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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Grey and Gloomy New Year

Well, Christmas and the New Year is over. The Christmas tree is packed away for another year. Carol has gone back to work at the Academy. The weather is milder, but today is grey and gloomy, with a fog hanging over all first thing this morning.

We went to Waddesdon Manor on New Year's Day. We go regularly to the annual Christmas event, when the house is opened up for a week or so (it's closed up for the Winter. All the statues in the grounds are covered in sheets to protect them from frost. The fountain is drained. See  last year's post for photographs of this.) The house is decorated quite beautifully for the festive season, and there are Christmas trees in many of the rooms, which must take a considerable amount of time to decorate. Fortunately the weather took a turn for the better and the sun actually came out, although rather weakly, but it did manage to cheer things up considerably.

We got to Waddesdon Manor in good time. This was an event where they'd got a timed ticket system, and you had to book on-line. Our 'slot'was 12.30-12.45, so, as we'd got there early we decided to have a bite to eat so got hot chocolate and sausage rolls and sat round on the fountain-side of the Manor. The sun was out and it was rather pleasant sitting there in the warm. Well, warm when you consider that it was the 1st January, the amount of rain there had been, and the weather in general.

There were an art installations at Waddesdon. They had been on show  all through December. They were by the 'light artist' Bruce Monro. These two 'installations', one in the ampitheatre and the other on the lawns as you approached the North Front of the Manor. This one, in particular, was quite spectacular, made up of hundreds, probably more like thousands, of CDs, spread out on the ground in a huge circle.

 Angel of Light by Bruce Monro on the North Front at Waddesdon Manor

The other work has more CDs, but this has a large blue globe in the centre. As the day progresses, the light changes, so the reflective surfaces of the CDs changes, some reflecting different colours as you move around. Fortunately the sun was out as we looked at the work on the North Front, although I don't think we got the full effect as we weren't at Waddesdon long enough.

 Bruce Munro's 'Blue Moon On A Platter at Waddesdon Manor. Copyright Getty Images.

We went in to the Manor to see the decorated rooms. We've been to Waddesdon on a number of occasions, and each time we find something that we haven't noticed before. This time it was the games room which we haven't been in before. This time we were able to take photographs, which, up until now, has never been allowed, although without the use of flash.

Having seen all we wanted to in the Manor, we went outside and began to walk back to the car. On the way we walked past the Ampitheatre, where the second of the Bruce Monro installations was on show. There were quite a few other people looking at it and some were taking photographs. It again used CDs and had a large blue globe in the centre. I managed to take a couple of photographs. Carol walked up a bank at the side of the installation, but it was muddy, following the rain we'd recently had. As she began to come down the slope, she slipped on the muddy surface and fell to the ground heavily. I think the fall was something of a shock, and she sat on the ground for a minute or two. Several people came up to help and to see that she was alright. We then went back to the car and drove home. Unfortunately the incident spoilt an otherwise enjoyable day.
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