Tuesday, 17 July 2018

The Jurors


Thanks for popping in.

The Jurors is an artwork by Hew Locke to commemorate the 800th Anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede.

The twelve highly decorated chairs stand in the meadow challenging the viewer to think about the influence the Magna Carta has had.  The chairs suggest meetings have been and will be held here, the seats are rubbed as if they have been worn down over the years.  Each chair has imagery on both the front and back with flowers and keys around the seat and legs, each is different and represent times in history and particular issues. 

I haven't taken photos of all the chairs, just a few but if you would like to know more about them, here's the National Trust website with an itemised account of each chair.

Nelson Mandela's prison cell

This chair represents Freedom of Speech

Black Eyed Susan representing Justice in the Victorian language of flowers

The Disappeared

A hollow baob tree found in Australia

Egyptian scalse representing truth, justice and balance

The house where Aung San Suu Kyi was held in house arrest

Oscar Wilde's imprisonment and gay rights

Lillie Lenton and the suffragettes

Amerindian headdress

Harvey Milk's loudhailer calling for gay rights

They certainly were a talking point whilst we were there.  Visitors are urged to sit on the artwork and touch all the intricate details.


Monday, 16 July 2018



Thanks for calling in.

We've been to Runnymede, where the Magna Carta was signed in 1215 and the birthplace of modern democracy.  I went a few years ago before the 800 year anniversary celebrations, here's the post.

It's a wonderful, peaceful place.  The meadow  between the hilly woodland and the River Thames is beautiful at all times of the year, packed full with wild flowers in June and on this visit the butterflies and bees were much in evidence.

Look how dry it is here at the moment.

Belonging to the National Trust, there's a welcome cafe and shop when the legs are in need of a rest or you can bring your own picnic.

The map shows that there is another area to investigate - Ankerwycke, a priory and home to the only living witness to the signing of the Magna Carta,  an ancient 2,500 year old yew but it is across the river with no way of getting there without a car.

The memorial to President John F. Kennedy sits at the top of a stone staircase.

The American Bar Association Memorial to the Magna Carta signing.
The reeds growing in Langham Ponds were immortalised in Rudyard Kipling's poem - What say the Reeds of Runnymede?

Look at the colour of these cows, how fantastic!
It's an easy walk from Egham station and with it being a really hot day, the shade produced by the trees was most welcome after the heat of the sunshine in the meadow.  Over the next couple of days, I'll show you the newest artworks to come to the site.

Not these sparkly cars! 

Or this Magna Carta fountain in the town centre!
A big thank you to Mr CK for lending me his camera when I left mine at home.


Friday, 13 July 2018

Other Things


Thanks for popping in.  I have heard people say I never pop anywhere but I can't help thinking they are missing out.

Here are a miscellaneous selection of bits and bobs.

1. A highly entertaining talk by Susan Howe - Knowing Two British Eccentrics.

The London Blue Badge Guide gave us all an insight into her life as temporary PA to John Betjeman, the English Poet, Writer and Broadcaster.  Reknown for carrying his teddy bear Archie Ormsby-Gore and Jumbo the elephant around with him, he was a bit of a court jester and quite childish.  He didn't live with his wife, Penelope, who was also quite eccentric.  She lived in Wantage and if she was not home for her favourite TV programme, she would just go to the nearest house with an open door, find a TV and make herself at home to the surprise of the homeowner!  Betjeman had a very young girlfriend, Lady Elizabeth Cavendish, 25 years his junior with whom he had a lifelong friendship.  The talk was full of annecdotes.

John Betjeman with Archie photo from Pinterest

Susan Howe's flatmate was the daughter of vet Donald Sinclair who was the model for Siegfried Farnon in the James Hertiot stories.  Yet another very eccentric person, far more than portrayed in the Herriot books, you really need to hear the stories!

2. Talk by Salley Vickers - our local library arranged a visit by Author and Psychotherapist Salley Vickers who has recently published her 9th novel, The Librarian, each one a different genre.  Drawing on her childhood love of reading, with a Communist father and a double amputee mother who had been bombed in the war, she was encouraged by her local Librarian Miss Blackwell who suggested books that opened her eyes to life she would not have come across at home.

I have already read her Cleaner from Chartres novel but I have now been tempted to try a few more of her books.

3. Blue Midnight by Simone van Der Vlugt - my latest read is about the life of a young artistic Dutch woman in 1654 Holland during the days of early blue and white pottery as she moves from place to place following her husband's death.  Such a pretty cover!

4. Next Crochet Extravaganza

I'll tell you a bit more about this later.

5. Sport

These hot afternoons have given me an excuse to be glued to Wimbledon and the England football matches, who would have thought football could be interesting!  The tennis as always is magnificent, I miss the days of being actually there in the queue hoping to get in. Too many people in tents queuing now.  The Halep v Hsieh Match was thrilling even on the TV.

Hsieh Su-Wei photo from Sport24

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, 12 July 2018



Thanks for calling in.

It's hollyhock season at the moment.  Here's the scene in Wokingham, always a great display.


Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Carnival Procession


Thanks for visiting.

The Carnival Procession was a great success, here's a flavour for you.