Friday, 10 June 2011

A day out in the Borders

I had to be in Berwick-on-Tweed early this morning so I selected the fastest way there along the A1 but I simply had to take a little detour just to see the sea. It seems to send out a sirene's song to me whenever I get close and I have to go and say hello. I took this picture of a passing ship and remembered the days John and I spend on ships (a lot larger than this one) when he was still in the Merchant Navy. Who knows how many people pictured our ship as we were passing? And now I returned the favour to whoever was sailing in this one.

When I was done in Berwick I decided to take a different route home and took out my map to investigate the possibilities and suddenly my eye fell on Paxton House. Now I have always been convinced a, that Paxton House is in Northumberland and b. that it's located somewhere near Newcastle. But as it happens I was wrong on both counts. It was only a 5 minute drive from Berwick and in the Scottish Borders. I also knew my friend and fellow artist Helen Cowans was having her exhibition entitled Translations in the Hayloft Gallery at Paxton House so I pointed the car in the right direction and before I knew it I was there. You can see a full slide show of Helen's exhibition on her website here. Above one of the walls, and I managed to also incorporate the window opposite in the photograph as you can see. I really enjoyed my visit and I might be back before it closes on the 29th June. Helen is there in person every Friday and Sunday from 11 - 3. Don't miss it!!

There is a wonderful teashop at Paxton situated in the old stables, and while enjoying a cup of tea and a jam scone I studied the horse brasses on the wall and they provided me with a wealth of inspiration pattern-wise! Also with a great picture which will become my blip for today.

Of course I could not resist buying one of Helen's small pieces, the only difficulty was which one to choose as they were all beautiful. I finally settled on Blue Jewels and you can see it above. And I also indulged in a length of her gorgeous dyed fabric! My excuse is the fact that our septic tank stops me dying as much as I would ideally like so instead I need to buy other people's products!

I drove back home taking back roads wherever possible, winding my way through the gentle undulating Borders landscape, decorated in fresh green, occasionally illuminated by the rays of the sun, and decorated with grazing sheep and cattle. And I feel that I belong here now, roots and all. Also that now I know that Paxton House is only 4 miles west of Berwick-on-Tweed, I'll definitely be back and give the house and gardens the full tour. Why didn't I look on a map before?!

1 comment:

Lenna Young Andrews said...

The Paxton House did look like a lovely place to visit, Frieda. I hope you get to go back this summer. Sounds like a wonderful day for you all around! xo lenna


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