Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Art and (not much) alcohol in Cambridge - and a ghost B&B

No boats or canals this time, but you could visit Cambridge by boat, so that’s my excuse.  We left the paint on Herbie’s roof drying and drove there.

Well I left you with that picture of steel bars in my last post, so let’s take a few steps back to reveal what it is.


Yes, dear old Anthony Gormley is at it again, this time in kettles yard n Cambridge.  Those people in the background are real by the way.  His theme in this exhibition is objects built on the three axes, X,Y and Z if you’re familiar with that kind of thing.  In another room is a glass cube about three feet across containing 10x10x10 LEDs all very neatly soldered on a 3d grid of what look like thin brass wire.  No doubt he got his assistant to do all the donkey work.  Anyway, when you get up close and peer in, the effect is one of staring into infinity.


Some modern art I don’t like. I recall getting a bit annoyed at one or two exhibits in Tate Modern, for example an exact replica of a domestic radiator, or a square of red paint, but Gormley I do like.

Kettles Yard also has The House, oh and what a house it is.  The “creator” Jim Eade converted it from three old cottages in the 1960s and set about making it a home full of lovely simple things, all set out with immaculate care and precision to delight the eye.  If you like pebbles and paintings of fishing boats and traditional English chairs, you’re in for a treat.  Best of all you are encouraged to sit in the chairs and take in the light and the atmosphere. I’m tempted to say that of all the many houses we have visited over the years, this is my favourite.  I would move in tomorrow.  It’s light and airy and cosy all at the same time.  And the house and the exhibition are both free to enter and come and go as often as you like.

Earlier we had to drop in to Nova, an upmarket coffee bar I suppose you would call it, to see another art exhibition, this time displaying the work of the Cambridge Urban Sketchers Group, of which our son Peter is a member.  Peter, although a scientist and computer geek is getting quite arty in his old age and works in all sorts of media.  In the exhibition was Peter’s needle felt picture of knitters in  Cambridge pub.  Not for sale as he has promised it to Kath.  The sketchers draw/ paint/ etc from life, in situ, picking a different venue for each monthly meeting.  I suppose Peter sat there with his wool and felting needles and bashed away. I don’t know if he finished it off at home, I forgot to ask.


Sorry about the reflected white line across the middle.

Then, on to our real reason for going to Cambridge, our annual sortie to the Cambridge Beer Festival.  You probably won’t believe me when I say that in a total of ten hours at the festival (over two days), I drank three and a half pints in total.  Seven halves to be exact, one cider, two perrys and four beers.  It’s all about quality rather than quantity although I did eat two monster curries and some pork scratchings.

Well while I’m indulging in a post not about Herbie or canals (sorry), I might as well tell you about one more thing.  B&B’s in Cambridge are frighteningly expensive, so we searched for a cheap alternative to our usual.  What Kath found was a B&B with no-one there.  Really.  You book in on line and they email you a key code for the door locks.  You let yourself in, the room, with en-suite bathroom, is clean and comfortable but basic.  In the morning you go downstairs to the silent kitchen where you help yourself to cereal, toast and jam/marmalade, eggs if you want them, tea, orange juice etc.  Then you wash up your dishes and that’s it.  Over the two days and nights we didn’t see a soul except for a fleeting glimpse of another guest as she went out the door.  It saved us £60. It worked for us although I did miss my B&B treat of a Full English .

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