Saturday, September 15, 2018

Bee in the City

We spent most of yesterday in Manchester as Paul wanted to see and photograph the Sopwith Snipe which was part of a display of planes which is travelling the country to celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force. 

  The planes were on display in Albert Square in front of the town hall and as we walked down there from Piccadilly Station we spotted quite a few bees.

'Bee in the City' is an art and sculpture trail of about 100 large bees and many smaller ones across the city.

Each bee has been designed by a different artist to celebrate the unique buzz of the city from its industrial heritage to its vibrant music scene.

Organised by Wild in Art and Manchester City Council the bees are a great learning facility for schools, colleges and community groups and are a source of pleasure for locals and visitors.   Above the bee outside Selfridges department store.

  We had great fun spotting them along our rather meandering route to Albert Square and down to the Museum of Science and Technology. Above is the Queen Bee by Lee O'Brien in the Royal Exchange which was once the hub of the cotton trade.

The trail of bees has been in the city since 23rd of July and finally closes on 23rd of September.  We  managed to see just a few of them before they all buzz away.  We were told by one of the collectors for the RAF Centenary appeal that all the bees would be brought together to be auctioned for charity later this year.

The bee above, called The Homing Bee, is the artist C'Art  Dawes's reflection of her brush with homelessness and the need for everyone to have somewhere to call home.

Above is Rocket the Steam (punk) Bee. It reflects the
growth of industry and transport in the city in the 19th century and also the Victorian inspired Science Fiction popularised by writer Jules Verne.

This was one of my favourite bees.  Pablo Bee-Casso created by Jenny Leonard.

Industrious Bee in the garden at the Museum of Science and Industry.  The worker bee has been transformed into a mechanical steam machine.

Bee-Live in MCR created by Amy Coney has signatures of some of the artists who have performed in Manchester.  Dedicated to the artists and their fans who keep Manchester alive and gigging.

Distiller Bee by Kate- Laura Chapman celebrates the rise in popularity of gin and shows the ingredients used in the process like Juniper berries, thyme and lemon balm.

Above is The Crown Jewels one of the little bees which we spotted in the Manchester Art Gallery.  It was created by jewellery artist Ambrin and celebrates the Suffragette movement, reflects on the history of jewellery and wonders that if Manchester had their own crown jewels what they would be like.

I expect you are all bee'd out by now.  I'll be back in a few days with another post (non bee related) about our visit.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Kedleston Hall

On the last Tuesday in August  we visited Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire.  The last few times we had visited we'd gone just to take walks around the estate grounds.  We hadn't been in the house for ages so it was time to pop inside.

We arrived at about 11.30a.m. and as the house didn't open until noon we had a wander around the stables, the shop and the gardens first.  I was hoping to go in the church but it was closed.

I'd forgotten how huge and opulent all the rooms were although I did remember the marble pillars.  Walking around you can easily get a crick in your neck as you are continually looking upwards.

The rooms are stunning, with much marble, flocked wallpaper and the colours of turquoise and gold stand out as being the predominant colours of the day.

The exception was the music room which was a tad more homely.

The curved gallery contained portraits and family trees of the Curzon family who have lived at Kedleston for about 900 years.  The present house,  built in the mid 18th century, was commissioned by Sir Nathaniel Curzon.  Most of the building was designed by Robert Adam.

Above - the dining room no turquoise and gold here either.

Step next door into the bedroom and the opulence takes over again. The guide told us that behind where she was sitting was an en-suite bathroom built when it was hoped that King George V would visit.  He decided to go to nearby Chatsworth instead!

Back downstairs the museum contains many artifacts including those from the time when Sir Nathaniel's son George Nathaniel Curzon was made Viceroy of India.

In 1895 Lord Curzon married Mary, daughter of Levi Zeigler Leiter a Chicago millionaire.  Above is the famous peacock dress she wore for the Dehli Durbar in 1903.  Here is more information and better photos of the dress than I could take through the reflecting glass and low light levels.

Above - The Orangery which is apparently facing in the wrong direction as it faces due east and only sees the sun in the early morning.  In 1920 Lord Curzon wanted to formalise the garden and the Orangery was one of the buildings moved to what was considered a more appropriate place.

It is thought that the Hexagon Temple or Summer House built c1800 was moved at the same time.

The bridge at Kedleston was designed by Robert Adam was built in 1770/71 and is Grade I listed.

Above is a collage of just a few photos taken of the outside of All Saint's church.  It is a redundant Anglican church and like the bridge is Grade I listed.

I loved these quirky willow animals and chalk board signs.

I'm afraid there are no photos of any kitchen or servants quarters, usually my favourite parts of any historic house or home, as the cafe is within the Hall and sited in the kitchen.  There is a huge range and spit and shelves full of copper and pewter dishes, pans etc.  I didn't take any photos as the cafe was very busy, by the time we got there the quiche and salad was sold out so we had jacket potatoes with salad instead.  

Hydrangeas and Wisteria growing on the front of the stable block.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Scavenger Photo Hunt - August.

The photo hunt is a little different this month as words that sound similar but are spelt differently - homophone is the technical or is it grammatical term for this - have been chosen to challenge us.  It's been fun joining in again with Kate at 'I Live, I Love, I Craft, I am Me' blog for August's Scavenger Photo Hunt.

Tea/Tee, Thyme/Time, Aisle/Isle, Fairy/Ferry, Flour/Flower/Own choice

Tea - an abandoned cup on a wall not far from the entrance to a local garden centre.  I wondered if it had been brought out to a workman full of tea?  Or if the owner had wandered to the gate, cup in hand put it down and then forgotten about it? Who knows.

Tee - just happened to be the answer to the clue 'golf peg' in the 'i' newspaper crossword one day last week.

Thyme - growing in the kitchen garden at Biddulph Grange in Staffordshire which we visited a couple of weeks ago - it's our nearest National Trust property.

Time - in Mr Bateman's Geological gallery at Biddulph Grange.  This corridor was the main entrance into the gardens from the house.  From the far end it relates the passage of millions of years through it's display of fossils. More - here

Aisle - a photo taken from the central aisle of St Mary's Church, Nantwich, Cheshire through the chancel to the sanctuary.

Isle - a photo taken in late June in Tideswell in Derbyshire.  This was one of the seven well-dressings scattered around the village.  It depicts the Laxey Wheel on the Isle of Man.  More - here

Fairy - abandoned or lost fairy wings close by the Fairy Village in the woodlands at RSPB Coombes Valley near Cheddleton in Staffordshire.  We spotted these on a recent walk there. There was probably a very upset little fairy somewhere who wondered where her wings were.

Ferry - I had to look back into the archives for this one. Taken on a visit to Liverpool a couple of years ago.  The Dazzle Ferry designed by artist Sir Peter Blake.
More - here

Flower - a Zinnia flower in our garden complete with  a painted lady butterfly, thank you Shazza for the identification. 

Flour - some interesting bread making flours on display in a nearby supermarket.

Own choice -  one of this year's male fox cubs in the garden.  The male foxes of this family have white tips to their tails, long noses and black forelegs.

The females have, softer faces and bushy tails with no white tip.  Above is the mother of this year's cubs including the one in the previous photo.

Click on the link below to find other bloggers who are joining in this month.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Lavender, Berries and Poppies

What a strange year it has been so far.  Even at the height of summer there are distinct signs of Autumn  in the hedgerows.

Sun bleached grass paths, mown fields in the distance and the last of the wonderful rows of lavender at the Shropshire Lavender farm.  The lavender flowers were covered in bees and little blue butterflies.  Both hard to capture on camera but the scents and aromas were sending them into a frenzy in the heat of the early afternoon sun.

After coffee with a lavender scone and a piece of lemon and lavender cake - thank you for the recommendation Mrs Tiggywinkle, both were delicious - we wandered around the rest of the garden and orchard.

I love orchards, the warmth, the scent and the colour at this time of year. 

Apples and pears were falling to the floor as branches were weighed down by so many fruits.

 What did strike me though was the amount of berries on each of the bushes and trees around the garden

Above - Rowan Berries

Above - Red Currants

The next day we took an early morning walk at RSPB Coombes Valley

  Here I spotted ripening blackberries.

Crab Apples and below a Red Admiral butterfly more signs of late summer and the closeness of the changing of the seasons.
A few days later we walked along the canal from Westport Lake to Middleport Pottery.

The elder bushes were full of ripe berries, such a wonderful colour to guide us on our way.

As we passed by the pottery we could see the display of poppies which makes up 'The Weeping Window.'  Many of the ceramic poppies from the installation 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Blood' first shown at the Tower of London in 2014 were made in the city so it is nice for some of them to return home for a while.  The exhibition can be seen at Middleport Pottery until 16th September and we will probably visit in early September so I will write more about it then.