Thursday, October 23, 2008

Normal service will be resumed....

....probably some time tomorrow.

We have a guest; a guest we are very pleased to see and of whom we are both very fond. However, the change of routine which hospitality entails is beginning to take its toll.

There's no selfish, solitary half hour hunched over the crossword at breakfast - instead I must make bright conversation. There are no self-indulgent forays into cyberspace for minutes which stretch into hours - I must find entertaining earthly diversions instead. There's the need to sustain a sparkling social smile when, frankly, I'd prefer to snarl. I have face ache.

But hey! Our guest enjoys seeing the countryside from the comfort of the car so each visit takes us deeper into the Welsh countryside. Yesterday we went to Ruthin, enjoying a day of near perfect autumn weather and fantastic scenery.

We visited the new Ruthin Craft Centre which opened with fanfares earlier this year. It's a great complex of buildings, shop, work spaces, galleries and a cafeteria. It looks good. We did our usual trick of arriving at a gallery either a week too early or a week too late - one exhibition had finished and the next was in the process of being staged. We toured the shop instead, peering into the glass cabinets which held the jewellery, ceramics, glass and objets beloved of craft galleries nationwide. I must admit here to having a problem with this kind of 'craft' which I find hard to define. Yes, it is almost always beautifully made but it is neither 'Art' nor is it 'Design'. It has a twee uniformity; a sameness, a lack of vigour. I would have like to have seen the work of artisans, of the weavers, the basket makers, the tilers, the wood and iron workers et al who marry beauty with function and form. It's my problem and maybe I'll get over it.

By contrast today we've 'done' the Christmas extravaganza at the local garden centre. What you see is what you get; lots of plastic sparkle. Lots of glittery tat. Made in China. What good honest fun. No pretension.

Anyway, tomorrow things should be back to normal.


Pam said...

I understand completely. I love my visitors but it's so LOVELY to have the house to yourself. I guess we're home bodies.

LittleBrownDog said...

I'm totally with you on function, beauty and form and cannot understand things that are made apparently just to be looked at, or just to be clever. Know what you mean about visitors, too - lovely as they are, they do eat into one's time.

Fennie said...

We've just come back from France. More and more we find that the tourist shops which litter the grander 'sights' are filled with tat from China most of which you can buy anywhere. Is it the same here? Well, no, I suppose because we don't promote out sights in the same way.
Still having a guest forces you to get out and see what one normally takes for granted.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

I love to see the more artisan crafts as well - basket making - have always wanted a go at that!

elizabethm said...

The two best things about the Ruthin Craft Centre are the benches in the courtyard and the cafe! I really want it to succeed but like you I am left cold by much of what is in there. Perhaps we should start a petition?
Know just what you mean about visitors, even the most welcome ones. The cottage has made the whole process much easier, for both sides I suspect!

Elizabeth said...

Stunning banner for one UK starved ex-pat.
Wish I had chickens.

Edward said...

Visitors, eh? Can't love 'em, can't kill 'em. Maybe you should have just left them at the craft centre so that you could get on with the crossword! A misanthrope, moi?