As promised this post is mostly about our visit to Lindisfarne, a precious and magical island off the coast of Northumberland which is cut off by the tide twice a day. We were really lucky in that the tides were right for our visit and we were able to get a bus from Berwick which left us on the island just before 11 in the morning and came back for us shortly before 7 in the evening. We have been to Lindisfarne twice in the past including a week spent in a cottage 9 years ago. If you click on the link above you will find a wealth of information about this beautiful place which has an ancient history that is almost tangible.
First things first, as we got off our bus we were met by Julia and her husband who we know through blogging. Julia loves working in mixed media but she is also a very talented digital artist and I would love to live near enough to have some lessons from her ;o) Speaking of mixed media, Julia spoiled me totally with some beautiful gifts that overwhelmed me with her generosity and also her skill.
This beautiful cutwork is called 'Lovers' Knot'. It is a Celtic knot, which is very appropriate for a visit to Lindisfarne, and Julie has skilfully cut out the negative shapes to leave this intricate shape. It has beautiful beading too and rests on an interesting piece of organza with a thread running through it. It is in fact framed but I had difficulty photographing it in its entirety due to reflected light.
Not content with giving me the Lovers Knot Julia also gave me this pretty bag, distressed sheers and felt brooch and another beautiful knot that I am going to use in the sketchbook I am making with Carole. Thank you so much Julia for your beautiful gifts.
So what's the first thing you do when you meet up with friends? Go for a cuppa of course! These sparrows were amazingly tame and came to Keith's hand for crumbs of cake. I'm afraid we ate the cakes before I thought to take any photos. Suitably refreshed we headed out to Lindisfarne Castle which is a National Trust property.
The castle was originally an Elizabethan fort but was converted to an Edwardian home by Sir Edwin Lutyens. I had not been familiar with Lutyens' designs before but I liked the simple lines of his furniture and architectural motifs. There was lots of inspiration in surface patterns and textures.
Standing apart form the castle and protected by a stone wall is the Castle garden which was designed by Gertrude Jekyll, who worked in conjunction with Lutyens on many gardens.
Considering its proximity to the sea and its relatively exposed position the garden had a beautiful array of plants in flower.
I think this plant above is fennel and I was struck by the delicate fronds and the movement made by the lines of the stems. I'm sure this could be interpreted in stitch. There were lots of beautiful poppy seedheads too. (I've lost the photos I took of the patterns on the seedheads). :o(
These delicate harebells were growing out of the parapet around the castle terrace. You can see it was a bit of a showery day but that just added to the atmosphere.
The sheds in the photograph above are made from upturned boats that have been cut down and doors fitted to the 'front'. There are more down on the foreshore that are used by local fishermen for their fishing tackle.
Once the causeway reopened Julie and Keith headed off for home and DH and I took a walk down to the beach for a quick beachcomb. The tide was well on its way out and the clouds were quite low down on the mainland.
As I wandered about the beach I could hear seals 'singing' in the distance. It was a most haunting sound. I have been trying to find a sound clip on You Tube but I can't find anything that approaches what we heard. We could see the seals just the other side of the small island you can see in the photograph above.
The shingle beaches gave me several sources for potential future design work.
Having spent a day on Lindisfarne again we are now thinking that we really should go back again for a proper visit. Maybe we'll see you there?