Thursday, 24 March 2011

The smell of freedom

A daphne in the Himalayan Glade at Wakehurst Place.
Enjoyed à deux.

The Girl has been away with school since Monday.  Usually when we go to Wakehurst it is impossible to have a "conversation" as one or other of us is having our ear bent about goodness knows what.  There are a lot of three-legged donkeys in this part of Sussex.

It's been a mini holiday.  Our first real break for ten years.

On Monday we ventured into Kent (just) to see an exhibition by Cas Holmes and Anne Kelly in Tunbridge Wells:

I liked this detail in particular:

as I spent a summer battling the midges and the Rhododendrons at Inverewe Gardens.

I must do more sketching and drawing:

I loved having the chance to get up really close and look at the layers and the stitching. 

All the above are Cas Holmes.  Anne Kelly's work is similar but different...if you see what I mean:


a lot more stitch:

Cas Holmes' work in particular had a real lightness to it. 

And the best thing of all  is that instead of all this inspiration having the cold bucket of homework chivvying and piano practices and are-there-any-letters-from-school poured over it at 3pm,  I was able to get messy and sticky and not clear up anything or cook anything or think about anyone else until 6.30pm!!!

And on three nights this week we've even gone out!!  After dark!!  To the pub!!

I've eaten three cheesecakes (slices, not whole ones, and not all at once) and tonight we went the whole hog and had a full dinner out, not just pudding and a glass of wine. 

I fear if the girl wasn't coming back tomorrow and we continued to live like this, my derrière would soon resemble the lower portion of this piece of interactive woodland sculpture, found this morning at Wakehurst:

This is the top half:

And this is the whole thing:

The strings on either side are attached to wooden "claves" so you can tap away on the various bits of the sculpture, as different parts make different notes.

The bear's bottom was particularly resonant.


  1. What a fabulous time you've had, we do deserve it you know! I remember the homework thing - now it's the "are you studying for the most important exams of your life, youve only got 8 weeks!" thing - he's pretty good....really ;)

    That Daphne is lovely, i have a tiny stick of a shrub with 2 buds so far! You had me drooling over the Cas Holmes & i like the Anne kellys too. Yours was great! Will you stitch?

    Stitching wise I think I'm somewhere in between - too much takes so long & the less is more thing is hard to achieve prettily. Thanks so much for taking us to the exhibition. How do you think they transport the pieces, do they fold or roll & did you happen to see how they were hung? I'll stop now.....!

  2. Sounds as though you have had a lovely week.

  3. I love Cas Holmes' work. She'll be here in Australia to teach next month. I missed out, the classes were booked out instantly. The dyes I used in my fabrics were plain old Rit dyes, I mixed some of the colours and boiled them in an old saucepan on the stove top.


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