18 Nov 2019

Derby Museums: Japanese Art Exhibition

We've had a long-standing date to visit our Derbyshire family so on Saturday, despite heavy rain again, we drove down the motorway, had lunch with our son and daughter-in-law and then were taken by them into Derby to see two exhibitions at different venues in the city.  It was good to see family and thankfully we also managed the afternoon tour around the exhibitions, although Mr P sat out with our son whilst DiL and I browsed the second building which didn't have a lift or areas where one could sit and rest.

The first exhibition was about Japanese art and there were two rooms dedicated to it.  One of the rooms displayed a collection of 19th century woodblock prints which had been organised by the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University, but I preferred the ones in the other room, watercolour paintings and other prints and eclectic displays there that reflected nature that were from the Derby Museum collection.

Here is a glimpse of the exhibition in the room displaying many interesting aspects of Japanese culture.

Kimono - origin, make and date unknown,
in the Derby collection since 1978

 Ancient Japanese warrior attire

It was an interesting exhibition with much to see and learn about thanks to the Museum's information - so much more than I can share here. Daughter-in-law, as an artist herself, was enthusiastic company and we were pleased to have spent time in the art gallery and Pickford's House, which was the next venue.  I'll blog about this Georgian house and museum soon. 

15 Nov 2019

Friday Bliss # 62

Our daughter M called around at the weekend and brought us some grapes from her garden and a bunch of gladioli as she had been tidying up there before the onset of colder weather.  We're still enjoying our pears.

On Monday we had a few hours without rain so that Mr P was able to prune the fig tree now that the leaves have dropped.  The top branches were getting too high to gather the figs without a longer ladder and although you can't tell from the photos he cut out some branches in the middle so that more air can circulate when the tree is in full leaf.

The November full moon was very bright.

Do you remember the geese that I blogged about yesterday?  It's a coincidence, but one of my blog friends reminded me of stories about geese and here is one about St Martin.
In some European countries St Martin's Day, 11th November, is celebrated as a special day (Martinmas). It's the end of the harvest season and preparations for storing food for the Winter months are under way.  It's a time of thanksgiving for the harvest. In Italy at Martinmas there's a country saying 'Per S. Martinello - si spilla il vin novello'. In other words, the grape harvest is in, the wine has been made and the new wine is uncorked and tried on St. Martin's Day. 
St Martin was born about 316 and entered the Roman army at the age of fifteen.  He's most well known for the story of cutting his cloak in two and giving half to a beggar, geese making a noise and giving him away whilst in hiding, his vision of Christ as the beggar he had helped and his conversion to Christianity, his life as the Bishop of Tours and the building of a monastery where he lived as a monk.
As well as paintings of him giving half his mantle to the beggar he's sometimes shown with geese,  also symbolizing that Martinmas was the last festive meal before Advent as in the Middle Ages a strict 40 day Advent fast called Quadragesima Sancti Martini began the next day.  A quick spell of warm weather around the feast day, usually termed an Indian Summer is known as St. Martin's Little Summer in Europe. 

I like my Italian calendars when I can get them especially the one above for 2019 which I got when over in Italy during October last year as there are many interesting articles about nature, farming, food recipes and old country folk lore sayings.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  I hope your weekend is a good one.  We're looking forward to seeing our son and daughter-in-law this weekend :)

13 Nov 2019

Out-and-about again

Yesterday we decided to see what the roads around our local area were like after the heavy rain and potential flooding. Floods are an ongoing, severe problem for those further afield.  We didn't know what to expect and, therefore, stayed on the high roads where we live with the aim of doing a circular drive stopping briefly at the nearest garden nurseries for some more hyacinth bulbs and plant feed to put under the fruit trees. We live on the ridge that overlooks the narrow Loxley Valley on one side and the wider Don Valley on the other.

We stopped on the brow of  a hill and I walked down to take a look at the view of the Don Valley 
from the top road making sure I didn't slip on the wet leaves on the pavement.

These chickens and geese were roaming around and the geese started to follow me although they could not get too near because of the high retaining wall.  Their hissing was disconcerting.  A lady who was walking by down the hill laughed and told me that the geese always hiss as locals go by this house and land. 

We drove down into the next village that merges with ours and along another lane that overlooks the Don Valley and by this time dark clouds were rolling over.

Along this lane we encountered some flooding and back in our own village/suburb the weather had certainly changed so that by the time we arrived home the drizzly rain meant we were pleased to have gone out, but also glad to be back home again.  Thankfully the rain didn't last for too long, but the weather remains unpredictable.