Welcome to the Gallery

Imagine is set in the Suffolk village of Long Melford.
This is an attempt to record the daily trials, tribulation and pleasure of running an art gallery.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

It was only as I thought to write this post that I understood just how far behind I am with many things,
emails, letters, telephone calls, picture taking, web site updating, calls, etc, etc.
It seems that the daily life of just running the gallery has taken me away from more things than I had
imagined, I suppose that is a good sign as it means we are busy, busy doing many things.
This is also the time of year when I tend to do a lot of travelling, as there are interesting fairs, events and exhibitions happening all over the country.
So in a short period of time I seem to squeeze in a years worth of driving.
In theory this should be good as it means that I return with lots of new art plus also I should have lots to write about, telling you of the many interesting people that I have met and the places I have seen.
Somehow though it all just becomes a blur as one journey merges with another, in fact I often have to concentrate to remember where I have been. Of course this isn't helped by the fact that one 'Travelodge'
seems exactly the same as the last.
Maybe I'm getting confused, perhaps I have only stayed at one, who knows?
So I thought before all of my memories where erased I would just make a small mention of one trip
while it stays in my memory.

I travelled North, and as usual if the opportunity arises I will make this coincide with a stay at what has become my "home from home",
 The Green Dragon Inn, at Hardraw in Yorkshire.
It is a place that I am made to feel so welcome that at times I  have often driven 5 hours home with the door key in my pocket, this is usually because Mark the owner insists on having a "cuppa" and a chat about artists before I set off,
The quick coffee ends up taking an hour and a half by which time I forget I'm a customer, shake his hand, saying " see you in a couple of weeks".
It seems natural to leave with my own door key.
However on this trip "there was no room at the Inn", except for my last night before I returned home,
so for this adventure like many before the car was my bedroom.
But it was a bedroom with a fantastic view, 'Ullswater' in the Lake District.

To say that the weather had been bad in England would be something of an understatement,
while the rest of the World struggled with heat and drought here we were almost sinking in rainwater.
So after a day spent at a ceramic fair my evening and night was spent by the lake.
Although I have done this many times before it has never been like this visit, the area was deserted.
No campers, indeed no holiday makers. It seemed I had the lake to myself for the evening and night.
What a night.
I think that every conceivable weather change happened within 12 hours, as a result although I was able to witness some incredible changes in light, colour, mist, hail and rain I didn't take one photograph
until the following morning.
That morning started with rain, then sun for a short time then back to rain, then sun, then rain.............
Above is one of the early good periods. 

Luckily after another long day at the ceramic fair I was able to set off for home and a real bed.
The Green Dragon, of course.
Some of the treasures that I collected at the fair I will have to show at a later date or I will never
get this finished, but I will mention that I "bumped" into a fellow blogger at the show.
An American potter named Dan Finnigan.
It was a genuine pleasure to meet the real person, plus an added pleasure to find him such a real 'gentle'man. I do hope we meet again one day.

So, Green Dragon and 'comfy' bed. I was on my way.
I had forgotten that they were holding their annual "Gathering", which is an incredible, not to be missed Folk music event. I mean "real" folk music.
The kind where local farmers turn up, with their guitars, banjo's, accordions, flute etc,etc,
 sit beside famous musicians in the various rooms and all lose themselves in music.
How could I have forgotten?
This was the reason that they could only fit me in for one night, hundreds of people had descended upon this remote hillside inn, plus me.
I had been reserved the best suite at the Inn, which is an indication of what nice people 
[Mark & Yvonne] are, but it was directly above one of the Bar rooms where the music was underway
as I arrived. The atmosphere is so good I was determined to enjoy some of it, but after half an hour and a pint of cider I decided that I was "just too tired".
I hated myself for giving way to tiredness and knew that I would regret it at a later date, but upstairs I went, showered and climbed into my enormous bed.

I forgot to mention that the rooms all have large open Fireplaces, there was one in my room and one 
alight in the room below, this meant that all sound travelled.
Still it wasn't a problem, after a night in the car I would sleep though anything, I did for a while.
I awoke,
It was two in the morning, the sound of a beautiful voice had crept into my mind.
Up the chimney came a woman's voice sing "Sounds of Silence".
For a few seconds I lay savouring it, thirty seconds later with trousers on [just] I was downstairs
witnessing this "magic".
That is the only way I can describe the event that I found.
A room lit by firelight, people of all ages playing instruments, violin, guitar, flute and voice.
The songs were all from an earlier generation, my generation.
The evening finished with a man singing a love song to his wife, they were sitting on a giant old Oak settle, barely illuminated by the fire.
He sang that he loved her and she sat twisting her hands looking at the floor like a young girl,
it was wonderful and I was so pleased to have witnessed this ending to the event.

The next morning when I came downstairs for breakfast it was as nothing had happened,
the inn was spotless and empty except for me.
As Yvonne said to me "it seems like it was a dream".
It was to me, but seeing that she was still wearing last night's cloths I imagine it had been a nightmare,
cleaning and preparing throughout the night.

So I left the "Dragon" with its crazy "No Hippy" sign
[you don't find many of them in North Yorkshire], and their waterfall,
heading North and East.
Once again travelling through four seasons in a day, I visited a glass maker and a sculptor and
I think the pictures show it wasn't a wasted journey.
But as they say that is for another day.

Plus loads has happened since.


  1. what a beautiful post, the story of the late night music brought tears to the eyes... but oh dear... guess this old hippie wouldn't be welcome at the Green Dragon Inn!

  2. No you are wrong Mo.
    That is the whole point of the sign as Mark is an old hippy and the sign is a joke [plus there is no back door].
    I did mention to him that someone would complain sometime.
    "Oh, they have, many times, but if people haven't got a bloody sense of humour then I don't want them in my pub", he answered.
    It is a very happy place.