Some things I’ve been in to this week:
A painting: I briefly called in to the Leeds Art Gallery when I was in the city last Sunday and this painting on the staircase stopped me in my tracks. It’s called The Day of Atonement by Jacob Kramer and at full scale feels powerful and creates a drama, a mystery and a feeling of contemplation which I enjoy.
An art exhibition: One of the current temporary exhibitions at Leeds Art Gallery is Nocturne. This exhibition shows a collection of paintings and photographs of places set in moonlight, including some by one of my favourite artists John Atkinson Grimshaw. Powerful, dramatic and melancholic.
A TV programme and a building: As someone who is fascinated by architecture and who would love to build his own home one day it’s no great surprise that I also love Channel 4’s Grand Designs. More4 recently repeated a programme about a largely subterranean house squeezed on to a tiny plot of round surrounded by other houses in North London. It shows what you can do even in a crowded city and manages to be an absolutely stunning place to live. Sadly the programme has already disappeared from 4OD, but this clip gives you a flavour although only by seeing the building in its final form do you really appreciate it.
A blog post: There’s been a lot of Lib Dems understandably wanting to voice their opinion on the future direction of the party following this year’s Local and European Elections. Some have followed the predictable ‘let’s bin Clegg’ line, but Lib Dem Voice have run a number of other quite thoughtful articles. This first one from Elwyn Watkins is good at bringing a bit of the real world to the story of what goes on in some of the more difficult areas where we’re finding it hard to reach at present.
Another blog post: Adam Killeya’s article about us resdiscovering Our Radical Edge is the other blog post I’ve picked out from Lib Dem Voice. This one shows that whilst the party has done some great things in government, what is there for younger people? This particularly stands out as Adam is almost (albeit slightly younger) a contemporary of mine and so the big issues when he joined the Lib Dems were similar to when I did.
A place to visit: The day after the European Election count (a very late night was spent being utterly bored and depressed in Leeds) I wanted a day out somewhere I’d not been to before. That place was the nearest National Trust property to where I live that I’d not been to – The Workhouse Southwell in Nottinghamshire. It may seem appropriate that I visited a workhouse just after a load of Lib Dem MEPs and staff lost their jobs, but I can recommend this as a fascinating place to visit. Informative and educational, and a place that gives more than just one dimension to the story, and most significantly a guide who was remarkable in bringing the place to life.