It’s really been a very cold week with temperatures below zero
most of the time. But winter weather and the month of February mean snowdrops.
So on Sunday my young friend and I drove over to Welford Park where the
snowdrops were at their best.
I’ve seen fields of bluebells before, but never fields of
snowdrops. At Welford Park we walked through the woods and there they were
spread out before us. My photographs don’t do them justice, but believe me they
were a magnificent sight.
Don’t know what this giraffe was doing, but he
was lingering around by the house.
We travelled on to Basingstoke where we had a trip down
memory lane. (At least I did, as my young friend wasn’t around during the war!)
There we went to Milestones Museum. What a great place to visit. A large spiral
staircase takes you down to a complete re-creation of a market town - circa
about 1940. But before we descended we were given an old penny (to spend on two
ounces of sweets from the confectioners in the village.) On our travels we came
across the car used in the film Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang,
These two pictures of the hardware shop reminded me of my
early years during the war. We had no electricity, or even a bathroom, so every
Friday night the big tin bath was brought in from the garden for us to bathe in
– one by one – in order of age!.
And in another view here was the mangle. One of my jobs then
was to wind the wheel to squeeze the water out of the freshly washed clothes.
There’s so much to see in this museum. And everything is
My young friend disappeared down a small alleyway and when I
went to find her I assumed the two doors there were for the ladies and gents loos.
So I was horrified when she opened one of the doors and there was a man sitting
on an old-fashioned wooden toilet with his trousers down to his ankles. “Shut the
door,” I said, “There’s someone in there!”. I know this photograph shows that
the man is obviously a waxwork, but I really did think it was a real man at the
This old bicycle looks like a more comfortable version of
the original penny-farthing. Not so high to climb up to the saddle.
We went to the railway station where I took a couple of
And here’s an omnibus with access to the upstairs via
All in all a really fascinating afternoon. I thoroughly
recommend a visit. It’s easy to find – as you approach Basingstoke just follow
the signs to the Leisure Centre.
I belong to the Arts Appreciation Group at Phyllis
Court Club and yesterday went to one of their events. It was lunchtime do and
the subject given by the Curator of the Watts Museum was to be Charles Dickens
and his Favourite Artists. I really like Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite painters,
so was very much looking forward to the presentation. Unfortunately the speaker
telephoned early in the morning to say she had flu and couldn’t make it. But
luckily, with the magic of Apple’s iCloud, the President of the Arts Group had
it beamed through to the Club where she gave a faultless presentation
I hadn’t really appreciated how many artists of that period
used Charles Dickens’ scenes from his books as subjects for their paintings.
This painting by William Powell Frith was one of the featured paintings. It’s
of Paddington Station.
I spent a very productive morning the other day with the Curator
of The River and Rowing Museum to discuss my autumn exhibition there. I’m
pleased that she’s agreed for the walls of the exhibition room to be painted
red. This colour will beautifully enhance the 60 or so paintings I’ll have on display
as they all have gold frames. I plan to show about 50 miniatures as well in lectern
type cases on the far wall.