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

Dorothy Rowe

Tuesday 15 June 2010

A Tuesday trip

- the first for quite a long time.

We went to The Vyne, a National Trust property we visited once years ago, but despite the best of intentions never got to again. I think we were put off because to get there from here you have to drive round Basingstoke.

Now I am well aware that there are otherwise normal people who drive round – and even through – Basingstoke, on a regular basis – but they know where they are going, and which lane they should be in, and which exit of the 27 available at each roundabout is the one they want. But we don’t. So we end up in the wrong lane and in the wrong place and it’s scary.

But we took our courage in both hands and went – and we only went wrong twice.

But I digress.

We were motivated to visit by an exhibition of furniture by Mark Brazier Jones. Do not be misled by the first page of his website - this was not an exhibition of motor vehicles, but of furniture. Somewhat unusual furniture. Reading the list of his clients on that page may give you an inkling of what the furniture is like. [We were told the sparkly side tables were covered with Swarovski crystals. And I mean ‘covered’.]

I went expecting not to like it – after all, I’m someone who thinks good furniture design pretty well started and ended with the Bauhaus – but I was taken by some of the pieces. Like this one, which they have in the house in Barbie pink hide. [I always did have a weakness for tassels.]

I liked the lighting and the clocks too – unfortunately I can’t find any images on the website of my favourite ‘escaped from Brighton Pavilion’ standard lamps – if you can use such a mundane phrase about something covered in crystals. [When I say ‘like’ I don’t, of course, mean ‘would like to own’. Even if I could afford it.]

Wensleydale, on the other hand, was rather taken by this. No, not the mirror. I can’t think why. [You can find more images under the ‘Flashman’ link but don’t look unless you are feeling broadminded.]

We decided we needed to go back another time, when the furniture wasn’t there, so we could concentrate on the house.

And, as usual with NT properties, the gardens are lovely and there is a teashop with very good scones.

It was even worth driving round Basingstoke.

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