: The Grand Tour
5th December 2018
not all about storming up hills and drinking beer. Even
on a good day we like to have a little bit of culture.
And on a bad day its not all about culture and
drinking beer, as today proved. Not a drop of
alcoholic beverage passed our lips. But we did
get a good fill of culture. Indeed, an extraordinarily
good thing about a bad day that threatens to do nothing
but pour down, is that there is no need get up early,
especially when there is so much culture more or less
on our doorstep. So at the civilised time of 10:45
we assembled in Abbot Hall's Bakestone Café,
the intention being to visit the Grayson Perry exhibition.
I had always thought him a bit weird and I suppose
he is. But when I saw his Vanity
Of Small Differences
exhibition in Liverpool a few years ago I woke up to
the fact that he has amazing talent in a very quirky
Cope's Grand Tour,
is quite similar but, in just two tapestries, records
the major stages of her life in a remarkable way.
From a flooded island to a concrete
city, discover Julie's childhood,
teenage years and
first marriage to an odd long-haired boy.
Its Familiarity, Golden.
North, follow Julie as she takes control
a new life for herself with second husband Rob.
won't begin to describe it. You have to see it.
And hear it. Alongside the tapestries is
an epic ballad written and narrated by GP himself. There
is a detailed explanation of the tapestry at The
Story Of A Life By Grayson Perry.
Sadly it doesn't include the The Ballad of Julie
Tony was acting as unofficial tour guide around the
Lady Anne Clifford tryptich, pouncing on unsuspecting
visitors as they entered her chamber and telling them
the tale of his heroine.
upstairs, Martin, Mike and I discovered another and
quite different display. At first sight, Alison
Watt's pictures just seemed a sequence of monochrome
pictures of mundane objects. However, the more you looked
at them, the more you began to appreciate their remarkable
three dimensional appearance.
Shadow on the Blind
formed quite a fascinating contrast to all we had seen
downstairs, Tony had found another customer and had
to be prized away from his muse.
door to Abbot Hall is Kendal
present building, one of the widest churches in the
UK, dates back to the 13th Century and is thought to
have been holy ground for 300 years previously.
is a lot to see, much of it recorded on the church website.
Tony thought there might be a relic of a Knight's
Templar but we weren't able to find the connection.
was now giving way to stomachs. Tony took us alongside
The Ring o'Bells to show us the 1824 New Year inscription
in the window. Or was it to show us the Triumph
Owners Motor Cycle Club shield inside?
a strange thing happened. Rather than entering, as one
might have expected, he continued on a few yards to
the Union Jack café.
certainly know how to fill a plate with traditional
offerings. And then how to do likewise with puddings.
Mike had his with ice cream. I had steamy,
hot, runny custard; just how I like it. However
I also like ice cream. Mike took one look at my
custard and decided he wanted a side jug of the same.
Naturally I then had to have a large scoop of
ice cream added to my bowl of delight.
stuffed, we reverted to history- round the back to the
recently refreshed Museum of Lakeland Life, although
the main difference I could detect was the reversal
of the direction of rotation. Either way round,
it is an interesting and well displayed collection of
what it says on the cover. Lakeland Life as experienced
over the last few centuries.
out, the remarkable non-event then took place. In
terms of statistics, I reckon we must have consumed
at least 3,000 calories and burned off maybe 100 of
them in the couple of hundred yards we had walked. In
terms of culture, we were at overload and our brains
too exhausted even to manage a pint at the Ring o'Bells.
After all, it would have meant walking another 20 yards.
And more calories. Our Grand Tour was at an end.
Wednesday 5th December 2018
favourite picture at Abbot Hall is Peploe's Still
Life with Tulips and Oranges.
Sadly it is not currently on display, languishing
in the storage room. I have offered to give it
a good home but so far without success. However,
in the children's corner there are sheets for colouring-in
an outline of the picture.
thought it would make a nice Christmas competition
for our readers and their young ones.
for a modest and yet to be determined prize,
why not click on the outline, print off
the picture, complete it in whatever festive
style you want, then scan it and send your
entry to to arrive not later than
Friday 21st December.
you want inspiration from the original,
enlarge the picture in the right hand column.
See if you can spot how I have made
it more Christmassy!