Monthly Archives: August 2014

Bank Holiday festival…

This time last weekend we had a fun time meeting as a family at  Greenbelt 2014. A beautiful new site, interesting speakers, musicians, writers and artists of all sorts  – Brian McClaren, Anne Lamott, Matt Haig, Mpho Tutu, Sinead O’Connor, Dave Tomlinson and many more…. As well as time to to sit around in the sunshine and eat together. Errr, well, Saturday and Sunday were sunny, Monday not quite so……!!

greenbelt 2014

Inspite of chilly nights and a muddy ending, we came away encouraged and inspired for the ongoing journey.


Capital day

London is not a place we visit often these days, although the coach ride is only just over two hours. A couple of weekends ago we mustered the energy to go, in order to see the Matisse Cut Outs exhibition at Tate modern.

The scale and colour of the exhibition was large, exciting and joyful. The video clips of the artist at work showed his enthusiasm and delight in exploring a form which brought together the texture and 3D quality of sculpture, with the colour and movement of painting. Both the process and product was akin to dancing or music making. To me it felt all the more wonderful because this was art produced when Matisse himself was struggling with the constraints of ageing and declining bodily health, and yet was able to break through the physical barriers to express a transcendent vibrancy.Henri Matisse - The Parakeet and the Mermaid 1952

There were a lot of people in the exhibition, in spite of the timed tickets, and at times I found it quite difficult to see and focus on the exhibits properly. It took effort and concentration, and we were glad of a coffee and chocolate ice cream at the end!globe lunch

We ate lunch overlooking the Thames, by Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, and later crossed the Millenium bridge, with views encompassing ancient and modern buildings. On to and beyond St Paul’s cathedral encountering more people, current art and culture en route, to the Museum of London where we were confronted with the span of human life on this site from prehistoric to modern from millenium bridgebook bench

Just as in the Matisse exhibition itself, I found it exciting, stimulating and confusing to spend time in such a vast, historic and cosmopolitan city. Experiencing the vibrant life all around, a colourful, diverse, and multilayered collage of humanity, is demanding and even hard work!

But it was a good day out – we were reminded of the enduring qualities of human art, architecture, literature and spirituality, amidst wars, fires and plagues, and we managed to survive the frustrating confused muddle, crowds and noise of Victoria Station!

Unexpected restoration

An unexpected detour because of a road closure took me through an unfamiliar area of town. Sitting in a queue of traffic I noticed some colourful canvases and beach fabrics in the window display of an interior design shop. Just what I needed to restore some old directors chairs which had been gathering dust in the garage! Amazingly there was a parking space a few yards further on, and I was able to nip into the shop, purchase half a metre of strong canvas, and be on my way within a few minutes.

It was only just enough material, but it was enough!

Result – an enjoyable few hours spent, planning, cutting, and stitching the covers; and two useful folding chairs, now looking a bit more presentable. And a reminder for me that traffic jams, detours and delays can, in fact, hold the opportunities we had forgotten we were looking for. Just a matter of noticing and seizing the moment when it presents itself!

20140814-103839.jpg “before”

20140814-103909.jpg “after”