Archives for category: Travel

For our first full week, we will be in the lovely market town of Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire.

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Yellow will be the colour featured in this week’s work, as I attempt to capture the delicate beauty of the honey-coloured limestone buildings. A hub for the arts and crafts movement, Chipping Campden is also the start of the Cotswold Way walking trail. We will take full advantage of that, visiting small towns and historical attractions, and seeking out all the tea rooms!

Day trips may include Stratford-Upon-Avon, and Sezincote House and Gardens near Moreton-in-Marsh.

Our accommodation for this week will be the first of three cottages we will enjoy on this adventure. More on that in posts from September 28–October 4.

At the beginning and the end of my big adventure I will have a few nights in London.

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I will save most of the art galleries and museums for the next UK journey. These are places GJ and I should go together. However, my London to do list does include the Victoria & Albert Museum, which has a number of very interesting exhibits on while I am there including Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up.

My travel companion told me about Dennis Severs’ House. Part theatre performance, part museum, part art gallery, it sounds like a feast for all of the senses.

One of the London experiences I am most excited about is visiting Highgate Cemetery – not to find famous graves, but for the beauty, solemnity, architecture, and grace. Perhaps I will stumble upon a relative or two.

I will be popping back up to London for two nights in the middle of the trip to rendezvous with my sister who will be briefly in London en route to Dorset. She wants to take me to Camden Market, just for fun!

And for a treat, I would love to visit The Grapes pub, perhaps on quiz night!

I would be thrilled and delighted to find Charles Adrian performing while we are there. His performance, as Ms Samantha Mann, Stories of Love, Death & A Rabbit was one of my most favourite theatre experiences.

And last but not least, I would love to visit Dorothy Circus Gallery. It shows the weird and the wondrous, and I think GJ should show there!

All London suggestions are welcome! Especially art, theatre, puppetry, vegetarian cuisine…

 

 

 

For as long as I can remember – since I was a tiny child – I have been obsessed with the United Kingdom. I have planned and wished and dreamed to be there. When I was very small I would draw and paint scenes from my imagination of rolling fields, hedgerows, sheep and ponies. I have felt forlorn. I have felt hopeful. I am a citizen, yet I have not set foot on her verdant land… until now. September 26 is the day I will arrive. A dear friend has done all the planning, found all the accommodations, and she and I will spend a month traveling in the south of England.

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As well as being a time for self-reflection and adventure, I plan to use this month to work on my art practice, and gather material for future projects. I recently began using a simple technique with a pasta machine to do small etchings, embellishing the finished pieces with watercolour and gouache. A recent series of scenes from Victoria’s Chinatown was quite successful. I will work on a new series later in the autumn which will be based on sketches and photos from the towns we visit on the journey.

With encouragement from friends, I have set up an Indiegogo Campaign, giving people the opportunity to support this next phase of my artistic development. Thanks to lovely patrons, within a couple of weeks I had reached 29% of my goal:

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I am happy to report I am now at 37% and plan to the extend the campaign for a few more weeks.

I have been spending a bit of time preparing for fulfilling the perks I have included in my campaign – sketching and painting at various spots around Victoria in the warm spring sunshine. It will be so amazing to have a month dedicated to my art. The historic villages, friendly people and spectacular countryside of England will provide inspiration for years to come.

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My travel companion asked me, “Won’t you be homesick traveling for a month?” I know I will miss my beloved, and our little cats, but I replied “How can one be homesick when one is finally home.”

 

 

One of my many jobs is with the Land Trust Alliance of BC. A few weeks ago the Executive Director and I took a field trip to visit one of our member land trusts, the Salt Spring Island Conservancy. Their office is situated at the Blackburn Lake Nature Reserve. We enjoyed very pleasant ferry rides to and from, a lovely lunch in Ganges overlooking the harbour, and a wonderful walk around the reserve. With the local bus, it’s easy to explore Salt Spring Island without a car. It was a most enjoyable day!

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The approach to Fulford Harbour. It’s just a 35-minute journey from Swartz Bay.

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Blackburn Lake Nature Reserve, Salt Spring Island. Once farmland, then a 9-hole golf course, now dedicated to nature and home to many species of animals and plants, many of which are endangered.

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A beautiful pond near the lake.

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Spring flowers all around.

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A shady spot by the creek. It was here I heard the song of a bird I had never heard before.

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Sitka columbine is just one of the many wild flowers growing at Blackburn Lake Nature Reserve, which has a native plant nursery on site.

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A fuzzy bee on a very beautiful iris. We had a few minutes to shop for snacks in Fulford Harbour before boarding the ferry home.

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Farewell Salt Spring Island, until next time.

We are having a deliciously warm May in Victoria. Yesterday was a bit cooler, perfect for a cycle. I rode for a few kilometres along our Galloping Goose regional trail to run an errand, and discovered that I almost missed the blooming of the wild roses which line a section of the trail near downtown. I smelled them before I saw them, their intoxicating sweetness calling to all who came near. How remarkable is nature to give us such delights?

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I don’t know enough about bees to identify any of these busy ladies. There were so many bees it was almost impossible to take a photo without one. They make me so happy.

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I’m planning something big for the autumn and I couldn’t be more excited. This adventure will involve a lot of walking and so much drinking of tea. To prepare I am walking – taking little mini-adventures through the beautiful spring days in Victoria BC.

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Back in March I walked about 12 kilometres to Oak Bay and Fairfield. I collected our friend Annie along the way and we made a few stops in Oak Bay before ending up at Abkhazi Garden for tea. We enjoyed a delicious repast in the teahouse, seated in the window overlooking the garden.

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The garden was not quite at its peak of colour and vibrancy, but still beautiful. We enjoyed walking along the winding paths and meeting a feline visitor.

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Abkhazi Garden is owned and managed by The Land Conservancy (TLC). Read the story of “the garden that love built” here. Check out the teahouse here.

All around, the colours of spring! Flowers of white, cream, yellow, pink and purple.

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