Ooh, LJ! Last time I was here, barring a few mild rants, Christmas had just happened and I was about to go gallavanting round the country. On Boxing Day I cooked a goodly bubble and squeak, before heading off down to Matthew's parents for dinner and games (and making M's life easier by allowing him to drive instead of wrestling with the train). M's parents are very easy to get on with, they like wine and mah jong and these are pleasent ways to while away an evening. Now my clever fiance has wireless internet so we can spod in the bedroom staying there is even better.
Next it was back up to Cambridge, which was the worst drive of the holiday - it started with a blizzard, continued with the M25 doing its thing with style, and ended with an accident near Cambridge bringing the M11 to a grinding halt. Still, by that point I was sure enough of where I was to take to the country lanes, and weived my way to Tesco barely touching the (also stationary) A14. Did a little work, and then spent a pleasent evening with Simon drinking wine and talking.
Thursday I had grand plans to drive up to see my parents, but my mum was petrified I would die in the snow, so I spent the morning in work instead. I used the snow as an excuse to walk instead of cycle, and enjoyed stomping round Cambridge in my Boots :-) Then when there was still no blizzard and the sun had definitely melted the ice off the roads I went up to Treswell, to spend another pleasent evening eating stew and playing Articulate. The next day was gloriously beautiful, we dropped Natalie off at horseriding and then went to Rufford, where unbeknown to us the lake had frozen and become a thing of great splendour. Snow and ice, and blue sky, and the woods alive with small bright birds, and a wonderfully cliched moment where a swan gracefully swooped down towards the lake, and instead of landing skated along in a panic for 30 seconds before landing on its bum. Gorgeous. More stew for lunch, and then off again!
Down to London, to meet up with M and his parents once more, via Datchett, to see Elly and Nick's new house (although I had no idea where the lovely angoel
was at this point, and no phone number for him, so despite only being about 3 minutes away he didn't get visited. I will have to go on a grand tour of Windsor and surrounding area at some point, it has a very high concentration of lovely people and I've never seen the castle) The house is delightful, and colourful, if a little hard to find ;-) It was even more colourful once I'd finished helping them paint the living room Very Red. Then onwards round the M25 to see my Matthew once again (I do miss him when he's away) and eat more Christmas Pud than was wise.
The next day we went to Kew, because that was the Plan. The Plan hadn't included rain, or the sole of my left shoe giving up, but we did not deviate from our Plan and went and had Good British Fun in the rain. Actually, it was lovely in the glass houses. I must go and sit in glasshouses more often when I am sick of winter. The reason to go was to see the glass exhibition
which is indeed stunning, although as with crosby beach I was left feeling 90% of the stunningness was the surroundings and the artist was having a bit of a free ride ;-) Funny really, a lot of the pieces are oversimplified and overcoloured plantlike forms, and originally I was a little uncomfortable at people gawping at a fake glass blade of grass and almost ignoring the far superior splendour of the actual plants beside it. A fake plant isn't worthy of more admiration than the real thing just because it's manmade and Art. But the more I thought about it the more I decided that actually the act of simplification wasn't that he couldn't make something as good (after all, many of his pieces are far more fruit and plant like than this one
) but that he wanted to highlight specific things, emphasise different essenses of the plants in each piece of work. Anyway, the whole thing is very pretty, and only there for another few weeks, so if you're bored and in Kew do go.