Monday, July 09, 2018

Monday Miscellany

It seems that it's a good year for sweet peas.

We've been watering the garden with watering cans each evening and sometimes in the morning too. Now the water butts are empty.  Lots of plants are suffering, the buddleia, rose of sharon and hydrangeas in particular and the grass is a yellow wheat colour turning to brown in places. At the moment we are watering next door's garden too so it has been hard work trying to keep their pots and hanging baskets alive as well as our own pots and beds.

I've been cutting the sweet pea flowers for the house and taking off the seed pods to encourage more growth and it seems to be working.

 Inside their beautiful fragrance drifts through the house.

Thank goodness today is a little cooler, gentle breezes rustle the blinds at the open windows. After the inescapable and sometimes overpowering heat of the weekend the temperature seems slightly easier to cope with today.

 Above a few more photos taken around the garden over the weekend.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Yorkshire Sculpture Park - Part Two

Continuing with details of our visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture park from my last post about Mister Finch. It has taken me a while to get around to writing this second part as the heat is getting to me, I can't seem to find a cool spot and my brain seems unable to grasp the simplest things.  It has taken me three days in the cooler hours of the early morning to finish it so here goes......

After a quick lunch we set off to see the other exhibitions.  We've visited the Yorkshire Sculpture Park a couple of times before and had seen most of the permanent sculptures which are dotted around the parkland so we concentrated on the temporary exhibitions.

In the Georgian chapel was what I thought was a wonderful exhibition -
Beyond Time by Chiharu Shiota.  The installation was made expecially for this space.

It is made from two thousand balls of woollen thread and seems to weave its way quite magically across the extent of the chapel floor and up into the ceiling.

Most of the threads come from the bare piano structure which is set slightly off centre.  I hope the visitor doesn't mind being in my photo which I took from up in the balcony.   I thought she added scale and her face is hidden by the pretty sun hat and she is completely absorbed by what she can see.

Shiota was inspired to use the piano as part of the structure as there wasn't a musical instrument of any kind in the chapel.  She also took her inspiration from a childhood memory of seeing the skeletal remains a neighbour's piano after a house fire.

The sheets of music trapped and woven into the woollen threads represent the scores of all the music that is recorded as having been played or sung in the chapel over the years and also an historic bell ringing score.
We left the chapel and wandered over the parched grass to find the next exhibition.

The Coffin Jump by Katrina Palmer is one of the WWI centenary art commissions by 14-18 Now.

It was inspired by the history of an extraordinary group of women who became the first all female First Aid Nursing Yeomanry which was founded in 1907.   The exhibit is sometimes accompanied by both sound and performance which is activated by a horse and rider jumping over but when we saw it it was quite still in its peaceful surroundings.

The nurses would rescue men straight from the battlefield thus making a direct link between the front line with the field hospitals.  In spite of the nurses' undoubted courage the British army would not support them as they didn't like to be associated with what they saw as  'liberated' women.  The nurses concentrated their efforts and skills in helping the French and Belgian armies by running hospitals and driving ambulances.

The words on the jump are taken from the diaries and other sources of members including nurse Muriel Thompson.  Phrases like 'Woman saves Man' 'Cut to Pieces' and 'Nothing Much Happened' highlight the heroism of these women.

We returned to the main galleries and had a quick look around the exhibition 'A Tree in the Wood' by Giuseppe Penone.  Central to the exhibition is Matrice a 30 metres long fir tree which has been cut in half and dissected along one of its growth rings.  I would have liked more time to explore the outside parts of this exhibition but we had to leave and get on our way home.

 I've put links to all three exhibits in each part if you want to follow up and find out more.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Yorkshire Sculpture Park - Part One

As promised in a previous post a few more photos and details about the exhibitions we saw on our visit to the YSP.  We travelled up through Buxton and Glossop and as we drove by the reservoirs to join the main Sheffield to Manchester road we could see the smoke from the fire on Saddleworth Moor which had started the night before.  We drove over Holme Moss by the transmitting station and down into Holmfirth to join the road towards Wakefield.

The first exhibition we saw was the one we had specifically gone to see -
The Wish Post by Mister Finch 
The accompanying leaflet says 'Welcome to the eccentric and fantastical world of The Wish Post - an intricately hand-sewn and constructed menagerie'.

'More than seventy-five individual soft sculptures showcase Mister Finch's masterful combination  of up-cycled and new materials'

The story of the exhibition centres around the magical kingdom where woodland animals collect and sort the wishes of other creatures which are breathed into envelopes and posted into toadstool postboxes.

For one night each year the woodland animals have the chance to have their wishes and dreams to be whisked away on the breeze and for them to come true.  The creatures gather together to prepare the wishes for the wind ahead of The Wish Post Festival.

It's a fascinating exhibition.  The lady on the reception desk said 'It's out of this world' and she was right.  The animals are quite magical and wonderfully sculptured and created.  I was enchanted by them.

In the exhibition you can find badgers with coats full of badges,  bell ringing hedgehogs, thimble tailed rats, rabbits with toadstools, elegant swans and dapper moles.

When we visited on Monday the exhibition had been open for two days and every one of the sculptures had been sold. How wonderful for Mister Finch.

I loved the badgers and the moles.  Fox and ratty were there too.  I was reminded of one of my very favourite childhood books The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham.

We wandered around the exhibition for ages taking it all in and marvelling at each new little intricacy we found.  It was time for a quick lunch in the cafe before moving on to another two exhibits which I'll show you in part two.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Scavenger Photo Hunt - June

Joining in once again with the Scavenger Photo Hunt organised by

The word prompts for June  are - yellow, starts with a 't',  lilac starts with a 'g', silver, own choice.

 Yellow - Yellow Loosestrife by the lake at Trentham Gardens in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire

Starts with a 't' - a tunnel next to the Knot Garden created by climbing plants and shrubs at Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire.

Lilac - Lilacs in May but not in June but I think I can spot a few wildflowers in the photo above that have a lilac hue. 

Starts with a 'g' - Greater Butterfly Orchid in the meadow at RSPB Coombes Valley

Silver - a new fairy at Trentham Gardens this one is called Dancing with Dandelions and she rotates in the breeze.

Own choice - Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire where we attended Piva's midsummer concert of Tudor Music.  We sat outside in the courtyard as the sun set and martins and swallows swooped and dived overhead.  It was quite magical.

 Follow the link below to find other bloggers taking part this month.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

In the Meadow

On Saturday morning we visited the RSPB Reserve at Coombes Valley where we took a gentle meander through the meadow.  

I hadn't been feeling myself for a couple of days after falling in the garden trying to avoid stepping on next door's new puppy!  It had come through the hedge and was racing around our garden like a child in an adventure playground.  

The views across the valley from the steep meadow were wonderful.

The meadow was full of orchids 

Above are Greater Butterfly Orchids below an orchid we are not sure about. Marsh Orchid perhaps?

We also saw lots of little butterflies and moths

Chimney sweeper moth

 It was cool and shady to linger awhile under the broad branches of the oak tree

It's good that I was feeling a lot better by the time of our next adventure which had been planned for some time and took us a bit further afield.  We have to plan our days around leaving a very elderly cat with back leg problems who needs lots of attention and medication twice a day.

We managed a round trip of six hours which was a little long to leave him but he coped.  I'll report on our visit in a future post but here is a little taster.

Mister Finch at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, two hours to get there, two hours there and two hours to get home but well worth the visit in such hot weather.
More of Mister Finch and two other wonderful exhibitions soon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Thimble Hall and All Saints' Parish Church, Youlgreave, Derbyshire

There is a small car park at the top of the hill as you enter the village of Youlgreave in Derbyshire and we decided to park there and walk down the hill into the centre as the road is quite narrow and traffic is sometimes heavy as drivers weave their way around parked cars and other obstructions.  Locals were waiting at bus stops along the way for the bus to Bakewell.  The people we passed had a ready smile and a 'Good Morning' for visitors.

We could see the tower of All Saints' Parish Church as we walked down into the village.  We did eventually walk as far as the church but first we had a smaller building to find.

 Opposite the old Co-operative Grocery shop which is now a Youth Hostel stands The Conduit or Water Fountain.

Almost hidden by the Conduit Head or water fountain was the building we were looking for....

Thimble Hall

Thimble Hall was built in the 18th Century.  It was a one up one down home with a ladder to the upper room.  It was thought that a family of eight lived there at one time.  It was last lived in as a family home in the 1930s and has been used since then as an Antiques shop, a Butcher's shop and also as a Cobbler's shop.  It is a Grade II listed building.

 Apparently, according to one source I read on line, Thimble Hall is in the Guinness Book of World Records as being the smallest detached house at 11ft 10ins by 10ft 3ins and 12ft 2ins high.  It was sold at auction in 1999 with a guide price of £15,000 but it sold for £39,500 apparently bought by an ice cream maker from Chesterfield.  Sadly it seems to stand empty at the moment although a lady was watering the plants on the side.

The Conduit Head is also a Grade II listed building made of  grit stone ashlar and erected in 1829 by the Youlgreave Friendly Society of Women.  Before this water reservoir was built families had to draw water from the nearby River Bradford.

From Thimble Hall and Conduit Head we walked along Church Street, past The Old Bakery, now a B&B establishment towards the church.

The Parish Church of All Saints' is, according to their guide book, one of the oldest and largest medieval churches in the Peak District.  We had visited the churchyard before, a few years ago, looking for some of Paul's ancestors but hadn't been inside.  Luckily we found the building open.

The interior is mostly Norman with the oldest parts in the nave dating from between 1150 and 1170. There is a Tudor roof and the usual Victorian restoration done between 1869 and 1871,  the stained glass in the east window dates from this time. The Gothic style chancel dates from the 14th century with 15th century additions. 

The glass in the east window was designed by Edward Burne Jones and made in the William Morris workshops.  The table tomb in the centre of the chancel is a memorial to Thomas Cockayne a member of a prominent local family of the time.

 He died in 1488 in a fight with Thomas Burdett of Pooley Park in Warwickshire  as they were one their way to Polesworth church.  The fight was apparently about a family marriage settlement.  It is quite a small effigy, even though he was a grown man,  done this way because he predeceased his father.

Above is the effigy from the 14th century which is thought to be of Sir John Rossington, he lies with his head on a pillow with a dog at his feet. He holds a heart in his hands.

Looking back from the chancel to the nave.

In the north aisle is a Jacobean memorial to Roger Rooe of nearby Alport who died in 1613 and also to his wife and their eight children.

The Norman font which belonged originally to Elton church and was moved to its present place in the 19th century.

Thought to be a 17th century burial slab this figure was moved inside the church for safe keeping.

 A little part of the village school at the edge of the churchyard.

We liked the look of this old shop front opposite the church.  The property is up for sale by auction, just like Thimble Hall was.  I wonder who will buy it and what they will do with the building perhaps a family home, an art and craft gallery or a tea shop?  Who knows.