Wednesday, 21 October 2009
A great time with my sister!
I went down to stay with my sister who lives in Surrey, UK. South of London, for those who don't know our green and pleasant land! We had a great few days together. The first day I was there she took me to the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens at Wisley, which are quite near where she lives. We went to the new Glasshouse. which has tropical and temperate (wet and dry) zones with all the appropriate plants. It is a fantastic building, mainly glass, and with a lake outside. The plants are HUGE, big, big leaves, all looking totally natural, like a forest!
The flowers inside were gorgeous - passion flowers, lilies and things we didn't know the names of! I am sure they were all labelled, but everything had grown so much, some of the labels were hidden.
The grounds are vast, and as I am disabled, we took the little electric car, which is manned by volunteers, and takes you on a circular trip round the various areas. On the way to the Glass house, the driver went rather fast, asnd we were unable to view the beautiful dahlias and Michaelmas daisies as we would have liked. But on the way back he took a wrong turning, and so we saw a great deal more of the various trees than we would have done! The collage also shows the wonderful grasses there, and one of the play areas for children, where little beehive-shaped huts have been woven for them. (The pictures should enlarge if you click on them)
On Friday my brother-in-law took me to the Light Box in Woking, which is a sort of Art Gallery/Museum, built in a very contemporary, hands-on way. There is a little shop, a great cafe, and that particular week, the most marvellous exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci. Some institution or University (I forget which!) had made scale models of many of da Vinci's machines. They were large scale, made in wood and mind-bogglingly marvellous! Some were hands-on, and it was amazing to see how this one man had invented such things as ball bearings, anemometers and other bits and pieces of engineering, long before the industrial revolution sparked off such inventions. My brother-in-law is an Engineer, and we both spent ages looking at the machines, the guns and da Vinci's flying machines.
The upstairs gallery concentrated on his art. I was getting very tired by that time, but one thing really held my attention. In a heavily-guarded, alarmed and temperature and humidity-controlled case was one of da Vinci's original notes books! I was amazed at how small his writing was, and with a quill pen at that! He wrote from right to left, as he was left-handed, but I was awestruck at seeing his original vellum notebook.
The exhibition is going around the world, I gather. If you get a chance to see it, do go.
I wasn't allowed to take photos in the da Vinci exhibition, but I did take a shot of me in a mirror house, and a general shot of the stairs and gallery.
My sister is a very devoted gardener - she knows all the names of her plants(including the latin ones!) and cares for them tenderly! We were able to sit in her garden and enjoy the sun, and there are three pictures of her garden, including the cotoneaster berries against the house. The other two are a lunch out (tomato and basil soup, since you ask) and racks and racks of lovely coloured paper at the Hobbycraft shop. I love paper, and stood staring at the gorgeous colours.
Now its back at home, wishing the sun would come out, that my washing would dry, and that the dog hadn't gone all over my kitchen floor with his dirty paws!
Still, happy memories help to make the grey days go past!