimulating
It still felt like summer just 200 miles south! We have gales, flooding and landslides here..now Weebly why are you printing these upside down? Ah, if you click on them they appear right way up. How odd.
I used to teach in this wonderful old building.
Friends' city gardens were looking beautiful.
The roadworkers' hieroglyphs amused me.
Especially this one.
More tomorrow all being well..
..both literal and metaphorical. I love the atmosphere in Edinburgh at festival time.
Music in the streets, lots of free performances by young hopefuls at the Fringe, top names and prestigious shows (Rembrandt at the National Gallery which I will go back and see) and the Dovecot has a good cafe and shop and a selling exhibition of contemporary jewellery which we didn't have time to see....
I think next year I should find somewhere to stay for a week.
Have you been? Or do you have a favourite festival?
I like the message on the Edinburgh Festival posters.
Grace and I had a happy day there yesterday.
We chanced upon Indigo Yatd Gin Garden for a coffee while we decided what to do (it was too early for gin!). We loved the decor..
When life gives you lemons make a gin and tonic was our favourite message. We've discovered we like a lot of the same things, so it was easy to agree that Dovecot Studios should be our destination.
This is the viewing gallery where you can watch the tapestry weavers at work.
The building was converted from a swimming pool.
The current exhibition is a history of Liberty Fabrics.
The gardens at Newby Hall were looking wonderful.
There are 25 acres to explore and the double border above is 172 meters long - I was really impressed at how very good it all looked in spite of the heatwave.
We were given a pot of this!
The most idyllic part was a boat trip on the River Ure - I loved how modest and un-commercial it was. Just a lazy half an hour on a simple boat with a relaxed guy who loved the quiet and the wildlife of the riverbank and enjoyed sharing it - he knew where all the nests were, was sweet with the children and never asked for the money. You just gave him the £5 as you got off and I had the impression he really wouldn't have cared much if you forgot...
It was also cooler on the river! 28/29 degrees is too hot for me.
Makes me idle.
An idle idyll is no bad thing now and then... thank you Lynne!
How has the heat affected you this summer?
Bear with me as they say, for I am still on about Venice!
I am passionate about Venice - it just happened. I did not need to try (I just needed to be there).
(Can I just add here that a friend who has been reading the comments recently said 'How did they all get to be so wise?')
I loved the cookery book Polpo as much for it's information about Venice as for the food and knew that I would want to eat cicheti at a bacaro (see the Polpo story here) - the kind of place Venetians will stop at on the way home from work, maybe with a colleague or meeting a friend, for a glass of local wine or a spritz and some delicious small snacks. I was delighted to find that one of Russell Norman's recommended bacari was on the street right below our apartment!
I had also read somewhere about a cafe in a greenhouse (Serra di Giardini) and found it quite easily (Vaporetto stop Giardini). We enjoyed a lunch and an aperol spritz there on a sunny warm day - so sunny they had to lower the wonderful blinds...
Neither place was expensive.
..but exquisite facsimiles of wonderful books dating from the 1400's.
In the Scuola Grande di San Marco is a display of very convincing facsimiles of famous and beautiful books which you are allowed to handle and leaf through.
The illuminated manuscripts made into books (codex) were owned by families such as the Medici, d'Este, Rothschild and Duca di Berry and handling them in their bejewelled and embroidered covers we got a sense of how precious books were, and how valued.
Any bibliophile would be thrilled by this exhibition (Barry would have loved it).
I think it is on until September but it will surely travel to other venues in Europe. I am so glad to have experienced it.
In the larger room with it's magnificent ceiling and paintings by Tintoretto, are printed books from the 1500's and the Museum of Medical History (the building is part of the hospital).
To see these originals, which were of course in glass cases, as the originals of the codices would also be, brought alive the concepts of the Renaissance for us.
Theophrastus is known as the father of botany and is a bit of a hero of mine.
The medical instruments on display were in Heather's words 'a chamber of horrors', especially those associated with childbirth, but we spent a couple of hours in this quiet museum and I would certainly visit it again.
We did not shop in Venice, except for food. until our last morning when I bought some Murano glass gifts and Heather bought a beautiful little bag, but do come window shopping with me - what windows! What style!
Do you have a favourite place to window shop?
There is a 'back story' (if I am using that term correctly) to my Venice trip which newer readers of Live Simply Simply Live may not know of..
My husband Barry and I had planned to spend a month in Venice in February 2016 and had done lots of research and planning and booked an apartment which was very Venetian. We wanted to know we were in Venice and didn't want to stay in a place which could have been anywhere. So the one we found had a canal, a bridge and a private terrace with a view of this 15C church! You can see the apartment here.
When Barry died unexpectedly the owners of the apartment said they regretted they could not refund the deposit but would hold it indefinitely to be used by me or anyone I cared to give it to, and it went to the back of my mind for many months.
As you can imagine it was with mixed feelings I went to Venice without Barry and to the apartment we had so carefully chosen. I know Barry would have been as thrilled as I was that our lovely Heather came along. She made it fun and a very healing and happy experience.
Last night I watched a production of Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth. In it, towards the end, Winifred tells Vera, who has suffered devastating losses at a very young age,
'All of us are surrounded by ghosts. Now we need to learn how to live with them. You must start at the beginning. Get up, get dressed, eat. Spring is out there, waiting...'
For me, Venice was out there, waiting, and I'm very glad I went to meet her.
as I post a few more memories of Venice!
I learned from Heather, who learned from Cinzia, who learned from her mother exactly now to make an espresso. I didn't know I liked it.
This came today. First try tomorrow morning.
How do you like your coffee?
This is quite fun.
I only read it after I came back :-)
..like no other!
In Libreria Acqua Alta they are prepared for high water and flooding
with books stacked in a gondola
and in kayaks.
You can sit and read looking onto the canal
This is also the fire escape. And there are chandeliers on the crumbling ceiling,
and several cats.
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)