Jan. 3rd, 2015

anef: (anef2)
My mother has been visiting for Christmas.  Yesterday the weather was beautiful - cloudless and clear.  We went to Anglesey Abbey to look at the winter garden.  There were many, many different dogwoods with bright stems, set against willows and ghost brambles.  A few early cyclamen and snowdrops were out as well.  We just made it to the mill in time to buy some fresh-ground flour.  As we drove back to Cambridge the sunset painted the sky in strips of pastels, pink and mauve.  The fens lay dark beside us.

Today it poured with rain, and we went to Kettle's Yard to see an exhibition of work by Ian Hamilton Findlay.  There was a film about his garden near Edinburgh, Little Sparta.  Then we went round the house which holds a collection of modern art - lots of Winifred Nicholson, Christoper Wood, Alfred Wallis and David Jones. I particularly liked the following picture, although the reproduction doesn't do it justice:  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/collection-item/vexilla-regis/ .  It's a mysterious drawing, full of tiny pictures of temples, standing stones, animals (and I think a unicorn).  Very magical.

The main thing about the collection, though, is that the house is set up for domestic living with tables and chairs, beds and chests of drawers.  The walls are whitewashed and there are worn rugs on the wooden floors.  The collection just happens to be your host's personal taste, and items painted or sculpted by his friends.  It has an extraordinarily tranquil atmosphere, subtly calming and refreshing. 


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