|Sunday and Monday
||[Oct. 18th, 2016|10:16 pm]
I deliberately hadn't visited the sales areas in the Clocktower before Sunday: shops in town would be closed, these wouldn't, and there'd be plenty of time before our one event of the day. After a leisurely breakfast we plunged in. I was - um - reasonably restrained: I bought a number of comics, and a poster, but I resisted the puffin mug and the hand-knitted mythical mice:
I had planned to buy a copy of The Red Virgin, but Page 45 had sold out: there might be some available after the talk that afternoon. We'd heard Bryan and Mary talking about the book the previous year, but would probably have gone to hear it again, if it hadn't clashed with Dave McKean's performance. I'm not regretting that choice: Black Dog - The Dreams of Paul Nash is a sound-and-vision rendering of McKean's new book, an extraordinary fusion of McKean's voice and art with that of Paul Nash. I hadn't planned to buy the book, but now I want to (having been launched the previous day, it was already sold out, which was probably just as well as far as my budget is concerned). I see they are repeating the performance alongside the exhibition at the Tate. and I recommend it (also see that the exhibtion will in due vourse come to the Laing, which is more good news). Still dazed and overwhelmed, we trotted back to the Clocktower, bought our copy of The Red Virgin and had it signed, chatted briefly to Kate Charlesworth about the event we had just shared, and how it was sparking thoughts about her work-in-progress -
- and that's it for another year. I've been very cautious about walking any sort of distance, since that nasty episode with the plantar fasciitis. But it was a pleasant afternoon, and the castle couldn't be far, so we set out to walk there. And no, it wasn't far, though last stretch was a bit of a scramble - it is on top of a hill, overlooking the town:
We didn't have as long to explore as I'd have liked, because the sky was darkening very ominously, and we wanted to be home - or failing that, at least past the steepest of the downhill paths - before it came on to rain. We hadn't walked far at all, but I was pleased, finally, to have seen the castle, and not to have spent the entire weekend sitting in darkened rooms.
The next morning we handed back the keys to our cottage, went shopping in Booths supermarket (I'd call them 'the Waitrose of the northwest', but they sell a shopping bag with the slogan "Preston not Heston", so perhaps they wouldn't appreciate it) and drove home via Sedbergh. This is not the most direct route, but it only added ten miles to our journey, and they were very scenic miles, winding through hills in soft sunshine and mist and sometimes rain but never quite making a rainbow. Sedbergh was festooned with sheep:
It seems we had just missed Sheepfest, but we had fun in the bookshop (in theory, Sedbergh is a book town: in pactice, well, it has at least one good secondhand bookshop). Tea in Barnard Castle with A and D, and home.