OK are you ready for this? I just hope you enjoy this as much as me.
A rainbow arrived in our valley in October 2007. A colourful artist who has spent a year delighting us all with her creativity and involvement in our community. Meet Imi Maufe.
She rides around the valley on her bike with her artists materials on board. Always colourful and smiley.
Sadly she will soon be leaving us after spending a year as artist in residence at Highgreen. Want to see it? OK!
Fabulous isn't it? Highgreen is owned by William and Cynthia Morrison-Bell a lovely couple who are the best art patrons I know. Note the work going on at the left of the building. This is a stage being erected for the local Amateur Dramatics to perform Pride and Prejudice this coming weekend. There will even be a Pimms Tent so I will definitely be there.
They offer artists a year living in a fabulous studio in The Dovecote a converted former stable and loft behind their home. Let's go in.
How lucky would you be to get a year living and working here?
One of my favourite paths.
Walls covered in moss in every shade of green you could possible want.
There's even a Toy Workshop on the path. Want to look closer?
Isn't it delightful? Shhh we can get even closer.
Look it's called Tarset Toys.
Next door there's an old barn with a field on its roof. Lets look closer at that.
Lovely don't you think? Right we are going into the big barn now to see some of Imi's wonderful creations.
This is the barn. I could live in it just as it is. How's that for a ceiling?
Ah so that's where Imi parks her bike.
A stunning way to display her month by month recollections of living with us all. Closer up? OK.
She has really caught the essence of the place.
Sadly her last month though not yet finished. Love the way she has penciled parts in. I have a tear in my eye now.
She has called her final exhibition Raffle Tickets and Midges. Let me explain. In this area there is always raffle tickets for sale. Money has to be raised to keep things going for the locals and Midges are little flying b*st**ds that come out during July and August. They bite and are the bain of everyone's life.
One of the things I love about Imi is that her art is accessable. So much so that she has put all her work out with big YOU CAN TOUCH signs all around it.
She has limited editions of her work for sale, some housed in specially designed and handmade boxes. I am tempted.
Look an even bigger one. Don't be afraid to touch she doesn't mind a bit.
See those little numbered books on the right well she has 16 images in each one. For instance she jumped on the Post Bus which is for locals to get around the valley whilst the Postman is picking up mail. She has photographed each post box he picked up from. All bright red, set in walls, on walls or on lovely antique posts. She has done 16 books each with a different theme.
We have a company called Unison Colour here that makes and sells pastels for painting. Imi worked with them to understand their colour palette based on colours of the area and produced this artwork which is one of my favourites.
OK before we go grab a coloured badge and write down what that colour makes you think of. Imi will hang it on the wall and you get to keep the badge. Mine is Laduree green and makes me think of the last Macaron I had in Paris.
Let me say one thing before we go -
Imi you have brightened up everyone's life for the past year with your colourful clothes, colourful personality and your creativity. Your involvement on our community has been total and always done with a smile. We will miss you.
Good Morning are you ready? It's Family Fun Day in our market town. I have to cook you all a traditional British Sunday Lunch later, made from local produce. There's a food market at the Fun Day so can you help me carry my purchases?
It's a lovely stroll down the road that has a river running through it. The amount of rain we have had lately I'm surprised those houses haven't flooded.
This road eventually leads to Hareshaw Linn a fabulous waterfall. You can go there later if you want but it's one and a half miles and I have Sunday Lunch to cook.
So let's go in and see what they have.
Locally grown flowers and plants.
Meet my friend Jill Self who has just started her business selling Simple Soup. Buy some and you will die with delight. Simple, tasty and all made with local produce. Good Luck Jill!
Local crafts including these gorgeous baby items. My purse is jumping about in my handbag.
We need fish for starters, roast beef for the main course and vegetables to go with the beef. I'll pick you hold the bags. No, no I'm paying this is my treat.
Let's just have a sit and listen to some local musicians before we leave. Anyone want a drink? I can't I'm driving.
Sorry but we have to go up the road to the cottage that has some gates to open. Let me introduce you to Albert the most miserable bull in the world. I pass him almost every day and he never has a smile for me. "Oh well we are going to have beef when we get home so at least raise a smile to the fact that it isn't you Albert"
Now it's time for lunch but beware our Sunday lunches leave you feeling very full. Roast beef is a name the French use to describe English people. The Yorkshire Puddings are the best thing about this lunch.
When you are finished put your feet up and get ready to open those gates on the way out.
Bon Voyage, hope you enjoyed your weekend.