Jigsaw time

For me winter is jigsaw time, so over the Christmas holidays I completed my first jigsaw of the year. At times I almost gave up on this one as sometimes I sat there for over an hour and only placed a few pieces of the puzzle. It’s the most difficult jigsaw that I’ve ever done. It’s an ArtPiece Puzzle made by Pomegranate. It’s the first one I’ve done by that maker and I have to say that the pieces fit together so tightly that you can actually lift the whole thing up off the table, with no fear of any pieces falling out, it’s a solid sheet. Sadly the colours haven’t come out quite as well as I had hope they would in the photograph below.

A Pomegranate Jigsaw

It’s called Plum and Peach Bloom by the American artist Gustave Baumann, although I didn’t realise he was American at first, well look at the name! he was born in Germany and went to America when he was ten years old apparently. When I first saw it I thought it was a puzzle made from something painted by the Swedish artist Carl Larsson, they have quite similar styles I think.

The peach and plum tree blossom just about did me in, but as ever it was really satisfying when I placed the last piece into it.

You can see more images of Gustave Baumann’s work here if you’re interested.

I really like his work, he seems to have been keen on painting woodland areas, and as I love trees, that’s fine by me.

On a completely different subject – we haven’t been anywhere interesting over the last couple of months, mainly because it has hardly stopped raining. But Jack has done a post on Bladon which we visited during the summer. If you want to see what Churchill’s resting place looks like, you can see it here.

Back Home

We went on another British road trip last week and I managed to be organised enough to schedule some posts to be published while I was away, just in case I didn’t have access to the internet. It turned out that I didn’t feel much like being online anyway, I was too tired as usual, what with running around during the day.

We visited mainly places which we hadn’t visited before. It’s sad but true that I enjoy visiting places in the UK which I’ve heard about, mainly on the TV or radio – often just on road traffic reports, and I wonder what they’re like if I’ve not visited them.

So now I can envisage Wigan, Haydock, Biddulph Gardens, Buxton, Alcester, Blenheim Palace (Woodstock and Bladon) Geddington, Market Harborough, Geoff Hamilton’s Garden at Barnsdale (Rutland), Uppingham, Oakham, Wetherby, Northallerton, Mount Grace Priory, Sedgefield, Washington Village, Morpeth, Rothbury, Cragside and Wooler. The only places we had visited before were Alcester, Blenheim/Woodstock, Morpeth, Cragside and Wooler.

This time we started off driving down south via Moffat in the Scottish Borders. The bookshop was open and I bought two books –
1. Murder Among Friends by Elizabeth Ferrars
2. Crazy Pavements by Beverley Nichols

It was a bookish beginning to our break, we were heading for Wigan, an unlikely place to visit but as I had just read George Orwell’s Road to Wigan Pier I was intrigued to find out what it was like now. It has a newish shopping mall but you can tell from the older buildings that Wigan was indeed down at heel in the 1930s. Unlike many places, mainly down south, there was virtually nothing in the way of art deco/1930s buildings. From which I assume that nobody was doing any building at that time, it was a very depressed area. It’s not exactly vibrant at the moment but it’s still an awful lot better than Kirkcaldy, my nearest large town, which seems to have yet another empty shop each time I visit it.

We stopped off at Buxton, mainly because it was a Georgian spa town and has associations with Jane Austen.

Sedgefield was chosen as an overnight visit mainly because it was Tony Blair’s constituency when he was an MP and I wanted to compare it with Kirkcaldy. In the end I didn’t even take any photos there as it was such a wee place with just a few shops, a village really. I feel quite unreasonably aggrieved with the inhabitants of Sedgefield for voting in Tony Blair as their MP and allowing Blair to set off on his egomaniacal merry power binge which has put us in the horrendous position we are in now.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to over the last week or so and I plan to show you some photos of the various places which I hope you might be quite interested to see.

What did I buy when I was away? Not a lot really, apart from some more books, but that’s another blogpost.