The wettest place in England

The wettest, inhabited place, in England is Seathwaite, Borrowdale in the Lake District with 3,300mm (130in) of rain a year. Here it is looking rather sunny:

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The Lake District is situated in the North West of England and it is where the highest mountain and the deepest lake can be found. It is also rather spectacularly beautiful. Here it is in the snow:

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My next charity shop find is a lovely watercolour by Ena R Symmonds. Unfortunately Ena didn’t write on it where it is but my guess is the Lake District. I think it cost £2.

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Flowers in Art

A recent article in The Guardian newspaper listed the ten greatest paintings of flowers:
http://www.theguardian.com/culture/gallery/2012/apr/08/the-10-best-flower-paintings

Flowers in art is an interesting subject though and perhaps one that we don’t often consider. It was once thought to be one of the lowest of the genres but within its history it contains other histories. The rose for example symbolised the Virgin Mary and before that Venus and to this day it is a symbol of love. The 17th century Dutch paintings are “pure” examples of the genre and at that time flowers were a symbol of power. The Victorians used flowers decoratively. Early modernism with artists such as Van Gogh, Monet and O’keefe put flowers at centre stage giving them some grandeur.
Here is an example of Renaissance art combining flowers and love and therefore a hymn to fertility. It is Botticelli’s Primavera:

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My next charity shop find is very modest by comparison. It is hand painted from an original drawing by Anne Richardson RCA and a product of the Warwick Studios. More than that I can only say that it is entitled Wild Rose and Honeysuckle and cost £1.95.

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Q: What is a tidal reach?

A: the vertical difference between high and low tide at a given point.

Living in the UK and with 11,072.76 miles (17,820 km) of tidal coastline we know that the tidal reach, or range, can be significant in some places. One such place is the North Norfolk Coast. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty and bird watching capital of the UK. It consists of mainly coastal marshes, soft cliffs, beaches, dunes and mudflats. The coastline is mainly undeveloped and includes intertidal areas, towns and villages. Here is a typical North Norfolk view:

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And here an aerial view of Holkham and Wells beach:

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Stunningly beautiful, so I think it is rather a pity that my next watercolour failed to quite capture anything of that beauty. It is entitled ‘A Tidal Reach, North Norfolk’. It is signed by Ida Cubitt and was once for sale at £25. Did someone buy it as a souvenir I wonder?

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Although I am not particularly keen on this painting I believe there might be someone out there who might see in it something that I don’t and give it a home. It only cost £2.45.

Bluebells

Or to give them their Latin name Hyacinthoides Non-Scripta.

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The story, in Greek mythology, goes that Apollo was in love with Prince Hyacinthus who died when a Jealous wind caused a discus to hit him in the head and kill him. From his blood sprang the flower that bears his name (well that is cutting a very long story short!)

50% of the world’s Bluebells are found in the United Kingdom where the folklore associated with them is much more to do with witchcraft and fairies. Here are a couple of them: if you hear a bluebell ring it is sign of impending death; if you walk through bluebells you will suffer bad luck. They are also meant to symbolise solitude and regret. They had their uses too. To the People of the Bronze Age they were glue and to the Victorians they were starch. Their sap was used to bind pages to the spines of books and feathers to arrows.

This takes me on to my next print, numbered 2/20 and signed Doris Bushell 1994. All I know about Doris is that she lived in Abingdon, Oxfordshire but I am very grateful to her for making me find out so much about, what I thought, was the humble bluebell (and all for £2.45).

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The Comfort Zone

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According to Wikipedia, the comfort zone is “a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition”.
According to Neale Walsh, author of the best selling series ‘Conversations with God’, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”.
In order to find our about your comfort zone you can go to whatismycomfortzone.com

My next picture is entitled “Comfort Zone” and is signed RPD 2002. In order to try and understand why, I had to do a bit of research. My conclusion is that the artist is more comfortable drawing doodles or circles than anything else and therefore staying within his or her own comfort zone. What do you think? Whatever the reason this would add a bit of interest to anyone’s wall and all for less than £3.

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John Galsworthy

The sleepy village of Bury in West Sussex, was the last home of the English,
Nobel Prize winning author, John Galsworthy (1867-1933). To people of a certain age and living in the UK, he is best known for the Forsyte Saga, shown on television during the 1960s to critical acclaim. Despite coming from a very privileged background John Galsworthy challenged the ideals of Victorian Society as well as being a campaigner for prison reform, women’s rights and animal welfare.

What brought me to research this very interesting man was a watercolour by Mrs Paula Thrift of Bury Church, famous for its 12th century, cedar-shingled spire. I have not been able to find out anything about Mrs Thrift but I think she was a water-colourist of some talent.

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I am sure that John Galsworthy would have known this view. To finish here is a photo of the man himself with a quote.

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