Thursday, 26 May 2011

Silver Wedding Celebrations 3/5: Out and About in Woolacombe

My parents went off for walks and we did some exploring. My hubby flew his kite on the beach before breakfast each day which was a great success with the wind that we had. There is a lovely expanse of grass between the hotel and the sea, and I took lots of photos.

These huge sand dunes are off to the side of the hotel, and are anchored by sharp marran grass. When we were here before, we clambered all over them.

On another day, my hubby went off exploring with my mum and dad, and he took these pictures:

I just love the wild seaside with nobody about! My favourite time is the middle of winter, when the wind blows your socks off and your anorak inside out and takes your breath away, and all that ozone blows the cobwebs to Timbuktu! Oh for the days of running across an vast empty beach, picking up shells and pebbles and driftwood, and coming home sweetly exhausted and full of sun and sea air!

Oh well, have to be satisfied with different stimulants these days, such as discovering Art in quirky textures and patterns in places that are more accessible to me!

Forgive me while I indulge myself here (gooey textures coming up!):

Outside the hotel I found a pair of old metal urns, painted in a sort of sea-green-grey, which were so corroded that they had holes in them, and the paint was bubbling off and creating gorgeous patterns like growing mould patches. Irresistible.

Further on, I found a small hut or shed, probably for the storage of garden tools. It had been painted with pale green wood stain so that the knots and grain showed through, but it had become worn, and when the light caught it, it had a strange, iridescent sheen.

At the corner, the boards were beautifully joined, and I loved the patterns the end-grain made, with the tree rings, where they had cracked in a radial pattern.

Bordering the garden, and hiding the outdoor swimming pool, was a low wooden fence which made a nice pattern, and great shadows in the strong sunlight.

I took a photo of part of the hotel roof at the full extent of my zoom lens and then straightened it with my photo editing software. I love the terracotta tiles with their regular, man-made pattern and gently curved top surface, and the random sprinkling of the natural, yellow lichen. Gorgeous colour contrast, too.

The following afternoon my hubby and I visited a local art gallery which had so many pieces in it that you couldn’t hope to see them all unless you had at least a week, and many different styles, too. The owner was sitting in the window working on a pastel piece, and she showed us some of her other work – she had a great gift for capturing the wonderful skies over the sea in Woolacombe. In the corner of the gallery was an ancient wooden filing cabinet which she said had come with the premises, which had previously been the local bank. She had removed the brass handles and distressed the drawers, adding rope handles, and I fell in love with the gorgeous colours and soft patterns she’d achieved, simply by painting and rubbing down. The corners were delightfully distressed and worn, too. With use, it was gaining a nicely ingrained dirty look too. The whole effect was reminiscent of the ocean.

I love the way the brass keyhole is still there.

Last one – honest!! – but don’t you just love the way these twisty black railings overlap each other and show smaller versions of themselves through the different layers, and cast interesting shadows on the ground?

There is a Brasserie on the end of the hotel where we had lunch there each day. Since we were last there, that end of the hotel has been roofed over and the Brasserie eating area extended into what they call “The Mews” which is a lovely place to sit and eat.

Opening off The Mews is a fabulous shop which we visited last time we were up there, full of wood carvings and other artefacts, mostly from South East Asia – last time I bought this carving of two ducks which intrigued me; they are twisting around each other, and carved from a single piece of wood, which must have taken some doing.

I didn’t buy anything this time, but I fell in love with this glass sculpture in the window:

It was made of sheets of glass cut to shape and glued together to form a wave. The glass was a beautiful sea green and the edges ground into interesting facets. The whole thing was set on a black plinth over a slit through which a light shone. When we went into the shop I couldn’t see a price, and thought “If you have to ask how much it is, you can’t afford it…” which proved definitely to be true!! Waaay out of my range! Still, I got the photo, and it’s given me some ideas for a paper sculpture I’d like to attempt.

For more pictures, see the sub-albums in my Photobucket Album:

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