Cultural Wednesdays

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20 years a BBC News producer, 11 years and counting Mother of twin boys and now a blogger who gets out of the house once a week to do something Cultural.
Post40Bloggers - book review - 4321 by Paul Auster
On the surface 4 3 2 1 is all about what if, just like Sliding Doors but more literary. It’s that game that all but the most secure of us play at one point or another. How would my life have panned out if my parents were rich or...
Post-40 Bloggers - Book, Shtum, Jem Lester
Shtum: Silent, non-communicative. That is what my dictionary tells me.  Maybe you are keeping Shtum to keep a secret, maybe you don’t have the words or maybe you don’t have a voice. Shtum by Jem Lester tells the story of three generations of men locked in silence for all...
Boggle Hole YHA, photo credit: Cultural Wednesday
Yorkshire was the venue for all my holidays until I was nine. More than forty years down the line I have travelled all over the world but the siren call of the North Yorkshire coast remains strong. So it was that we packed our bags and my Mother into...
Queen Elizabeth I, photo credit National Portrait Gallery
Two Henrys, three Catherines, two Annes, two Janes, Edward, Mary and Elizabeth: we all know the Tudors. They are big beasts of British history: only Arthur and his cakes, William and his conquest, Charles and Cromwell and Victoria with her Empire come close in our collective imagination.  It would...
Compton Verney
Everybody smiles at Compton Verney. Don’t ask me why, they just do. The ladies who sold tickets were lovely. Walking from the carpark to the house we came across groups of happy families picnicking or just generally enjoying the magnificent Capability Brown landscape. A wedding reception was taking place...
Beryl Markham was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic from East to West. Circling the Sun by Paula McLain joins her on the historic flight, the relentless turning of the propeller “Slicing through the years, turning me backward and also endlessly forward, setting me free”. From...
BP Portrait awards, photo credit National Portrait Gallery
Audrey Hepburn is very popular. If you plan to visit the National Portrait Gallery to see the eponymous exhibition then make sure you book tickets. I didn’t and so headed off to see the BP Portrait Award display instead. Every year for the past 36 years anybody over the age of 18...
A Proper Family Adventure, Chrissie Manby
As the engines started to roar on the “Normandie Express” I clicked open my Kindle and embarked on “A Proper Family Adventure” by Chrissie Manby. OK so I was onboard a catamaran bound for France rather than a luxurious cruise ship but a girl can dream. I was soon ensconced...
&A Shoes Pleasure and Pain exhibition
Shoes: Pleasure and Pain Exhibition, 13 June 2015 - 31 January 2016, V&A, London. This exhibition looks at the extremes of footwear from around the globe, presenting around 200 pairs of shoes ranging from a sandal decorated in pure gold leaf originating from ancient Egypt to the most elaborate...
Prospect Cottage Garden, Dungeness
Want to go to the seaside but also fancy a spot of garden visiting? Then head to Prospect Cottage Garden, Dungeness. Not only do you get to experience one of the more unusual places in the UK but you can also see one of its more extraordinary gardens. Catherine,...
Illustration of men carrying the Magna Carta, photo credit BBC History Magazine
Magna Carta has been in the news over the last week and not just because of politicians citing it during the election campaign! An initiative by the Magna Carta Trust means that every primary school in the UK will be provided with a copy of it to mark the 800th...
Rubens Pan and Syrinx painting, photo credit Royal Academy of Arts
Voluptuous nudes and rather fine ceilings are what spring into my mind when Rubens is mentioned. In fact he was a breaker of artistic moulds and his influence still holds sway today according to the latest blockbuster exhibition at the Royal Academy. Sometimes the theme of Rubens’ legacy is a little...