Monday, May 25, 2009

Bank Holiday Jaunting

Whitsun Bank Holiday Monday, one of those days in the year when an outing is de rigeur. But being a woman of small means and an almost empty tank of fuel, I suggested to Colin that we restricted "our day out" to somewhere local.

So we had lunch in the Richmond Tavern ("I think you'll find it's my pub!")principally because I wanted to eat outdoors on such a beautiful sunny day (I had lemon and herb chicken with baked potato and Colin had a gourmet burger) and then we went over to Sudley House.

I have not been for a few years, not since the refurbishment anyway, and can say that it is all looking really good. Well done to Rex and Shirley Makin and the other people who supported the work. There are some truly fine paintings, you can keep your Turners, he does nothing for me, far too depressing, but I do love a good pre-raphaelite and Studley has several. A couple of Frederic Lord Leighton's best paintings, which hold you spellbound; 'Angel Playing a Flageolet' by Edward Burne-Jones which I have bought on notelets and cards many times over the years, and the wonderful 'Gypsy Sisters of Seville' by John Phillip, throw in a couple of paintings of John Everett Millais and I was in heaven.

There is also a fascinating exhibition on at the moment of clothes and momentos from the Thinne family of sugar merchants, dated mainly between the wars.

Having had our culture, I suggested we went to the most unusual park in Liverpool, Reynolds Park where I swear they cut the grass with nail scissors. It is very smart, manicured within inches of its life and exactly the right place to go after a walk round Sudley House. I could almost see the Edwardians traversing the pathways. Sadly the walled garden was closed, but having peeked through all three gates, I can tell you it is currently a seasonal work-in-progress, they have not sorted out the dahlias yet, which will be so fantastic in 3 months time. It has been a green-flag park for 7 years now, and I see nothing to suggest that will change any day soon. The azaleas and rhodedendruns were spectacular.

I came home to water my new hanging baskets with a renewed sense of optimism, those fuscia will be fabulouse when they come into bloom.

Photo: taken on my birthday in Reynolds Park in 2007

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