Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Flatford Mill

Flatford Mill in Suffolk, was owned by the father of John Constable  (1776-1837) the English landscape artist. Constable was expected to take over the family business but fortunately for us followed his passion for painting and became one of our most famous artists. The majority of his work was inspired by Suffolk scenes. He never went abroad preferring to  paint landscapes of Suffolk, Hampstead, Salisbury and Brighton.

Mill Stream - John Constable - www.john-constable.org

 'The Mill Stream'
 The best part of walking around the Mill was being shown where Constable had stood to sketch his landscapes.This is a copy of  his most famous painting The Hay-Wain (1820-21)

The cottage on the left of the painting is Willy Lott's House. Lott was a local farmer who bought Flatford Mill in 1846 from the Constable family and continued to mill there until early 1900.

This is the scene today.

Just down the lane from the Mill is Bridge Cottage, a four hundred year old building with a thatched roof. Tenants working for the Constable family lived here during the 18th and 19th Cent. Although  it looks spacious enough today, two families lived here.

A wooden bridge takes you from the cottage across the river Stour.

The local wildlife

A hornet's nest. Not wise to get too close.

Looking towards the village of Dedham where Constable went to school. You can just see Dedham church in the distance both in the painting and the photo.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

The Great River Race

All through September there have been many activities centred around the River Thames as part of the Totally Thames Festival. On Saturday it was the annual Great River Race. The race is over 21.6 miles from Docklands to Ham and is open to boats that are moved by oars or paddles. The rules say there has to be a cox and a passenger. Not only is there a prize for the fastest in each category but also for fancy dress. This year there were 330 crews in a wide range of crafts including Dragon Boats, longboats, skiffs, gigs, whaleboats and other more novelty type of boats.

I went to the Docklands sailing club to see the crews getting ready to launch their boats and get them to the start. It was noisy, colourful and lots of fun.

Looking for the rest of his crew.

Someone has to bail out the boat.
The Ghostbuster crew.
Snow White seems to have lost his dwarves.

It seemed a little chaotic whilst the crews were searching for their boats.

The missing Vikings off to find their boat.

Directing the traffic perhaps.

I thought these young men looked very fetching in their girlfriends' swimsuits.
Not much co-ordination of the oars.

Whoops a bit of a crash.

He definitely looks the part.
Finally seem to have sorted themselves out and are on their way to the start.

The admiral giving his orders.

Not quite the right direction
The passenger or the cox?

Some of the crews looked very professsional

Sharing with Our World Tuesday

Friday, 26 September 2014

Gherkin reflections

Reflections from inside the Gherkin

Sharing with James on the 5th birthday of Weekend Reflections