We spent a wonderful few days with cousin Sue in Yorkshire. Her apartment, in the village of Barkisland (not pronounced the way you would think!), is within a beautifully renovated cotton mill. I loved the rolling hills, beautiful stone buildings, narrow winding roads, and relatively small farmers’ fields surrounded by hedges.
We visited the Yorkshire Sculpture Park which had some wonderful sculptures, many out in open fields with sheep grazing around them. Henry Moore would have been pleased to see so many of his pieces framing green fields and patchwork hills beyond. Ai Wei Wei’s “tree” somehow fit into the setting beside an old chapel in the woods. Works of Kaws, an artist with whom we were previously, unfamiliar were imposing and numerous. The featured artist in the indoor exhibition area was Not Vital (his name, not a statement!) and it took us a while to realize his genius. The first few pieces just seemed quite weird but, as we observed more and learned more about his work, we appreciated his humour and creativity. It was fascinating to see more about his outdoor installations (disappearing houses, unique bridge designs, etc).
Sue gave us tastes of local cuisine with lunch at a great farm café (complete with market and wine shop) and dinner at the 700 year old pub in Riiponden called the Old Bridge Inn. We were also treated to Sue’s delicious home cooking and had the opportunity to meet some good friends of hers and visit with one of her daughters whom we hadn’t seen for at least 10 years. All in all, a lovely visit.