The theme of the WI marquee at Suffolk Show this year was Christmas. Well of course! So I arrived on Tuesday morning to find a bunch of stockings hanging up by the hearth, ready for Santa to deliver the goods. He was there too, with a sleigh full of toys - just the thing for a chilly May morning!
I was there to judge the competition for a Nativity scene and was thrilled to find 28 beautifully made exhibits displayed in the middle of the marquee alongside some lovely flower arrangements. So many talented and enthusiastic people about, ready and willing to take up the challenge and provide visitors to the show with plenty of inspiration.
The following morning, it was time to head home via a concert in Birmingham that evening. Identifying a couple of interesting places to stop off en route, our first fresh air was in Northamptonshire, at Lyveden New Bield - and my goodness, was that air "fresh"! Almost blown away by the force of the cold East wind, we didn't linger long.
We managed a quick peek inside this framework of a building having learned a little from the custodian who was snug in her warm shed.
The building had never been completed, so the empty shell sits out on this open field. On a warmer day, it would be tempting to explore a little more of the surroundings but we chose to head back to the car.
We appreciated the fly past by this Red Kite as we walked back to the car and noticed that we were not the only ones getting blown about.
Just down the road, we paid a visit to the scene of the Battle of Naseby but sadly found little there to enlighten me, the hopeless historian, about the context. Thankfully, google can facilitate a few details for me now I'm home!
Highlight of the day had to be the concert, then. The photo shows the rather unconventional layout for the UK premiere of Jörg Widmann's Antiphon, a piece of music I found to be rather challenging (to say the least). The main work was that of Mahler's 2nd Symphony and we joined an almost capacity audience to hear a stunning performance of a favourite piece.