Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Week Away in England!

(Above: Whole cloth grave rubbing created in the general cemetery in Nottingham, England. Brown and black crayon on silk-like fabric. 72" x 60". Click on image to enlarge.)

Last week was marvelous! Steve and I flew to Birmingham, UK to watch our elder son Mathias dance and even FLY as Alain in Birmingham Royal Ballet's production of La Fille Mal Gardee. His girlfriend Laura-Jane sparkled in the corps and as an adorable chicken....complete with tail feathers and wings. We saw three of the seven shows! Richard Edmonds' review stated, "Dingman takes the laurels making a touchingly deranged child of Alain, something Ashton would have applauded." (Read the entire review HERE!)

Photography is strictly forbidden during the production but I noticed a few people using their cell phones to capture an image during the final I snapped two as well!

(Mathias is on the left. Click on this or any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

We were thrilled to finally see Mathias and Laura-Jane's brand new house and also to spend time with her parents and grandmother.

Sunday afternoon was particularly grand. We had brunch in the traditional but very posh White Swan English pub and restaurant.

The food was AMAZING....but the company was even better! We celebrated both Laura-Jane's and her grandmother's birthday.

During the week Steve and I went to the nearby town of Aston.

We walked by Aston Villa Mansion (above)...

...and by Aston Villa's soccer/football stadium (above).

We spent time in the S. Peter & S. Paul churchyard (above). I copied down several great Victorian epitaphs.

On another day, we also took the local bus to Dudley...

...and visited the churchyard there (both images directly above)....

...the Priory park and ruins (above)...

...and happened into a great pub in the midst of a beer festival. Steve tried the "Skull Splitter" ale with its 8.5% alcoholic content (bottom tier, far right!).

Fortunately, he didn't sample this on an empty stomach. He had the "bangers and mash". I had the very traditional and delicious Yorkshire pudding.

On our other free day we went to Nottingham. I'd been to the beautiful, sprawling cemeteries before and knew to bring a large piece of material and my brown and black crayons. It took just over a single hour to compose a whole cloth grave rubbing from the amazing slate tombstones in the general cemetery. (Image is far above....the first one in this blog post.) I can hardly wait to machine stitch this piece.

We also visited the "castle", a newer structure built on the site of the original medieval fortress (above). The museum was great and the "children's area" focused on the legend of Robin Hood.

We had to participate by sticking our faces in the provided oval holes!

I took many more photos. They're on Flickr! Just click HERE to view them!


lynda Howells said...

So glad you had an amzing time in is a lovely city. Yur son is very handsome. The rubbing you did looks amazing, can't wait to see the finished piece. have a good flight back Susan.xlynda

Liz said...

If I'd known you were in Dudley I might have dug up a few ancestors' graves for you to look for!!

Pat said...

What a wonderful review, you must be thrilled.

Wanda said...

Looks like another successful, fun and full-of-love-and-laughter trip!