The National Trust’s Cliveden and the hotel, are utterly sublime (if you read my blog, you’ll know my love for both) and there’s nowhere I’d rather be in the sunshine than there. Today, Sunday afternoon, at the gardens, was almost perfect if you forget that Xander fell into a puddle of mud and the boys argued over shortbread.
On the flip side, I’m not sure I’ve seen Cliveden look more pretty.
Steeped in history-every British Monarch since George 1 has revelled in Cliveden’s splendour, there’s nowhere more enticing, for a long walk around its scented rose garden, pretty woodland by the banks of the Thames or a mill around the maze.
That’s what Sundays are for, right? A chance to hit pause, marvel at nature, breathe in that oxygen hit (thank you trees) in preparation for Monday.
That’s my kind of self-care, anyway.
The lessons came thick and fast too.
Sir Antony Caro OM’s sculptures are quite the talking point. Curated within the many acres, Caro’s boundary-pushing pieces composed of re imagined farming machinery got us all pondering.
Oliver, 9, fresh from Sex Ed at school of late, announced the piece below resembled a vagina, and pointing to the stairs composed behind the labia-like front, he noted these steps would make it easier for kids to climb back in their mother’s womb.
It is at times like that, you fully grasp these pieces are unquestionably art, arresting you to ask questions and find meaning from the abstract. They demand that you stop and consider their form and texture, the maker’s vision and what they stir up inside you. They elicit a response and this piece, sure did.
Xander was happy that he was almost as tall as this sweet tree.
…What a thought-provoking day among the lily pads and bramble bushes, the shiny berries dancing in the sunlight, as ripe as our thoughts.