Lots of interactive and audio-visual exhibits made the whole visit truly memorable. There were about five rooms altogether culminating in one showing the 8th Duke's pioneering scientific experiments.
On Thursday evening we drove over to The Wycombe Swan to see Paul and Debbie in their latest show - 'Back Despite Popular Demand'.
We really liked the theatre - a very friendly welcome when we arrived for a pre-show dinner at the restaurant there. I'd seen most of Paul's illusions before - but not the final act. Debbie lay on a settee while Paul draped a large golden sheet over her. Then holding the sheet by two of the corners he slowly raised it with the shape of Debbie's body seemingly raising at the same time. When she had been well and truly levitated he let the golden sheet drop - and there was nothing there. Debbie had completely disappeared. I'm a sucker when it comes to magic.
Every Sunday morning on BBC Radio Berkshire they have a gardening hour. Colin, the resident expert gardener is always there to answer any questions the listeners may have. So I rang in last Sunday with a question about Canna Lilies. My young friend and I had spent time the other day digging up seven of her cannas to get them ready for the winter. We weren't sure of the best way to protect them and whether to get rid of all the earth still adhering to the roots. Colin advised us to leave the soil there but to place each plant in a pot, add a small amount of compost around each plant and leave them in the shed till the spring. It's great to have such a friendly radio station willing to take calls on any subject - especially from the gardening expert.
I'd especially wanted to see the film "Mr Turner" as it's about the life of J.W. Turner - one of my favourite artists. ( I can't imagine what he would make of some of the works selected for finalists in the annual 'Turner Prize' exhibition in London - he'd turn in his grave I expect). We went to see it last week and found it a bit slow, but very well done - especially the many tableaux scenes. Timothy Spall was quite remarkable as the artist himself and apparently had spent many hours over the past two years learning Turner's painting techniques.
Last Saturday morning while visiting his wife, I spoke to my imprisoned artist friend and was saddened to hear that the authorities won't allow him to draw while there. It seems a bit harsh to me. A few weeks ago I wrote him a three page letter - but only on one side of each sheet in the assumption he could use the blank sides to draw on. But not to be I suppose. As an artist myself I must admit I'd be quite upset not to be able to practice my art - unless, that is, I was sketching out escape routes!