Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Oh, to be in England now that April's there . . .

When Dinahmow planned her trip back to revisit the country she left many years ago, I suspect she had in mind – like Robert Browning – blossom and a chaffinch singing on a bough. Unfortunately the jet-stream has delivered England's much needed rain, and lots and lots of it!

Today's plan was a rendez-vous with not just Dinahmow but also Lizzie-made; the selected meeting place was the brand shiny new Harriet's Café Tearooms in Cambridge . . . and jolly nice it is too!


Fortified with tea/coffee and toasted tea-cakes we ventured forth down cobbled lanes shiny with puddles; there were no tourist groups to jostle with, just the occasional student on a bike. The only person in the view from Magdalene Bridge was a man baling water out of the punts.


Bloggers are hardy souls . . .


and the sunflowers looked happy!


We were on our way to Kettles Yard to see Alfred Wallis: ships and boats. The elderly Cornish sailor took up painting to fill the void in his life after his wife died. He painted on scraps of card and board using paints from the hardware store. He painted his memories, he painted what he knew well . . . ships and the sea.

And that might have been that, but Alfred Wallis lived in St Ives and it was 1928 . . . two artists from London were in St Ives planning to establish an artists' colony by the sea . . . they were Ben Nicholson and Kit Wood and as the saying goes 'the rest is history'.


On the way back into town we passed a shop full of bright things . . . it drew us bloggers in like wasps to a jam sarnie! Some of us couldn't resist buying things!


What with all that art and designy things and choosing, not to mention the incessant rain, we were in need of sustainance and there was only one place to go for a true English comfort food experience . . .

Fitzbillies!


Feeling satisfyingly filled up with delicious warming tastiness on toast, we were ready to face the rain again. But first I needed to buy a couple of Chelsea buns (you can't go into Fitzbillies and NOT buy Chelsea buns, that would, be . . . well . . . just wrong!) I nearly panicked when I couldn't see any CB's under or on the counter. But there was no need to fret, the CB's are now held in a stainless steel cupboard – nick-named 'the dalek' – it's there at the back against the blue tiled wall, with the stack of bun-bags on the top.


And look, I've got a lovely present! One of Lizzie's beautiful hand-bound books and a linocut of Spanish lemons :-) A lovely way to remember our meet-up day.


Celia
x


20 comments:

  1. The weather is fairly dire but you look like you're not letting it dampen your spirits :)

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  2. really enjoyed this post :)

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  3. Yes, it was a lovely day.Beautiful things, dear old Cambridge and brand-new friends.
    Huge thanks to Lizzie and Celia for braving the weather.
    When I get a moment I'll update my blog.

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  4. Looks like a fab day. Who needs sunny weather!

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  5. You acted like true Brits enjoying yourself regardless of the weather. Can you believe I have never been to Cambridge - will have to remedy that one day. Glad that you had a good day.

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  6. I came to read this because I'd quoted that on fb wafter a lovely evening ..we in the Northwest(unusually) had one or two lovely april evenings. Its raining and cold now so back to normal. Yor lovely blog post brought a bit of brightness into my life. I'd love to visit Cambridge.
    Thanks for the tour.

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  7. Gosh, you were prompt! I'm still getting round to editing my photos...
    This is a great post and I had a lovely day. Thank you Celia - and Diane!
    You did well to capture me smiling...I'm sure I did a fair bit of "resigned-to-the-rain" and "can't-it-stop-raining" in the way of facial expression - smiling must have been a little rarer than usual. But then, I was having fun, despite the sogginess of the weather.
    So pleased you like your book and print. I hoped you would (obviously...). The Hares print and cards were much admired here last night, Celia!
    I'll make my own post soon... meanwhile, thanks for a lovely day - maybe we can meet up again some time!

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  8. A little rain never melted anyone;) Glad you enjoyed your day!

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  9. I love to read of bloggers meeting up, there is never a cross word and I think that is marvellous. So good to know that you all enjoyed the day.

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  10. It's been a number of years since I was in Cambridge. Thanks for the wonderful photos. Glad you all had such a great time.

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  11. Celia, the friendly warmth of this Cambridge day is so evident, even if the weather went decidedly wet.

    Thank you also for the introduction to the Kettles Yard artist and the whole notion of which artists were working around the same time in that particular location.

    (I've thought for a long, long time that art history is a bit shaky. Sometimes an artist rises no matter what, but seems to me that often it's a matter of some sort of good luck networking ... whatever the century.)

    xo

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  12. Lovely, lovely Harriet's. Will have to try this one out next time I'm in Cambridge.

    We visited Alfred Wallis's house in St Ives a few years ago. He would be amazed to see his work exhibited in The Tate.

    Looks like you had a good day with fellow bloggers, if a little wet!

    Lizzie's book is lovely.

    Jeanne
    x

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  13. Sounds like a fabulous time - how gorgeous Cambridge looks even in the rain xx

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  14. Just found your blog and love it. New Follower.

    Jody

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  15. Many happy memories of our day trip to Cambridge! especially Fitzbillies. It's raining here too!

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  16. It is way too long since I went to Cambridge! You have made me long to go again. I love the leatherbound notebook and the whole day looks fab. Kettle's Yard is one of my favourite places on earth.

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  17. Good blog. You guys must have had a great time!

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  18. Thank you everyone and welcome some new followers to PPPs (I always check out your blogs if your leave a link).

    Diane, Lizzie and I had a lovely day and almost forgot it was tipping dawn with rain (most unusually for Cambridge!).

    I hope I've encouraged some of you, who have never been, to visit Cambridge. But if you choose a sunny day in summer it will be heaving!

    Celia
    x

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  19. What a WONDERFUL day! I've been to Kettle's Yard, once, and it was the most wonderful experience, such a shame I'm no where near Cambridge. I love the work of Alfred Wallis. what a treat to go to that exhibition, I imagine it's very popular. A day like yours, of an exhibition, and enticing shop, and wonderful eateries, is my idea of a truly wonderful day, thank you for sharing it with us. Vanessa xxx

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  20. Looks like you had a very nice day in Cambridge. I think I also wouldn't have minded the rain - all these colourful cakes would have lifted my spirits up, that's for sure. And as for Sir Wallis - he's such a great person, I always remeber him when I need some inspiraion and reassurance.

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