Saturday, 5 January 2013

Book review..... and more food.

I've just finish reading a smashing book, it's written by Chris Wadsworth. She moved from the south up to the Lake District with her husband Michael, and they opened an art gallery in the small town of Cockermouth. She set out to find artists, famous and infamous, lost and unknown, whose work would eventually make her gallery in little known Cockermouth not just a local but an international success.
The first chapter is about their search for the perfect place to open a gallery, and signing on the dotted line when they found it and decided to buy Castlegate House. There is very little about themselves after that, the rest of the book is taken up with short stories about the artists that Chris found to supply the gallery with paintings and sculptures. She found that art springs from the most unexpected sources.
Chris tells their stories and recounts the many unlikely incidents that make up life in a Cumbrian art gallery. There is Percy Kelly, a reclusive transvestite who didn't want to sell his paintings. Karen Wallbank the farmwers wife who painted on whatever came to hand. There are stories of L.S. Lowry, Sheila Fell, Mary Feddon, and Bill Peasgood. Each chapter is a short story of how Chris came to meet the artists in her search for paintings for the gallery.
I found myself drawn into the fascinating stories, and couldn't put it down untill I finished a chapter. As I was reading I realised that Chris is actually painting the words as if they are pictures, she has such an eloquent and entertaining way of writing. It has certainly given me an insight into the world of valuable artworks at the top end of the market. And at last I have found some art that I actually like, not that I could ever afford any. I googled the artists names and found more pictures of their works. I particularly like Percy Kelly and Karen Wallbank.
Here is a link to Castlegate House. Chris Wadsworth has now sold the gallery and is concentrating on her writing. I definately recommend this book. The jacket illustration is by Percy Kelly.
Here is a rundown of my food today. Breakfast was bran flakes and a banana. Lunch was beans on toast (half a tin), with Ravioli, three portions in a bag. Oh, and I had a nibble of some cheese while the fridge door was open.
Dinner was a big plate of  Tesco Tagliatelle, three portions in a bag, and a tub of home made veg curry. Very nice, I am stuffed. Nothing else needed.
That's all for now. Have a nice weekend. Toodle pip.


  1. Hello Ilona from House Fairy,
    you read lots of books like me! I mostly read in bed before I go to sleep ,my kindle. For which I load on free books from time to time.

    Well. I am going to change the subject from food to money saving.
    Top of the list - hobby be both agree on.
    How much can we reduce the house bills to? I won on several fronts last year.

    Now we are in 2013 families need to reduce the bills again to keep up with inflation.
    Thank goodness our children are grown up so no more kiddi clubs or schools wanting money weekly for this and that.

    I do not think many will go as far as you with no winter heating and saving the bath water, but we try daily to reduce our out goings.
    It is helpful to read your latest idea's.
    Thank you.

  2. I know Cockermouth, used to live there years ago -great book review.
    Your food for today looks delicious-thanks for sharing. And i agree with house fairy-its always good to check in with you to hear your latest money saving tips.
    Ruth x

  3. Cockermouth, ok off I go to Google maps to find out where it is located. I love G maps.

    Thank you for signing on to my blog. So appreciate having you on board. And thanks so much for the tip re comments. I was unaware and will work to correct that this evening.

    Dinner looks appetizing, the kind of dinner I would enjoy. :)

  4. Cockermouth, about 6 miles from me, and I didn't know of this gallery.

    Biggest attraction in Cockermouth is the Jennings brewery, been there sind about 1850, use their own well water to make real ales, until a few years ago still owned by the Jennings family, but now taken over by one of the national companies.

    And there's Wordsworth House.

  5. I think I'd enjoy that book too, thanks for the tip Ilona.

  6. That book sounds good, I'll make a note of it and see if I can get it in the library, new resolution, as charity shops rarely have something like that unless you're really lucky.

    I love that part of the world but they have been suffering so much from flooding in the last few years.

    By the way, loved some of those pictures you showed us.

  7. Hi Ilona, I am now having the problem you did with not been able to upload photos.
    Even in HTML mode it tries then fails to upload pics. Did this problem resolve itself for you,or did you use the HTML option for this post?
    Jane x