Thursday, August 25, 2022

Radical Horizons at Chatsworth

Yesterday we were on our way to visit a friend we hadn't seen since last Autumn and we had stopped to break the journey at Baslow in Derbyshire. A short walk from the centre of Baslow takes you on to the Chatsworth Estate.

Below is the Kissing Gate which takes you into the estate. Inspired by Mrs Jill Cannon and made by Mathers Engineering of Tibshelf it enables wheelchair access to the grounds.  
At present Chatsworth is hosting sculptures from The Art of the Burning Man which is held annually in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, USA.
There are twelve sculptures in all and I was hoping to see three or four of the sculptures nearest to the entrance we used.  I wasn't sure how far I could walk but I did quite well.  My little step counter said I'd done 5,500 steps by the time we got back to the car park.
There are so many lovely trees in the park but worryingly drifts of crisp, brown leaves were scattered across the grass in some areas.
Above and below the first sculpture we came across is Relevé by Rebekah Waites.  It is based on the legend of the Nine Ladies stone circle, a Bronze Age site not far from Chatsworth.  The sculpture celebrates the rebellious spirit of art, dance and music.

It was constructed by youth volunteers and school groups from the local community. 
The sculpture will be burned at the end of the exhibition in a celebration of 'letting go' of the exhibition which is a tradition of the Burning Man exhibition.

Above and below Lodestar by Randy Polumbo.

Lodestar is made from a second World War military plane.  It has, according to the description, 'blossomed into a contemplative flower and gathering place for pollinators'.
It is decorated  with hand blown glass flowers.

Above and below Coralee by Dana Albany and Flash Hopkins.
Dana Albany worked with children from the local community to build the Mermaid at Chatsworth.

It is based on the tale of the mermaid's pool which can be found just below Kinder Scout in the High Peaks.

It is made from objects found by the local children and also objects donated by the workers on the Chatsworth estate.

Below is the last sculpture of the four we managed to get to in the time we had.

This one is called Le Attrata and is by Margaret Long and Orion Fredericks.
Three moths sit on top of steel spires or flames. There are glowing chrysalises around the sculpture.

I sat on one of the seats incorporated into the sculpture to look up at the moths.

This sculpture was quite popular with visitors mainly because they could sit for a while and take it all in.
It was time to make our way back to the car and carry on with our journey.  We saw four out of eight sculptures and are going to go back in a week or two to approach the others from the opposite side of the estate, hopefully we'll see a few more.

As we walked back we spotted the deer under the trees.  

They were happily grazing and not too bothered by the visitors.


Saturday, August 20, 2022

Books and other stuff

 Books - you wait for ages and then three come at once.

I had an e-mail to say that 'Godmersham Park' by Gill Hornby was available so on Monday I popped into the library to pick it up.  I couldn't find it on the reserved shelves.  The librarian couldn't find it either, she checked the main shelves, peered behind other shelves and under the counter.  She made a couple of phone calls but no luck, it had disappeared.  'Leave it with me' she said, 'I'll sort it out'.  On the library website I was back to being second in the queue for Godmersham Park.   A couple of days later I had an e-mail to say that the other two books were ready to be collected.  I popped in again and they were there, thank goodness.  Yesterday I had an e-mail to say 'Godmersham Park' was ready to be collected.  I popped into the library today and yes, it was there.  I think I've visited the library more times this week than I have done over the last two years when casual visits changed due to Covid and lockdown. Perhaps soon I will get back to browsing the shelves.  I just hope I can read all three books before they are due to be returned as they are all requested by other readers so can't be renewed.

I loved these cycles we spotted recently.  

They were outside Time - The Vintage Hub in Uttoxeter.

It's good to be getting out and about a bit again although only  locally.

A week ago we visited Leek and had a walk around.  We parked near the Quaker or Society of Friends Meeting House.

We walked past the building and down the alleyway at the side of the meeting house wall.  It was built in 1697. It closed in 1848 due to the decline in the number of worshippers.  It was re-opened in 1880 but was later leased to the William Morris Labour Church.  It was re-opened as a Quaker Meeting House in 1939.

The wall was made up of half brick and half stone.

Around the corner looking up towards St Edward's Church.  The meeting house is on the right behind the wall.  The garden looked lovely, I'd love to have seen inside but both building and garden were behind locked gates.

The houses across the road from the meeting house.  I think it is quite an attractive row.
The blue plaque in on the building to the right in the photo above.

In the market place there was a busy Antiques and Collectors Fair.

There were lots of interesting items for sale.

Some of them at eye watering prices.  We had a wander around in the sunshine.
Wednesday morning we walked at Trentham Gardens.  I haven't been able to walk right around the lake yet but seem to be able to walk further each time we visit.  We seem to have missed the best of the wildflowers this year but there were still some showing colour. 

We still haven't spotted any of the two hundred water voles that were released around the lake earlier this year. (story here) I expect they have left the lake and made their way to the River Trent which is not far from the lake.  I've seen on one or two of the wildlife groups I follow on Facebook that some people have spotted them.  I did manage to take a photo of an elderly crow who didn't seem to mind us passing by or taking a photo or two.

We saw quite a few Lords and Ladies under the trees.  Their bright Autumn berries easily catching the eye.  This plant is also called Cuckoo Pint, which is what I remember it being called as a child.  It is also known as Devils and Angels, Adam and Eve and Snakes Head.

  I'll share photos of  our garden in a later post as this one is getting a bit long.
At the moment we have lots of sunflowers.

All for now.

Friday, August 05, 2022

Into August

 The calendar tells me that it's August.  How time flies.  Where did June and July go?  

A couple of days ago the pond was cleared of some of the weed and fallen leaves.

The weed is sorted through to take out any creatures and then left at the side of the pond for anything missed to crawl out and find their way back into the shelter of the water.  A large frog was spotted and lots of young newts.

Here is one of them.  At least twenty were counted.  Just a quick photo and then it was put back into the water. We have to move the pond weed left at the side of the pond before nightfall.  If we leave it there in the morning the foxes have spread it everywhere.  I think they like to play with it.

Leaves have been falling from the Tulip tree.  

The hot weather and the strong warm breezes have started an early Autumn.

We've raked up and filled a few bags full of leaves and still they fall.

Small mushrooms, or are they toadstools? have appeared on the lawn amongst the fallen leaves.

We've had a lot of courgettes so some baking and cooking was done.

Courgette and Goat's Cheese pizza - very tasty with salad leaves from the garden.

Also small quiches for the freezer with courgettes, tomatoes and broccoli from the garden.  Paul was the baker, I did make the pastry for the quiches though.

A lovey gift through the post from our friend Robert.  Send me six photos from your garden he said and I'll make you a cube.  He loves making cubes and has been making them on and off for quite a few years covering many different topics.  His favourites are maps and buses.  It arrived flat pack and was easily assembled. They are great for popping little gifts inside.
Thank you Robert.

It's a very pretty cube

From every side.

All for now.