Thursday, 22 July 2021

Spa break

A couple of weekends ago my daughter and myself enjoyed a weekend at a spa hotel. This was a Christmas present from my son and dil. We had to wait until now before the relaxing of Covid regulations allowed us to go. The hotel was just over an hour's drive away in the heart of Surrey. It had extensive grounds and when we arrived  the sun was shining and we were able to take advantage of lounging in the sunshine. I forgot to take any photos until we were leaving and the weather was cloudy with drizzling rain.

We made use of the gym, indoor pool, sauna, steam room as well as having a relaxing massage. It was a wonderful present and a well needed break for us both.

Friday, 16 July 2021

Mum's oak tree

 Whilst visiting my son and Dil a couple of weeks ago in Leeds I paid a visit to Tatton Park near Manchester. It is here that the family had a tree planted in Mum's  memory.

 I first saw the tree in March 2019 shortly after it was planted. It is an English oak.

I didn't think it would be over two years before I would be able to see it again but this is how it looks today.

Fortunately the tree is well protected from the deer that wander freely throughout the park.

Monday, 12 July 2021

Somerset House - Global Goals

 Last month I visited the Forest for Change at Somerset House in London. It was created by artist Es Devlin to raise awareness of the U.N.'s 17 Global Goals. At the heart of the forest of 400 trees are the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development. 

Every tree in the forest will be replanted in London as part of the Queen's Green Canopy, a unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee in 2022.  Everyone in the UK will be encouraged to 'Plant a tree for the Jubilee'. It will have schools, scouts, community, sports groups etc as well as individuals planting trees.  Its aim is to create a living legacy which will contribute to cleaner air and make our lives greener.

As well as the inviting of planting new trees, The Queen's Green Canopy will dedicate a network of 70 Ancient Woodlands across the United Kingdom and identify 70 Ancient Trees to celebrate Her Majesty's 70 years of service. Obviously it will be something else to add to my bucket list to go and find these 70 Ancient woodlands and trees!
As you walked through the Forest for Change you could hear the sound of birdsong, created by Brian Eno.

You emerge from the Forest into a clearing with 17 mirrored pillars representing the Global Goals. In 2015, world leaders agreed to 17 Global goals to create a better world by 2030. The exhibition is a reminder for all of us, governments, businesses, civil society and the general public to work together to build a better future for everyone. Below are a few examples of the goals with reasons why they were chosen.
Each pillar has the Goal on one side and an explanation with further information on each side.

The 17 global goals:

Goal 1: No Poverty

Goal 2: Zero hunger

Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being

Goal 4: Quality Education

Goal 5: Gender equality

Goal 6: Clean Water and sanitation

Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Goal 10: Reduced Inequality

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Goal 13: Climate Action

Goal 14: Life below Water

Goal 15: Life on Land

Goal 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Goal 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal

Sharing with Our World Tuesday

Friday, 25 June 2021

The Mosaic House

 I had read about the Mosaic House when doing some research for Chiswick Park underground station but I had no idea that it would be such an amazing work of art. I decided it needed a post all to itself.

The house is home to artist Carrie Reichardt who wanted to create a piece of public art that was uncensored so she decided to use her own home as her canvas. Both the back and front of the house are covered with pieces of coloured tiling. The design tells numerous stories and features work from some of the world's best mosaic artists. It has taken over twenty years to complete.


In every corner there is another story being told. Every visit would reveal something new. 

This black cab outside the house is also completely covered in mosaics. It is known as the 'Voodoo Zulu Liberation Taxi'. It was hoped that this travelling mosaic would raise the awareness of the incarceration of an American prisoner called Kenny 'Zulu' Whitmore. He spent 36 years in solitary confinement.

Outside the house are two vehicles. This bright orange one is the Tiki Love Truck. It commemorates John Joe Ash Amador who was sentenced to death in Texas. It is part of  the artist's art campaign against the death penalty. The truck was originally exhibited at the V and A museum.

Monday, 14 June 2021

Turner's Modern World.

 Art galleries are open once again and I took the opportunity of booking this exhibition at Tate Britain. You have to book to do anything at the moment and I found myself outside the gallery one hour before my booked entry time. As it wasn't busy they let me in early and I was in the unusual position of being just one of three people visiting at that time.

J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851) is a British artist who painted a wide range of subjects. He lived through a changing world of revolutions, Napoleonic wars, abolition of  the British colonies as well as witnessing the industrial revolution with its introduction of railways and the construction of canals throughout the country. The exhibition featured all these contemporary events which had an influence on the subject matter of his paintings.
High Green, Wolverhampton
So much to see in this painting of Wolverhampton's annual July Fair, which he did after visiting the town in 1794.

Turner filled many sketchbooks with drawings and watercolours while travelling around Britain in the 1790s.

The Battle of Trafalgar.
Turner admired Nelson greatly and regarded him as a national hero. Turner painted this picture as a tribute to Nelson rather than an accurate depiction of the event.
The Chain Pier, Brighton
Many of Turner's paintings featured water.

Venice, the Bridge of Sighs
Byron was Turner's favourite modern poet and he illustrated Byron's Life and Works. When Turner exhibited this painting he did so alongside a couplet from Byron:
I stood upon a bridge, a palace and
A prison on each hand.

Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway.

The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up, 1838.

The last two paintings I photographed are probably the most famous of his works. They show his skill at painting light, colour and atmosphere in his work. I enjoyed the exhibition as there were a number of paintings I hadn't seen before but more than that I enjoyed the experienced of visiting an art gallery once again.

Sharing with  Our World Tuesday

Thursday, 10 June 2021

Above the Underground - the second half.

 I have now started visiting the second half of the underground stations in my 'Above the Underground' challenge. This was a challenge I set myself in 2014 as I wanted to know more about the places I travelled through on the Underground where I was familiar with the names of the stations but no idea what was above ground. There are 270 different stations and my latest one is the 136th I have visited. Stamford Brook is perhaps one of the most surprising, as I used to travel through the area on my way to work in the seventies but I had no idea about some of the gems just a short walk away from the station. If you want to find out more check out my other blog: 62andthenext10pathways