Saturday 21 February 2015

Emily Sutton's Town and Country

One of the most precious things that blogging has brought me has been the friendship of Lyn from Everyday Life.  We don't live near each other, but we live near enough to meet up often and share our interests (of which there are many!).   I never thought for one moment when I started blogging that it would bring me so many wonderful real friendships.   Lyn had mentioned meeting up with husbands this time at the YSP to take a look at the Emily Sutton Exhibition "Town & Country".  The husbands had never met before.

So off we pootled last week on a bit of a damp day to meet up,   The exhibition has been fantastic ( I have to confess I've been to see it a few times) - the sheer volume of work by Emily Sutton was amazing and each and every picture and bird is a true work of art.  There is so much detail attached to each piece.  I may have to buy a few prints.  I loved them.
It was lovely to wander around with my friend who pointed out details I hadn't noticed.  Lyn's husband is a good artist too and appreciated the work that went into each work - from the smallest miniature to the larger pieces.  All so very different.  My hubby loved the subject matter - especially the French market scenes.
I wish I could draw and paint.  It was a privilege to see Emily's sketch pads - so very interesting.

We all loved her embroidered birds - so many of them!  Lyn and I said that we could probably make these - then looked at each other and laughed!
The colours and detail were spot on.  This was my hubby's favourite.

We went for a wander around the park, we noticed plenty of birds making lots of noise in the trees.

The Chapel has an interesting exhibition at the moment.  A Song for Coal which has an interesting visual display accompanied by music from Opera North.
I think ther were deciding how it had been made!
The visual projection is taken from a design from a church window in Paris.
The individual segments change frequently......
... and are made up of individual pictures and videos.  I think I might pop back and watch the full run of this.

I enjoy a wander around YSP any time of year, bit it was made extra special with my lovely pal.
We were left to snap away  whilst the chaps wandered off moaning to each other about how long a walk takes with bloggers who spot even the tiniest of detail!

I'm sure Lyn will have a very similar post at some stage!

Sadly, the day was over too soon.  We spun it out with coffee and delicious cake, but the park was almost closing so we had to say au revoir - until the next time.
On the way back to our car, hubby and I were treated to Starlings swarming - which was a fantastic sight.  Hundreds and hundreds of them flying over our heads and landing in the tree tops.
They make a fabulous sight.

Thank you for a lovely afternoon Lyn and Hubby - we really enjoyed your company and can't wait for our next get together soon.

Wednesday 18 February 2015


No, not the rubbish Soap Opera, but the real Eastenders.  

For Christmas 2013, my son bought me the book of the making of "Call the midwife"  which he knew was my favourite TV series (possibly of all time!).  I loved the way that the TV producer Heidi Thomas explained how they had made the series - with all that it entailed.  It sparked something off inside me and on our next trip to London, I decided that we would stay in the East End and explore what was left of this fascinating area.  I then bought all four books written by Jenny Worth who's memoirs the series is based on.  I devoured these books as they are so well written.   I think it was so sad that she died before the series was finally finished and she never saw an episode.  

 On our visit to London, I was amazed to see how little of the original East End remains, but never the less, I found it fun to explore and see how the area is being "Gentrified".    Everything I saw and discovered fascinated me.  I love social history and this is a place with a million and one stories to tell.
 So I trawled ebay and Amazon and gathered more books based on memoirs and family history - so much more interesting than any fiction.  I think a combination of "Silvertown" (based on the authors grandparents story), and "Hopping" (the same authors family and friends stories of Hop picking in Kent - an east end of London tradition) and "The Sugar Girls" (based on the working lives of a number of young girls at the Tate & Lyle sugar factory), would make a fabulous TV series.
I've not started reading "Strike a Light" yet.  It is the story of how in 1888 1400 women and girls employed by the Bryant & May matchstick factory made history by walking out and radically changing the accepted history of the Labour movement in Britain.

I have also discovered a couple of blogs that explore the history of the Isle of Dogs and surrounding area that make me want to explore even more!  I think one of the fascinations for me is that the whole area has changed (in many places beyond recognition) both structurally and socially - in my lifetime.  I've added the blogs to the bottom of mine if you want to take a look.

This little pile of books and fascinating subject is helping me get through the longer dark evenings which I am pleased to note are lengthening noticeably!

Friday 13 February 2015


I know!  What a name for a town!  Last Saturday, our walking group traversed afar to the wrong side of the Pennines to the wonderful little town of Ramsbottom.  The town sits nestled in the enormous , steep and very beautiful Irwell Valley.

 Hubby and I arrived a little early and treated ourselves to a breakfast sandwich - to fuel the walk.   I thought you couldn't get more "Lancashire" than "Entwistle's of Ramsbottom"!!  Fabulous butties too.
 We parked in the car park at the railways station which is free.
 We had a quick look around the platform - the steam trains were running all day.
 Once the rest of our party arrived, we set about our first challange - walking up the ENORMOUS hill to "Peels Tower" .   As I said before, the sides of the valley were incredibly steep and this was a bit of a challenge for me, however I have noticed that my fitness has improved quite dramatically since we joined the walking group.  I wouldn't say I skipped up the hill, but I didn't moan about it as much as I used to!!
 We had planned to climb the tower (up the stairs on the inside of the tower) but a group of people were abseiling .
 We got to have a little look around inside though  Lots of interesting reading matter and facts about Robert Peel and his family.

 The morning had started off quite chilly and very grey, and it was much colder on the tops.  There was still a fair bit of snow to be found in parts too.

 Here's my walking buddy Emma - I don't know how we do it, but we usually can yak for the full duration of any walk we do - no matter what the length!

 I loved the pattern of the frozen water on top of Holcombe Moor.

 Emma commented that this walk had a bit of everything.  Wind, rain, cold, sun, warm, geography, history, geology, nature.....
 ... and a firing range!  
 I'm pleased to say that most of the walking group commented how many photographs they took on this walk - more than usual.
 I keep pointing things out with my bloggers eye that they would normally walk past.  I think they are noticing more.  We did also have a real photographer enthusiast with us on this walk which was fun for me.

I think you can tell how much I enjoy walking with our group - I am a big fan of the outdoors and it makes me turn out whatever the weather and wherever we go.  On this walk we discovered an area where we had never visited and one that we will return to explore further.