Wednesday, 27 May 2015

A different bank holiday

Apologies if you're having problems with the photos. I'm not sure what the problem is. (If anyone can tell me, I'd be grateful. Maybe there are too many MBs.)

Yesterday my lovely NHS dentist asked if I'd done anything nice for the bank holiday. As it happened we had - maybe not as exciting as camping, but on my scale of activities above the 50% mark. We'd been to see the Art Week exhibition at the recently opened Sylva Wood Centre, just outside Long Wittenham, not far from here.
The OneOak project

We'd heard about it from our carpenter pal, Pete Beckley, as well as from Mary Blaxland who reupholstered our dining-room chairs for us. She has a start-up workshop there, and Pete was showing some of his artefacts there. Sylva describes itself as a charity working to revive Britain's wood culture. "Sylva works across Britain caring for forests, to ensure they thrive for people and for nature, and supporting innovation in home-grown wood."

Set next to huge rusting barns, the Wood Centre is quite a contrast, particularly inside. When we arrived, we were delighted to find Mary there, talking to a couple of friends. Here are some of the photos I took when we were there which give more of an impression of the variety and originality of a lot of the woodwork there.
One of Mary's Chairs

Before Mary's treatment

In her workshop


Pete Beckley's Jubile table marking the abolition of slavery
Neil Scott with his beautiful work station

Some of Pete's smaller pieces

Simon Clements woodcarving in his workshop
Simon Clements' amazing Crown of Thorns -
and yes, it's all carved from wood.

Jane in wonderland

So after a rather inspiring morning we drove down the road to Neptune Wood, where Jane used to take the late lamented Jess for walks, and had our picnic, before returning home through Oxfordshire lanes fringed with Queen Anne's lace, the old romantic name for Cow Parsley.


  1. Such boisterous excitement is good for you! (Occasionally)

  2. Great post, and the photos come out well on my computer.