Hull 2017 UK City of Culture : Bill Bailey’s Cabinet of Curiosities

Our first port of call of arrival in Hull was the newly reopened and freshly renovated Ferens Art Gallery. After coffee we visited each gallery but no photography is allowed. There’s a very good permanent collection for a provincial gallery, the Freud, Mueck, Tunick SKIN show had us mesmerised (I’d seen Muick’s Wild Man at Belsay Hall in 2010 as part of the Extraordinary Measures show) and my favourite display was Rembrandt’s The Shipbuilder and his Wife and related paintings. The Rembrandt lent by Her Majesty The Queen. Masterpieces from the Royal Collection will see five exceptional works of art travel from Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace between 2017 and 2021 as part of a five-year partnership between the Royal Collection Trust and Ferens Art Gallery. I hope I am able to revisit during this time to see more.

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Boizenburg/Elbe

The drive between Lübeck and Boizenburg takes less than 90 minutes but suddenly along the route we came across a few cars parked by the side of the road next a small fenced off area. Intrigued, Rhona and I swerved into the grassy car park and got out to investigate. Apparently, what began as a school project developed into a small open air museum. It turns out that at that point in the road the former border between east and west Germany had existed.

open air museum

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Lübecker Museen : The Behnhaus-Drägerhaus and The Europäisches Hansemuseum

The Behnhaus-Drägerhaus Museum was totally unknown to me before my visit to Lübeck : but what a gem! Quite a big gem, actually. Just a few doors along Königstrasse from Willy Brandt House at numbers 9 to 11 the Museum/Gallery is housed in two adjoining classical mansions.

Here is a link to a very brief glimpse of the character of the museum.

http://www.3sat.de/mediathek/?mode=play&obj=59007

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Germany, Bornholm and Sweden : a quick resumé of a three week tour

Where to begin? Where to begin? I arrived home on Wednesday after my wonderful visit to Germany and Scandinavia and now comes the hardest part – sifting through photographs and deciding which to include and which to discard.

Here is just a taster selection and I hope to expand on some of the visits and walks during the next couple of weeks.

At Buddenbrooks House, Lübeck

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What’s New and What’s Old in Runcorn and Widnes

Yesterday I picked up friend Ann from her home in Widnes and we’re now spending a few days ‘Sleeping with Books‘ at Gladstone’s Library. After my two-night stay last year I thought it would be interesting to spend a few days in the area and in particular to visit Chirk Castle, which has been on my ‘list’ for a long time.

Widnes is only just over half an hour from Hawarden (home to Gladstone’s Library) and Ann wanted to show me a few sights in her local area. Our first stop was to view the new bridge, The Mersey Gateway Bridge, currently edging its way across the River Mersey.

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Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age, Hermitage Amsterdam

As I’d decided to spend most of the day at The Hermitage I bought the full price ticket (no reductions for pensioners!) and after a tasty lunch of pumpkin soup and apple pie I headed for the other show. There’s no permanent collection, as far as I understand but the Golden Age portraits are showing for an extended period.

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1917 Romanovs & Revolution at The Hermitage, Amsterdam

Last weekend I made a short trip to Amsterdam. My Dutch friend, Monique, who joined me on my Irish trip last year, had invited me to her 60th party and I joined up with two Swiss friends (also called Barbara) for the weekend. We all met when I worked in Cambridge and they were at Language School. That summer (1977) Monique and I went to work at a Hotel in the Bernese Alps. We met up with the Barbaras during our time there and have met up over the years ever since in Boscastle, Italy, London, Grindelwald and Amsterdam. Later this year Tenerife is on the cards!

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The Hermitage Amsterdam

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