Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Bank Holiday Fun in the Sun.

No idea what's going on with our weather this year, first we have an endless winter and then a hot and sunny Bank Holiday!?!
Unheard of!
Usually they are cold and wet and we Brits gamely carry on in the rain and the storm because it is a national holiday dammit.

Anyway this year it was wonderfully sunny and what a difference it makes. I got to knock off work slightly early on Friday and came home to a huge plate of fishfingers and chips (diet what diet?) and a delicious glass of wine. It's the little things you know.

Saturday my brother asked me to advise him one bit of his garden, he promised faithfully he wasn't expecting me to do any work, honest guv, just look at it............a couple of hours later and I'm scrubbing mud off my hands having been roped into weeding, lifting and splitting perennials and transplanting shrubs. Yup I never learn.

Sunday I actually got to spend in my own garden, after a delicious boiled egg breakfast, as I say it's the little things (and in my case they always seem to involve eating!)

Monday I was up and off out with the girls. We had a blissful day at Buscot Park a local National Trust property for some gentle ambling about, much gossip and of course the compulsory Cream Tea. 
I haven't been there for more years than I wish to mention. That time I was a wide eyed art student studying The Pre-Raphaelites as part of my Art History course. My brave tutor took a minibus load of us to see the wonderful Briar Rose Panels by Edward Burne Jones

and Pandora's Box by Rossetti

After which we ran screaming through the gardens and to a man decided to roll down the bank towards the lake much to the horror of a party of pensioners walking round the grounds at the time!

Of course this time I was perfectly behaved and it was wonderful not just to see the Briar Rose panels again, (I have a life long love of Burne Jones) but also many of the other amazing art works the family have collected over the years to form the Faringdon Collection.
 As I say it's been many years since I was an eager art student but I surprised myself by recognizing the artist of a few pictures just by the style in which they were painted. Clearly some things stuck in my brain during my time at college despite my best efforts to drink/smoke/party it into submission, miraculous.
I particularly loved the few pictures by Eric Ravilious another artist I really like.

                            (Not one from the Faringdon Collection but one of my favourites.)

No photography was allowed in the house so all of mine were taken in the gardens which were stunning, here are a few

You'd think from these there was no one else there but the place was packed with people, I had to wait quite some time to get that last picture without anybody walking up the steps!

we had to queue for quite a while for our cream tea but it was well worth it, quite delicious. All in all we had a wonderful day out and I definitely won't leave it so long between visits next time.

Only downside? No biggie,  but it would have been nice to have some manner of little gift shop, I am a woman who likes to shop after all, and the incredibly rude lady working in the ticket office. Admittedly they were very busy but everyone we saw in the queue round us was cheery and good natured, just patiently waiting to pay, so I could see no reason for snarling at us as she did. We did come out ticket in hand feeling somewhat savaged and I was left to quote Himself, who once pondered 'what makes a person choose a job where they have to work with the public when they clearly fucking hate people?'


  1. I love Rossetti and Burne Jones. Have you been to Wightwick Manor in Wolverhampton? You will be in heaven with the Pre-Raphaelite collection and the amazing gardens and hot house. I'm not into gift shops so I've no idea what their's is like but the best chippy in the entire world is down the road! xxx

    1. the best chippy in the world? now that is more of a temptation than paintings!

  2. Oooh, Burne-Jones' work is amazing.

    I love white horses - I always say if I ever get a tattoo, it'll be the Uffington horse!

  3. Can't beat a bit of Pre-Raph art, looks like a great day out.
    Who knows why people who can't be pleasant and polite choose to work with the public? It's a mystery! xxxx

  4. Pre-Raphaelite art is my absolute favourite. I love the Briar Rose panels, I was just talking about those the other day.

  5. I most definitely have to visit here! I might be able to get in free too. It looks fantastic, love Eric Ravilious, I need to appreciate him more. xx