Friday, 30 September 2016

Here We Go, Here We Go it's Five on Friday


I hope you've had  a great week.  Five on Friday is on today because it's Friday again already. Many thanks to Amy for the link up, I really enjoy reading about all the things you've all been up to during the week.

Today we are heading out of Reading along the Kennet and Avon Canal for a mile or two but the canal itself will just carry on its merry way to Bath.

One - The Rising Sun Arts Centre

Before joining the canal at the Oracle shopping centre, I had to take a detour to find the Rising Sun Arts Centre as the building was built by Alfred Waterhouse, who built the Natural History Museum in London.  Originally built as a Temperance House for his wife in 1877 in what was a rather dodgy area, it became a shop and then a squat for artists in 1990. This group set up the independent Arts Centre, now a charity run mainly by volunteers offering a lively programme for the community. It looks a really colourful place which was hosting a musical workshop for people with learning difficulties when I dropped in.

Two - Reading Lock

Back to the Oracle, I picked up the canal path past County Lock, the second lock after the canal leaves the River Thames. It isn't very deep at this point but there is a small weir. Having fallen into decline over the years, the canal only reopened in 1990 after lots of hard work by enthusiasts and volunteers.

Three - Flowers along the way

Four - Green  Park

Following the signs to Green Park, another detour from the canal, I arrived at a business park with a difference. Companies are located in widely spaced buildings around a lake landscaped with twisty paths through beautiful planting.


Information boards about the planting

Exercises for all those keen types.

Lots of places to sit and eat your lunch.

Rowing boats available for use 

There's even the wind turbine you can see from the motorway - here's a few facts about it

New houses being built at the edge of the park

Five -  The Madejski Stadium

Just round the corner is the Madejski Stadium, home of Reading's football team, known as the Royals. As this post is getting rather long, I'll tell you about it another time.

Needless to say, after all that exploring, 16,000 steps, I had to get the bus back to the town centre!

Thanks for calling in, lovely to see you as ever.


Thursday, 29 September 2016

Cotehele Hanging Garland


Thanks for calling in.

Our National Trust magazine cascaded through the letterbox with a thud yesterday and if you don't get one or didn't notice the feature on the spectacular Cotehele garland, here's the article just in case you fancy making one for Christmas yourself.  Do have a look - there's even a short video with festive music!

National Trust photo
Cotehele is a beautiful Tudor house now owned by the National Trust not far from Saltash. We visited when we were on holiday in Plymouth a few years ago.  Right up on the hill, the views would have been fantastic if it hadn't been so misty.  We could only just make out the bridge over the River Tamar below.  You can also visit the Mill on the Quay by the stream.

I expect the garland will look beautiful once all those gorgeous flowers are installed.


Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Wokingham Arts Trail


Thanks for popping in.

There are some artistic people about, behind ordinary front doors a wealth of crafty industry is busying away producing wonderful things. Garages have been turned into ceramic studios, bedrooms into the design hubs for potters, sheds burst with all manner of paints, ground up rock and glazes. Who knew?

After 14,500 steps around Wokingham, I visited 7 of the 11 venues.  You follow the map which had all the details of the venues, artists and their websites - have a look here.  It was a bit odd just waltzing into people's houses but the bunting and signs welcomed us in and it was fascinating to hear about the making process and even have a tour of the studio, learn the stories behind the paintings and admire the surroundings, even have a cup of tea.

The first stop took me past the church.

Here's a very small selection of things on offer, follow the link above for more.

Stained glass by Nicola Kantorowicz - - showing the stages in the process.

Handmade pots by Sarah Abell -

On to the next location, got a bit lost! Delicate ceramic dishes amongst other things by Suzanne Needham -

Back into the town.

Molecular Art by Catherine Hadler was reminiscent of Aboriginal paintings but were actually based on cell structures. Have a look here.

Back out of town in the other direction.  All sorts made from paper, glass and clay from Christine Morgan -

There were some excellent paintings but I didn't feel comfortable taking too many photos.  Now I know that there is all this local talent around when I need to buy that special present.

A great walk on a sunny day amidst the colours of Autumn.