Monday, 6 February 2012

snow day

I had a grand day out yesterday at the London Bead Fair. Like all adventures it started at 5am in the dark, wondering whether or not to believe the weather reports. We are hopeless in the UK at coping with snow, two or three inches and we are in chaos. I am definitely not an ice road trucker so considered myself deeply brave to set off for Kempton Park the outskirts of London. The Landscape shape-changes as soon as the colours change, paint the ground softly white and what was once hidden to the eye is differently revealed. Enticing pathways into the woodlands open up, the stuff of fairytales and the foundations of magic.

image by Alex Brown... more to fascinate you here
Talking of things magical, the route takes me past Stonehenge. For me this is a familiar local landmark. When we were children we took picnics and played among the stones (now very sensibly roped off at quite some distance in a 'how very dare you' kind of way by English Heritage). These beautiful stones are so ancient, so awesomely huge and ponderously heavy... specially when you stop to think how impossibly arduous it was to have moved them inch by inch across the landscape. Viewed from the road they look quite small but are visible for miles which I guess answers the 'why put them just there?' question.

Desert Orchid by Philip Blacker
The roads were slushy but passable and empty of traffic as most people are snuggled up asleep on a midwinter sunday at 6am!).  To greet you at Kempton Park there is a statue of the lovely Desert Orchid a racehorse that had an amazing career, then won the hearts of many as a crowd loving ambassador and charity fundraiser. For some reason horsey folk like to call white horses Grey, and in some circles not knowing this can be as faux pass-ish as not knowing how to pronounce Cholmondeley or Magdalene... oh! go on then... it's Chumley and Mawdlen (no really, kid you not !).

Anyhoo I'm digressing as white grey horses bring me back to the very thing you were wondering which is...
What about the beads?
With such a stark and beautiful landscape of monochrome  in a million subtle variations to gaze at on my long drive up, I found myself drawn to certain displays of beads.
But first it was a busy day of chatting, meeting new customers, catching up with old friends and having mutual eye candy appreciation moments as we admired each others latest creations... heaven!