Well! This is the first time since I left for England that I've been able to sit down in front of an internet and give anyone an account of my adventures thus far- it seems that the standard time allowed for internet to a visitor in a library here is half an hour! But my brother has bought his laptop to the hotel where we're staying, so I'm able to sit and do this entry while he and my mother go up the hill to visit the large cathedral.
I'm not much interested in the cathedral, I've already seen one and in my mind it means I've seen them all! Another minus point for it in my mind is that it's uphill- and that's my least favourite kind of hill, especially as it seems all the walking I've been doing has aggrevated a back-burner knee problem that means too much activity gives me pains. To the degree that I may be in for the knife on my return. ick!
But let's talk of Bristol! A wonderful city, filled with friendly people, beautiful parklands, gorgeous great Georgian houses, and the variety of food is staggering! Before I came to England people told me that i'd have to get used to eating egg and chips, that real fresh food would be expensive and any kind of ethical or sustainable foods would be but a dream.
How wrong they were! Not once have I been reduced to egg and chips. were I a coffee drinker I would have to only turn around and fair-trade coffee would be offered at almost every venue. free-range meats are available both in raw and ready-to-eat form, in fact at the local market I was able to breakfast on free-range bacon on a homemade bread roll, then lunch was a homemade pie with free-range pork and local apples! Locally grown, sustainable food is all the thing here, along with napikins made of recycled unbleached paper and bamboo rather than plastic cutlery.
ah food- apprently i punctuate the day by it! I do find it the highlight of a day's events, I must say.
We've been all over the south west area- Glastonbury is beautiful, but I'm afraid I was left a little bored by the abbey. There were several pre-christian churches on that site before the medieval lump showed up, but they don't seem interested in that. A black and white photo of the excavated church ruins in the museum is all you get, then it's all about the standing ruins. For a Christian (or even anyone interested in churches too) that would be very interesting (and Mum had a great time) but for a pagan like myself, I felt a bit like the poor cousin overlooked at an upper-class ball. So far I've found a distinct lack of pre-christian goodness, but it's down to what I've been taken to really. I can access most standing stone sites from here, but I don't have the oppurtunity to go off by myself and no one else wants to see them. The shops at Glasto had plenty of goodies for a heathen child though, and the purse got some exercise!
Salisbury was gorgeous- the countryside is breathtaking, we climbed an iron age hill fort outside the town, going the 'back way' through ancient pathways and bowers, crooked lanes and stiles. We had a picnic by the river for dinner- still in town, yet it felt like the middle of the country, with swans, moorhens, ducks, trout and wood pidgeons all presenting as audience.
Bristol's art gallery is amazing- a very sweet collection of Victorian-era taxidermy of various animals, some of which we saw on display in their fine mahogany cases, and others we saw tagged and stored downstairs when we took a behind-the-scenes tour.
The highlight of the museum was definately the Art of the New World exhibit. Lowbrow (or pop surrealism) artists to tempt me- Camille Rose Garcia, Todd Schorr, Elizabeth McGrath, Mark Ryden..mark ryden!! I couldn't believe my luck, staring at Fur Girl- the shine of the paint, the brush marks made by ryden. I've never seen one of his pieces in real life and I think it's probably the highlight of my trip so far!
By far and away the other highlights have been stunning georgian interiors- I don't know what happened to the victorians- even the elizabethan interiors i have seen with their dark wood were wonderfully alive with light, and then the georgians came along with their pale light-throwing colours and shiny copper. and then the victorians covered everything in 20 layers of curtains and clutter! maybe they were all vampires...
And that'll do for a random entry, I shall be back soon with more I hope. I'm finding England to be very much to my taste. In fact I like it so much that I'm 90% convinced to move here. I plan to come back again after Chritmas and stay for at least half a year, living somewhere in the West country. Everything here makes more sense to me, I feel instantly at home. Even my sleeping hours have righted- I sleep at 11pm and get up before 9pm. Surprisingly I haven't really missed making jewelry at all, in fact I've barely thought about it. What I am keen to get back to is painting- seeing the lowbrow exhibition coupled with a walk yesterday that found me visiting an open art studio and melting at their ragged small mountain of old canvas and stretchers...I'm keen to put brush to canvas again, and soon.
# The pictures I've illustrated my post with are the most rare and barely-seen of my work, an unedited photo! I don't have any photoshop here to spark them up a bit, so you'll have to suffer a straight-from-the-camera quality till I return.