Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Holkham - Norfolk

The Victoria - Holkham Estate

Holkham Hall

An 18th century country house build in the Palladian style for Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester by the architect William Kent, aided by the architect and aristocrat Lord Burlington.  Sir Edward Coke founded the family fortunes in the 16th Century and was one of the most brilliant lawyers of his time.  He went to Trinity Cambridge before beginning his training in Inner Temple, London. Thomas Coke developed a passion for the architectural style of Andrea Palladio when he undertook his six year "Grand Tour" under the guidance of his tutor Dr. Hobart of Christ's College, Cambridge.  It was on this tour he met the architect, William Kent.  Kent was responsible for the external appearance of Holkham; he based his design on Palladio's unbuilt Villa Mocenigo. The Hall does not adhere to the strict Palladio rule of proportion. The great central block is flanked by four smaller, rectangular wings linked to the main house, however these would have been linked by colonnades in keeping with Palladio standards.  In contrast with the heavy stone of the exterior, the interior is opulent the "Marble Hall" (the chief building fabric is in fact Derbyshire alabaster) modelled on a Roman basilica.  This is where the Chamber Music event was staged. American singer Marianne Cornetti, a leading Verdi mezzo Soprano delivered an emotional performance before leaving for London. She is to sing in Un Ballo in Maschere  (a new production of Verdi's tragedy of illicit love, loyalty and betrayal) at Covent Garden Opera House in December. I am now thinking a trip to Italy to view Palladio architecture would be very interesting,  especially with a camera.  Perhaps it is time to get out my old notes on Italian Renaissance. 

The Lake Holkham Hallhttp://www.galtonblackiston.com

Holkham Estate
Holkham Estate
Cley Windmill - Norfolk
                                  Cley Windmill - Norfolk
A weekend away and the rain did not stop play. It was Chamber music in the Marble Hall at Holkham, walking on the beach and through the woods to Wells -next-the-Sea in the rain and an early morning walking on the frosty Holkham Estate.  Not to forget, a celebration dinner at Morston Hall owned by chef  Galton Blackiston, patron of the Michelin star country house hotel. http://www.galtonblackiston.com

Hollkam Estate and Blakney Point

Holkham Hall Deer
Holkham Hall Deer

Blakeney Point - Morston

Blakeney Point - Morston

Blakeney Point Estuary vie
Blakeney Point Estuary view

Blakeney Point - The Arc

The surrounding landscape of salt marsh, mudflats and fresh water marsh shape the National Nature Reserve covers a four-mile sand and shingle spit.  This is an area of diverse range of special wildlife, a "twitchers" dream. 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant - the Font

Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell painted in Berwick Church Sussex (A grade I listed church). It was such a dark day when I visited it was difficult to see the artwork.  They were influenced by the Renaissance, Italy and transformed the church with frescos.  The only visible artwork the day I visited was on the font and the colours of the columns so I shall only have to visit again.  There is a great pub "The Cricketers Arms" up the lane from the church and a great place for lunch. http://www.cricketersberwick.co.uk

Browsing in an Antique Shop was an eye opener as Taxidermy was certainly a feature.  I was pleased to see the wooden rocking horse after discovering the pig, dog birds and a deer. I never realised that there is a Guild of Taxidermists that was established in 1976.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Mr. Xavier a truly skilled man.


Bespoke shoes for all sizes!

Mr. Dave Xavier has been working as a bespoke shoemaker, or Cordwainer (the word cordwainer - Corviser originates from the leather produced in Cordoba Spain) for 40 years.  Historically, there was a distinction between a cordwainer, who made luxury shoes and boots out of the finest leathers, and a cobbler, who repaired them. Dave has made a big difference to many people's lives with his knowledge and experience of Orthotics.  He told me how he had looked at one man's foot that needed a metatarsal bar inserted in his footwear.  The man had not been able to walk very well for 15 years, and had bought himself a motorised scooter to get about. Happily, once he had his new shoes he could sell the scooter, finding his new mobility on foot.  Another man had problem feet and his NHS orthotic shoes had given him painful ulcers.  His new bespoke shoes made to address his medical problem, enabled the ulcer to heel, making a huge difference to his quality of life. I had an interesting time looking at some of the lasts and shoes in the making.  However, there was another side bespoke shoes for weddings!  Quite stunning.   http://www.xaviershoes.co.uk

Monday, 3 November 2014

Kia - Freddie's best friend.

Kia did not understand why she needed this awful collar. She never wanted to become a vicar., how could they wear such a stiff collar!  Well at least the Vet will remove the stitches next week and the collar will be history.