June 27, 2008

Lake District lovelies

Now that I've demonstrated the efficacy of tea and cake in dispelling the blues brought on by rain, I've got some more treats from the Lake District to share.

It's a wonderful area, with huge significance for British artists (and, no doubt, others) - the home of John Ruskin, Brantwood, is on a hill not far from Bank Ground Farm, where the previous post was set. And Turner painted here, as did many others. Plus, the tourist is always reminded that pencils and charcoal have long been products of the Lake Country, with Cotman watercolours inviting us to their factory for viewings.

If I could paint, I'd be looking at buildings like this for inspiration, with their solid form and the texture of stone.

At Bank Ground, there was even a quilt sighting:

We asked who the maker of this lovely quilt was, and she wasn't sure but I gather it was made for Lucy, the owner of the farm. It's a nine-patch irish chain with embroidered illustrations from Arthur Ransome's books, with Holly Howe, the fictional farm house name, in the middle block. We thought it was lovely - three cheers for the maker.

Speaking of three cheers, here's J reading one of the books, with the view of Coniston Water behind. And cows. There were lots of cows, just out of sight.

After a wet and windy walk to Brantwood (sadly, no photos inside, but there were two gorgeous rag hooked rugs I was looking at, along with many of Ruskin's sketches of plants and shells) - we hopped down across the field to the jetty, where the good shp Gondola was just coming in.

Gondola in the rain.

We had been a little concerned that she would not sail due to the wind, and this was to be our only way to get across the lake to the bus stop. Not fancying a 3-mile walk in pouring rain, we were well pleased to see the welcoming steam of Gondola coming across the lake.

A steam-powered yacht is a divine way to travel, and I thank the National Trust for keeping her afloat.


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