The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a great place for a walk with added interest but today my focus was to get to see the Ed Kluz exhibition in the gallery and main building. It poured with rain all the way there from Leeds but upon arrival the sun came out and the day was dry. Nevertheless I didn’t stray far into the park on this occasion. I have two further visits planned in March and April.
“Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft presents the story of outstanding artist, designer and typographer Elizabeth Friedlander. The work of Friedlander (1903-1984) is instantly recognisable as mid-20th century design at its best, but few will know the name behind the art. Best known for her Penguin book covers and Bauer Type Foundry typeface ‘Elizabeth’, the exhibition touches on her escape to London from 1930s Nazi Germany, friendship with her sponsor – poet and printer Francis Meynell – and her work with a wartime British black propaganda unit. The show includes rarely-seen works from the artist’s compelling career including type design, wood engravings, decorative book papers, maps and commercial work.
A few weeks ago I read an article in the latest Art Fund Quarterly magazine about the beautiful calligraphy and design work of Elizabeth Friedlander. As I read I realised that the venue for the exhibition of her work was The Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft in East Sussex. I remembered that friend (and regular commenter here) Fran, had recommended me to stop at this museum on my journey to Laughton Place back in 2014. In the end the traffic hold-ups in London meant that time was pressing and I would have insufficient time to do a visit justice. Upon realising that Ditchling was not a million miles from Godalming, where I’m pug-sitting this week, I suggested meeting Fran there and seeing the exhibition in good company.
The London Mithraeum at 12 Walbrook was brought to our notice by one of the volunteer Friends of the City Churches at St Mary Abchurch. We had never heard of it but are glad now that we have. Strictly speaking, although entry is free, you do need to book in advance. Even though we hadn’t heard of it many others obviously had. There must have been a lull so the receptionist allowed us to come in, gave us the booklet and advised us of the procedure.
It’s my last day here in the Alps. I fly home tomorrow. I spent another day walking on prepared snowy paths in Central Switzerland. I joined my friend Kathrin on the train from Meiringen and we travelled just over the Brünig Pass to the village of Lungern where I worked in the hotel for the summer of 1975. The family I worked for at the Hotel Rössli became great friends of ours and the niece and her family that visited me on Sunday. The hotel is long gone and has been replaced, sadly, by a bank branch. The train journey took just over twenty minutes and we soon arrived at Lungern station. After a twenty minute walk we were at the totally new cable car station, only opened last year.
A walk along the Hasliberger Dorfweg (Hasliberg village trail) is like a 1960s geography lesson brought to life. Just as I did yesterday, I took the crowded cable car from Meiringen/Alpbach to Reuti at one end of the trail. In school we learnt how to draw a Swiss chalet and the practicality of the design. We learned about transhumance and how self-sufficient each farm needed to be and about diversification. In physical geography we studied glaciers and valley shapes and the importance of communication routes. The evidence is all to be found on this walk.
Hooray! This morning the rain had stopped and the sun came out and it was time to head up, up, up to the nearest peak and make my way back down quite a bit of it on foot.
Yesterday one of my teeth broke whilst eating lunch with my friend Barbara in Bern. She made an appointment for me to visit a dentist in Lucerne this afternoon. It’s a lovely journey from Meiringen on a train with picture windows which winds its way up and over the Brünig Pass out of the Bernese Alps region and into Central Switzerland.
There are probably other places in the world that have a claim to fame not from being the birthplace of a famous author but from being the location of the death of a character of fiction. But the ‘Borough’ of Meiringen in the Bernese Alps, as well as being the birthplace of the meringue, is also well-known throughout the world as the location of the dramatic ‘death’ of fictional English sleuth Sherlock Holmes, maybe the most famous. The Sherlock Holmes Museum is housed in the former English Church right opposite my hotel.
The present-day Charterhouse School is located just outside the town of Godalming in Surrey and I have driven past it many a time on my way to or from the A3 and our son’s house. The school was originally established for the education of bright boys from poor families in the city. Looking at the school down in Surrey today I think it’s only for the very wealthy. But the original Charterhouse still stands in a quiet square away from the hustle and bustle of the City of London.