'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Friday, 28 January 2011

Out and about.

[And if that title makes you burst into song, you have been watching too much CBeebies.]

We managed two outings this week – one with the principle CBeebies watcher, and one without.

The first involved going to Basingstoke – a town I have, in the past, spoken about rather disrespectfully. But such is the love of a gran and granddad that they will penetrate the Basingstoke ring road to find the Willis Museum, just because it has an exhibition about animals aimed at pre-schoolers.

So we looked at some stuffed animals [OK] played with some stuffed toys [much better], experimented with some dressing up clothes [not at all certain about that], played some games [good] and read some stories [best of all]. Then we had coffee and cake, or crisps and fruit juice, depending on age [very good] and went home. A nice introduction to museums of a slightly smaller scale than her previous experience of dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, but unfortunately the exhibition ends this weekend!

Today gran and granddad, on their own, skirted round yet another pair of redundant Reading Brewery silos making slow progress to Southampton Docks, and pottered down to Walford Mill. After lunch in their cafe, we went round their current exhibition by Pat Hodson.

What can I say? Inspirational, luminous colour, fascinating use of print and stitch, amazing hangings. But for someone who likes making books – her beautiful books, including a handling copy of this one, had to be the stars of the show. I’m dribbling on the keyboard just looking at her website…

Then, to finish it off, we climbed several flights of stairs for a stash  enhancement opportunity, a.k.a. a sale of textile craft materials in the loft at the top of theimage Mill.

As you can see I bought rather a lot of beads, and some cow buttons for the cow fanatic in the family. [Just got to knit a cardigan to go with them.]



The book came from the mill shop, and results from my Lois Walpole obsession from our last visit to the Mill.

We did also buy a Pat Hodson book, but have to wait till the end of the exhibition to collect it. Not the £3,800 one I really coveted, I didn't have enough pennies in my money box!

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