Fantasy Island, The Tour.

Yesterday I had my tour around fantasy island as our friend refers to it.It is tongue in cheek, but also I think a place where many crave to live. They are drawn to this place of beauty, surrounded by nature, where flora and fauna abound. A sanctuary in the south. It is private gated and restricted access so I felt privileged to get a guided tour from one of the Islanders.

I have only visited once before. Last time I came away my imagination fired up and I decided that it would be the most wonderful place to be able to live. Idyllic and the new life I crave for us would fit in there beautifully. 

His home with its interesting garden making use of things he has found, recycled items all around utilised within his space and others for projects yet to be undertaken. I found it so inspiring there I designed furniture following my last visit it reminded me of some of my as yet unfulfilled ambitions which I would like to work towards once my health improves.

Arriving there again I am filled with peace, my heart was racing as I arrive anticipation growing for what I might see whilst there. 

We drive, or rather he does so that I may be able to enjoy the view. I am in a semi altered state. Lightheaded or as though I am in shock. It could be the antibiotics or the painkillers. Or it could be just what I see there. I look at the houses as we pass and the fields and hedgerows as we drive slowly by, observing the lowered speed limit. It is a nature foragers dream, the hedgerows brimming with wild fruit, plums, elderberries. Blackberries, sloes. He stops to pluck one from the hedge for me to try. They would make Lovely jam I said, he agreed that they do. Enveloped by countryside with no one around hares running up ahead of us along the road and birds walking across the roads in front of us. We stopped at the cockle beach where apparently you can fish for Bass. I love sea bass. There was none but the birds. Around the island three rivers meet. Further round where it meets another river, there is a slightly more recognisable seascape. I may have seen near there before but not from this side. There were some wonderful rocks in beautiful colours piled high as though dropped there by giants. I intended to take photos on this tour but my eyes are taking it all in instead. The camera on my phone does not take one shot for the duration. Which as I write this I am regretting somewhat. It is unusual for me. 

Some of the grand houses, the homes with character and the cottages tucked away are empty. My imagination kicking in again as I wonder what I could do with one of them as a space of my own.The two pubs have long closed down as has the church. No longer required here lack of use forced their closure. There is one shop and there are farms in the village, it is a sleepy place. I wonder how and when it comes alive or if it is always like this. The workers have left for the day, a mass exodus off as I was arriving. Much of it looks deserted.

Our friend shows me his sculpture garden. Have you seen it before he said? No I replied. It used to be his allotment but he changed it. He built this to enjoy. In a non public place it is a community garden. He has had parties there and there is a summer kitchen with a pizza oven he has made. A pergola which has grape vines growing up it they have grapes this year apparently for the first time. There are plinths of marble and stone around and many of them hold small statues. They are not your average garden statue. Many are of the muscular male form draped around females. Holding, cherishing. I could have stayed there for a while. It was a place I could happily sit, embrace the moment and meditate. A calm place.

In the centre of the garden there is a huge stone column, about ten feet high and as yet I carved. He told me that it would become a dancing couple. I did not know when he took me there what I would find, the significance only dawning on me now in the early hours as I write this.
I was struck by the beauty of the stone. I asked who made them, he replied “some old bloke from over the road, he likes carving stone” I admired them blown away by what I saw, as he explained he told me about some them. He started the garden when his wife was gone I did not ask if it was in tribute to her. But it is clear that this man loves female company and why shouldn’t he for he is witty and charming, flirtatious and engaging and can cook. He also has several female friends who gather at his house for a meal on a regular basis.

There are signs carved in slate and sandstone sculpture along with white almost alabaster, possibly marble. They are beautiful and written with his sense of humour. The sculptures were something else and just the sort I like and appreciate. I wanted to touch them, feeling drawn to them and photograph them but it felt strange to ask. I have not known him very long and I did not want to push my luck.

He said that the locals are not interested in the garden, I asked why not it’s a beautiful place. They should use it if it’s for them too. 

He said that some of the other visitors to the island had seen it. I loved it.

Upon waking in the early hours it occurred to me, I may be way off the mark here but I get the very strong feeling that the “old guy over the road” was at that moment standing by my side proudly showing me his own statues. That he not only created the garden, but the sculptures within it. That the dancing couple would be formed one day by his own hands.

Only time will tell. There are clues, he is creative and has a good eye. His mother is an artist. He is useful with his hands, builds things in wood and has a beautiful garden. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit today, I don’t know if I bored him to tears with the subject matter. I talk more when I am nervous and I am not used to having the floor. When my partner and I are out together the conversation is more evenly spaced. It can’t have been all bad. I was invited to go and visit again whenever I liked. 

I might just have to go and ask him about his garden.

A burst of creativity 

25/6/17 After a week of feeling exhausted with high levels of pain and very little sleep I was met with an inspired moment. So this weekend’s sudden burst of creativity has come about by this….

A small pot of local flowers from my garden which either looked pretty or smelled nice. I thought I might be able to make some pot pourri to send to my friend in Australia as part of her birthday gift and to remind her of home. I miss her even more since she emigrated. Yes I have lots of wild flowers which have grown in the wrong place (otherwise known as weeds) but they are blooming and some of them smell rather lovely too so I’m not afraid to include them.

Unfortunately I then looked it up and found out that you cannot send plant matter to Australia since they have strict laws. So I thought about making her a wildflower bouquet mixed up with the ones from my garden and photographing it for her. Perhaps I would make it onto a notebook so she can write a journal, or get it printed for her and put in a frame. Who knows but on our evening walk we collected more and since it was a rainstorm by the time we arrived home I had to store them in the fridge overnight and so this was made today. 


It adorned my dining table for the day as I wasn’t sure exactly what to do with it next. Send it with blessings to the wind, or make the pot pourri out of it, it does smell rather nice. In the end I have opted for both. 

I was inspired by an artist named Day Schildkret who on his walks collects things and makes beautiful sculptural earth alters from his foraged finds which he photographs. Known as Impermanent Earth Art You can see his work at http://www.morningalters.com I love his work and am perfectly happy when doing my own foraging for beautiful things.

But it somehow set the ball rolling. Last night I wrote up my poems to the pc from the notebooks of my last trip it boosted my morale again finding out that I have almost reached my quota for my second book selection (a further 100 poems) and it seemed to trigger the writing again, suddenly whizzing around my head. This morning I wrote a poem about my friend who has invited me to her wedding next week. I plan to give it to her for a gift and thought that I need to do something else for them too. I am all for a bit of upcycled giftware and have made her a recycled roof slate chalkboard with the wedding couples initials in a logo and the date of their union. The slates were reclaimed from Scotland. I have a few of them I intended to make up for some friends and family or perhaps sell at a later date.


I hope that they like it. 

I also made one for our home which is personal to us. This has become our catchphrase of late since wherever we are as long as we are together it’s home.

It seems that I have been able to write more poetry this week. Not all of it suited to a book, or here but had to be written nevertheless.

Museu Nacional D’Art de Catalunya – MNAC

img_4548

After my mother’s disappointment had become apparent when we arrived at the Barcelona Pavilion, we looked for something else to do. It took only moments to find from there. Looking up we found the National Museum of Art. High upon the hill with fantastic gardens surrounding it and the most wonderful far reaching views over Barcelona city and the Place d’Espagne.

The gorgeous building has so many wonderful features tucked inside, before you even get to the artwork.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Although religious artifacts aren’t my thing, although there were some fabulous pieces in that section. I was particularly taken with a statue of St George, slaying his dragon. A mother and her boychild, then as I am a capricorn girl, I couldn’t resist photographing the last panel below.  As we were short on time, I wanted to get to the contemporary art section.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We were lucky to find that there was a contemporary art exhibition on there, with such delights including doors and furniture by Antonio Gaudi and my particular something wonderful there some sculptures and sketches by Miguel Blay whom I had not heard of before, but will definitely look at more closely.


I was thrilled there was a photographic exhibition. I was cheeky enough to get a few pictures showcasing Marianne Breslauer’s career spanning the years 1927-1938 beautiful images of ladies for good measure before closing time, along with a few more monochrome shots from other photographers.

 

Lots of other photographs caught my eye, including a rather lovely picture of a starlet from a golden era.

There was a beautiful stained glass panel which I just have to share with you here, unfortunately I do not know who created it. But I must admit that glass is another of my weaknesses.

img_4591

As we left the gallery, we were met by the most beautiful sky and sunset. Like most of the other people who were leaving, we took photographs not of ourselves, just the scenery around us, it was exquisite.


The Daily Post – Exquisite

Dali v Gaudi

I do feel the need to explain. For those die hard art fans out there, it is simply my own opinion and fighting my own inner thoughts why I had no desire to go and see Salvador Dali’s work whilst I was in Barcelona. You see, I have never felt entirely comfortable with what little of his work that I have seen.  My mother said it quite succinctly “Well, he was totally mad!” and thankfully she didn’t want to go either. I know there are lots of “mad” people out there who are great artists, however I have always felt more than slightly uncomfortable with his work. Yes, he was probably a genius.  But very little of what I have seen makes me want to see more.

The same could certainly not be said for Antoni Gaudi.
Although I only recently came across his work, I have an absolute thirst to find more of it, he was brilliant in his architecture.  I don’t know what it is about it, but I am in awe of the colours, textures and patterns and the skills that were used.  It was a later arrival to my Barcelona wishlist, once I knew that I was going there and I certainly did not want to leave without visiting at least one of his projects.

Casa Batllo, on the Passieg de Gracia was the place we settled upon visiting whilst we were there.  Well it had to be once I saw the front window alone. It’s curves and frontage pleading me to venture there and see what else it would show me, I was little prepared for it and as it turned out we were in for one of the biggest surprises of our trip.  I walked around the place in absolute awe, listening to the pre-recorded tour, eyes wide from what I was seeing and was totally besotted with the house. Mr Josep Batllo was a very lucky man to live and work there and commissioned Antoni Gaudi in 1904 as architect to create a fine home for his family.  In 1906 it was completed and over 100 years later, it is a celebrated Unesco world heritage site, which is privately owned and the upkeep and restorations now financed by the admission fees.

I can quite honestly say that I have never experienced anything like it before.  My eyes were drawn to the colours, the shapes and wondering how on earth they managed to do it all.

I probably took about 300 photographs whilst I was in that building, possibly even more.  I could easily split them into monochrome and colour sections but I will not, I think there will be some stills and also a slideshow for here.  There was so much to see, a glorious assault upon the senses, which left me dizzy and eager to see what was around the next corner, or in the next room.  I adore the place and have happily dreamed of living in a building like that, if only I were lucky enough to do so.

The sitting room holds the most beautiful windows I have ever seen. Being very keen on architecture this is quite an achievement and deservedly so. The large bay windows are cavernous and have stained glass sections in multiple shades all around the top, as have the doors within this section of the house. It is simply breathtaking to see it for the first time and my photographs do not do it justice.


We walked around the house loving the design, it was a touchy feely building, your hands are drawn to the curves everywhere and the warmth created by the honeyed tones of the wooden fittings I think that this place brings a whole new meaning to the term “love handles” here are just a few of them here and they were exquisite.


The handrails of the stairs strong yet smooth where possibly millions of people have done the very same thing grabbbed the rail in eagerness to see what is next.

This is a place to reawaken your creativity. It is exciting, both in it’s form and humour. Likened to a dragon, it is a great beast of a building, fascinating and makes wonderful use of my favourite colour throughout.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The light well is central to the building and which houses the entrances to the various apartments, the staircase and elevator is something to behold and the colour blue deepens the higher you climb, being the darkest at the roof. It occurred to me that it must hold every shade of the spectrum in that one building.

If you like ceramics or glass in any form then you will probably love this place after all, What’s not to love? 

As the tour continued upwards throughout the building, I felt that the clever architect brought a new feeling of calm as I walked through the rooms.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The staircases, the curves in attic bedrooms of the servants quarters were welcoming and I think at the end of a long day, I would feel safe and secure being looked after within it’s walls. Everywhere we went, the light was wonderful and so cleverly used throughout. There was no dark cramped attic rooms in here, they were white and bright and yet had such softness, it must have been the curves and the clever touches throughout for storage. Not as flamboyant or colourful as the main quarters but just as lovely.

The sunny terraces were at the rear of the building and up on the roof.  I remarked upon the similarities to the enamelled ceramic colourful plaques in the rear garden and the artwork that my mother had produced years earlier in art college. She said that at the time, she had no idea as to what was possible and this had opened her eyes to it. I have quietly hankered after one day owning a particular piece of her pottery from that era. The rooftop also housed the highly decorated chimneys and the amazing roof which curled around the front of the building like a sleeping dragon its multicoloured scales at the front.

 

I think that my hardest task was to capture photographs without people walking across them. But I have to say the other visitors were very accommodating and would wait if you were poised for a shot. All these photographs I took on the iPhone I will ensure that next time I travel I will take a battery bank or two as my only complaint was that it ran out on me too early in the day. I decided to purchase a book, it was not hugely expensive and the photography was lovely. It also gave a potted history of the house which I could show my partner upon returning home.

We walked out late afternoon elated from the experience, so pleased that we had been able to see it on our last day, the sunlight on the building casting yet more glorious shadows upon its curvaceous form. I felt that if God took me now, then I would die with a smile on my face feeling as though I’d lived and grateful for the experience.

The Daily Post – Interior

Tempted?

Wanderlust…

I have often wondered what it would be like to travel the globe and see wonderful things, beings and cultures en route, however I have always held back.

When I was younger it was purely from a financial aspect, I couldn’t afford it.  But as we grow, there is more of the world that sometimes we want to see.

I have travelled a little bit, mostly around Europe since meeting my partner, prior to that I had one disastrous holiday in Tenerife, which was supposed to be “a no strings attached vacation with a friend”  Needless to say, that was not the case and I came home after a colossal row having felt pressured which rather spoiled the experience.

Since then, we have visited several regions within France, Belgium, Tunisia, Hong Kong, Poland and Copenhagen and of course Wales and Scotland. I know to some who are used to travelling it is a mere drop in the ocean, but to me it opened up the world of possibilities and inspiration.

Last week, I was visiting Spain, another on my wishlist of places on my bucket list which I am slowly ticking off as the years go by.  (Yes I do have them)

I had thought that I would post from the sun whilst I was there, but was too busy taking photographs and enjoying the experience to write about it. But as my head is now filled with new memories and things this and more are being posted upon my return.

The Daily Post – Tempted