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.

Thursday 24 June 2010

It is a hot and humid evening, outside there are people in the street sitting enjoying ice cold
beers at one of the villages six pubs
[alcoholics are well catered for in Long Melford].
I just wish that I could join them but unfortunately I am still sitting in the gallery
which is not unusual, but today I would have liked to have gone home early for a change.
the reason I am here is because I am waiting for a delivery from "the printer".
He has been working on the new invitations for our sculpture exhibition which starts in July.
For once I am well ahead with preparations [that can change] and to have invitations this early is really unusual for me, but I must have at least a few hundred this evening because tomorrow I am visiting a large ceramic fair in Nottingham,
considering that the majority of the sculpture in our exhibition will be made of ceramics it seems a logical thing to drop off invitations at the fair.

One of the sculptors best known who will be showing with us is a lady named Emma Rodgers.
Her work is widely collected on many continents and although we have shown her art in the past it is still something of an achievement for us to have her here.
A while back I took out a page advertisement in a National magazine to promote the event,
after a lot of consideration I chose a picture of one of Emma's pieces to illustrate it.
Two days ago Emma called me to thank me for featuring her sculpture,
"that was really nice of you to do that".
It made me think "just how many artists as big as her would have bothered"?

Lots of them expect it as their due, so it was appreciated that she understood that it
represented a large financial commitment from us.
But of course that's OK as we hope to benefit from it also.

"I was thinking", she said. "As you have featured that sculpture you must have it in the
exhibition, you can have it instead of the Boxing Hares".
Knowing that the Hares stand about five feet high, and this was to replace them, I asked.
"How large is it".
"Oh, about eight feet tall".

I think we will be having the Hares.

The sculpture she had referred to was a bronze 'Dancer'. Emma is renowned for her
sculptures of dancers, she names them after the women who modelled for her and when they
are seen in groups it is possible [although no features are shown] to recognise the individuals
just from there different postures and movements.
But, this large 'Dancer' is like nothing I have ever seen,
at the moment it resides in a museum
and it is incredible to think that it was being offered to us.

When Irene first saw pictures of it she called me from home to say
"I think it is the most beautiful piece she has ever made".
Perhaps it is.
Not only is it massive but it is also very unusual.
It appears that a piece of dress is flowing behind the figure, but on closer inspection you
can observe that there is much more than fabric being shown.
A city skyline can be made out emerging from the fabric, it is possible to make out individual
buildings [there are even Ruby's set amongst them].
The skyline is Liverpool. Emma's home and birthplace.
The museum where it is displayed is the one she used to visit as a young girl, marvelling at
the work, and famous artists displayed there. It was one of her inspirations.
I know that she is so proud to have her work shown inside those walls.

How lovely for us, that she was offering this significant work to be shown here.
Unfortunately, I just don't think we have the space to do justice to such a sculpture,
so with reluctance and a heavy heart we will have the Boxing Hares.
I'm still trying to work out what the bad news is.
If, having a sculpture which is shown at the V&A Museum is the bad news then I want more.

Well, this brings me to a timely end, as a gentleman has just arrived with boxes of invitations.
I've checked and they are perfect, so it's time to turn the lights off close the door and to
go home and enjoy what is left of this lovely evening.

Above is the advertisement featuring the 'Dancer' [look for the skyline].
Emma at the museum putting some finishing touches to it before it was first shown, then some of the other pieces that will be on show [and for sale] at our exhibition.
One of Herman Muys [famous] 'Throne Figures', and also a Horse by him, followed by a
Paul Priest sculpture titled.
'Awaiting the Raptor's Return'.

Saturday 19 June 2010

I often look at the blogs of artist's sculptors and potters and marvel at how interesting they are.
Many times this is because of the unusual life they all seem to lead, but also because
many times they show "work in progress", and this I find totally fascinating.
Seeing something evolve from the original doodle or design, through the various stages of creation until at last a beautiful work of art is born.
It has made me feel that what I go on about and the things I show as being a little static and not
involved with creation enough.
I consoled myself by thinking "heh, I don't get out much and don't have time to create anything".
But on consideration, of course I do. Every time a new exhibition is set out this is a form of creation so I decided that next time [in two weeks] I do this I will record the changes that take shape within the gallery.
" That should be more interesting", I thought.
Meanwhile what other things could I display that would show a creative process?
It was obvious. Me.
Or more precisely one of my photographs, or the creation of it.

People often tell me that my photographs look like old paintings, in fact I am told that they look like the paintings of Vermeer. I am not saying this to boast, it is just a coincidence, in fact I had never heard of him until I was told that my photographs looked like his reminded people of his work. As a result "I looked him up" and found that of course he was the man who painted
'The Girl with the Pearl Earring'.
A film I had never seen at the time but which is now one of my favourites.
Once I had recognised myself that some of my pictures did look like paintings I decided that the one thing that I would "never" do was to try and re-create a painting as a photograph.

But, I have always really loved the famous Pre-Raphaelite painting 'Ophelia' by John Millais.
I find it so very sad, gentle and moving, and very beautiful.

"Could I reproduce that as a photograph"? I wondered.
Ignoring my own rules I decided to give it a shot.

Anyone who has seen more than one of my pictures will notice that the same girls appear,
in different cloths and in different locations [more about this another day].
So I asked the "usual suspects", would one of them be prepared to lay in a stream or lake,
clothed in a period costume while I took photographs.
Three of them agreed so I knew that this could actually happen.
However, a long period of time passed and none of them settled on an actual day to do this.
With the passing of time it became obvious to me, they had given it thought and decided that
although I might be mad they certainly were not.
So I accepted that it would never happen.
Then one day I had a call from one of them, "when are we going to shoot this picture"?

It was October, and though the days were bright and sunny it was very cold and with morning frosts just starting.
I replied that I didn't know if it was a good idea as it was so cold, but "I would if she would".
We agreed we would try the next day, on the understanding that if the water was too cold
then she wouldn't do it.

The water was freezing, but much to my delight and eternal gratitude the lovely girl decided to go ahead and immerse herself.
The location was a small stream about a mile from the gallery [I didn't at the time, but now I live with this stream running just a few yards from my door].
Alice O'Mahoney is the name of the model and I will never forget that cold bright morning
when complete in 'Tudor' costume she lay down in the shallow stream.
I intended to just take a few shots of her so that she could get out of the water and then intended to take more pictures later, as I knew that the finished picture would have to be built as a montage of different shots.
I took about 5 pictures then announced "OK, that's it get out before you freeze".
As she climbed out of the stream I realised to my horror that her clothes were still dry on the front, because of course [true to the painting] she had laid on her back.
" No good, you will have to do it again, you are supposed to have drowned, you need to be wet all over".
Without a murmur poor Alice stepped back into the stream and fully immersed herself.

This time I decided that I would really have to concentrate and make sure that I got the pictures that I was after. I became so involved with checking the camera settings, getting the angles right I forgot about Alice until through clenched teeth she whispered
"please hurry up I'm so cold".
I felt awful, I had totally forgotten about the young woman, alive and very cold, laying in a stream on a winter morning. To me she had become the drowned woman of the painting.

So we [friends] got her out of the water and took her indoors for a shower and a hot "cuppa".

Later in the day we shook hands and agreed that if ever anything [good] happened with the
picture we would share the proceeds.
The making of the picture was published in a photography magazine but no payment was offered, and to this day there has never been any commercial interest in it.
Alice went on to become an archaeologist and I a gallery owner.
But I will never forget that exciting day, the wonderful girl, and of course the finished picture.

I went back the next day and took many more "detail" photographs
[ including the plastic flowers that I planted].
As I took these pictures a Robin kept flying from branch to branch and appeared in many of my snaps. So many times I decided to leave the bird in the finished picture,
which was made up from 36 different photographs.
I'm glad that I did, because much later I was told by an artist friend
"He loved the fact that I had included THE Robin".
I looked again at the original painting, and there unknown to me was a Robin,
observing the drowned Ophelia.
Obviously some things are meant to happen.

Above is the final picture along with a couple of "on the way" montages and two of poor Alice
drying herself and 'on route' for a shower.

Thank you Alice, I haven't forgotten our "handshake", maybe one day someone will buy the picture and make your efforts worthwhile.

Thursday 17 June 2010

So many times in the last week I have intended to do a new post,
but life has a habit of getting in the way.
Most of the week has been spent getting the gallery back to a "sort of" normal appearance
after the last exhibition.
Because for a couple of weeks the gallery had been turned over to 'one man's' art it had taken on a little of a 'Spartan' appearance, and I must admit I liked it, sometimes less really can be more.
I decided that rather than putting as large a variety of artworks as possible back on display I
would keep it simple and see what the reaction would be.
It's strange that even though less was displayed it still took three complete days to arrange everything to my satisfaction, to me it looks really good but now I will let the public decide.
I have always liked having lots of work displayed, some of it "hidden" so that every now and then a visitor would exclaim "look what I've found" when they chanced on a partially visible object.
I suppose that it is because of the child within me, I want people to find hidden treasure.
But for a while I'm trying it with [just a little] less.
It looks good and everything displayed looks as it should, really special.

Apart from the packing, unpacking, re-arranging side of things it has been another week of
paperwork and designing.
It has been such a glorious week I have yearned to be outside enjoying the wonderful English
summer, every now and again I go outside, look at the sky and the trees and think "this is wonderful, why am I inside"?
Why? Because I have to be, I have so many things to do, none of them exciting but they all
contribute to keeping the gallery on 'track'.
One of the most important things that had to be done was to design the invitation for the
next exhibition and to get it to the printers.
I have enjoyed this [I would rather have been sitting in a field with the sun on my face] but I
tend to have too many ideas running through my head, as a result I end up doing many different versions of the invitations.
It's a bit silly really as I don't suppose many people even look twice at them, but to me it becomes very important.
This is other peoples art and I feel that I mustn't let them down, so the invitations have to be the best that I can design.
But, it's hard to focus with the sun shining outside, and inside the constant distractions of
Visitors can of course include the other shop owners and people who live in the village.

Long ago I decided that Long Melford was 'Under Milkwood' re-born.
It is a wondrous place full of so many larger than life characters and individuals.
If Dylan Thomas hadn't written it long ago then I'm sure I could have done a Suffolk version.
I will some time soon do a post about the place, which will include many of my favourites
like DUNCAN [say in a loud voice] and Paul "The Hairdresser".
Without these people my life would be less rich, but I might get a "bloody lot more done".

However, back to my 'dithering' about the invitations.
I think that in the end I settled on the best version but the front cover had me pondering
for over two hours, in the end the printers deadline made me make a "snap decision", so I
made my choice, put everything on disc and sent it to be printed.
Job done, as long as they don't print two pages twice like the last time.
Hhhmmmmm! Maybe I should have given them both covers, that way the chances are they would have printed both and at least it would have put my indecision at rest.

Having at last "cleared the desk" of this problem my thoughts turned to other
things, art and events.
In the next couple of weeks I have to do a lot of travelling, returning and collecting art, visiting
various 'Art' exhibitions, events and fairs and meeting up with friends 'old and [I hope] new'.
One of these is someone I haven't seen for over a year.
This is my friend and sculptor Toon Thijs.
Toon is from Holland and has a "larger than life" personality, very much like his work.
I have one piece of his that I had long coveted, it is from a limited edition.
The edition was of only fifteen sculptures, it was a little sad and different to his other pieces.
Every time I met with him I would ask if I could have one for the gallery, every time the answer was the same "no, too many people's want this piece", he would explain in his [near] perfect English.
So I accepted that I would never have this piece of sculpture.
But, of course at our last meeting he called out to me "John,I have somesing for you".
It was the last piece, no.15 of 15.
It is a strange sculpture called 'The Plateau", but on the occasions that I have displayed it I have named it "The Last Flight".
I understand that I shouldn't do this, but that's OK as Toon doesn't read the blog.

So, in between thinking about the people I will be seeing, and places I will visit I have also given thought to what new art I should be looking to bring to the gallery.
By chance an American visitor told me earlier in the week that she thought the work of
Rob Gonsalves
would really fit in with our gallery.
Two days later, after a lot of calls and emails I am in a position that now I would be allowed to have some of his art.
This has given me cause to hesitate and to think deeply [unusual for me], I have to imagine how it would sit with some of our other work.
It really intrigues me, but, I am going to sleep on it.

Well one thing for sure is, I am going to sleep.
In fact Irene told me last night that is all I do once I am home.
It's true.
I think I need to get out and see and photograph some life.
I must remind myself that the gallery is part of my life, not all of it.

Heh! For just a second then I nearly fooled myself.

The pictures are my two different invitation covers [guess what I went with].
'The Last Flight', by Toon, plus a detail picture which I think explains my title,
and a lovely intriguing picture by Rob Gonsalves.

Friday 11 June 2010

It's a funny old life running a gallery in a Countryside location.
Because you are not in the centre of London customers tend to think that even though you sell
the same art as Bond Street you are going to sell it for less.
I even had someone telling me this week that he knew what my percentages where so I could
afford to drop the price.
He obviously hadn't taken into consideration that I love what I show and as as a result I didn't expect to make the same money as a London gallery.
Perhaps, unfortunately the art I show here is more for love than excessive gain.
We may indeed sell as much work, and of the same artists as a London gallery, but perhaps mistakenly we are not driven by the same greed.
So it comes as a great surprise and even greater disappointment when you are told
by an "art collector" how much you are making, from the work you sell.

Much of the different art on show here I cherish, and would really love to own for myself,
But as a gallery owner I am very fortunate that I get to see and handle fantastic works.
For just a short space in time they are mine.
Tell me who could want for more?
Sometimes I wished sales were slower, just so that I could enjoy the works for longer.

That is how it has been today, different things have left which have made me richer and poorer,
but what was the most rewarding thing is that they all went to nice people.
Customers that may have taken up a couple of hours of my time, but were really appreciative
and wanting to know more about the art that they had purchased.
These transactions and events are really enjoyable, and even when people don't purchase on the day but just want to talk about the artist/sculptor/potter of certain pieces that they love, then this can lead to the most rewarding of days.
Much better a lover than an investor, although on occasions the pair do combine.

So I suppose I have been thinking about art, collectors and artists all day.
Which of course then had me thinking about what art we have and what we will be expecting.

I have been giving lots of thought about who we might exhibit next year.
I have a mental list that exceeds the amount of months in the year, so now that time is passing too rapidly I am trying to "whittle" down my wish list.
Some artists are "set in stone", such as Lorell Lehman and Lindsey Carr along with the potter
Maureen Minchin, but there are so many artists that I still want to approach.

Artists, potters and sculptors.
I think that it is very likely that we will show the potter John Bedding and the illustrator
Iassen Ghieselev, but there are so many other people that I want to fit in also.
Irish sculptors, Fidelma Massey, Anna Duncan and Christy Keeney are on my mind.
Also English artist Paul Rumsey paired with Jean Fontaine the French sculptor are occupying my thoughts, along with potters, Mike Dodd and Adam Frew and ceramic sculptors like Pierre Williams and Eve Shepherd.
And of course the great artist Michael Parkes will have to feature at sometime.
There are just so many people I admire and so few months to squeeze them all in.
I will have to concentrate, but whoever we show it will only because of the quality of the art they produce, not the price that they are prepared to sell at.

Above are the pots of John Bedding a picture by Michael Parkes and one of Christy Keeney's

Tuesday 8 June 2010

It feels like I am in the eye of the hurricane at the moment.
The Jim Malone exhibition continues and it is still demanding lots of time before it comes
to a conclusion. The pressure of preparation before the opening is over but there are many things still to do, and indeed we are still promoting it as much as we can.
Never the less, things are a bit calmer now.
BUT! The next exhibition is on the horizon and this is starting to worry me, not for any particular reason, but I just don't want to leave a 'stone unturned' in the promotion of it.
I have spent the last couple of days calling the artists, finding out if they have any pictures of
pieces that we will show, so that they can be included on the invitation.

The exhibition is titled 'SCULPTOR', and it features the work of five different artists.
Emma Rodgers, John Maltby, Herman Muys, Paul Priest and Eve Shepherd.

Emma Rodgers, as usual was well "in front of the game" and had images prepared for me.
But even better.
She had called me a couple of weeks ago, just as I was leaving for the printers to get the
re-prints of Jim's invitations.
It is always the way, whenever you have a really important call or visit something intervenes.
I really wanted to speak with her and hear what she was telling me but my mind was screaming "get to the printers",
So I confess I was very short to point of rudeness with her.

Emma is one of the most prominent young sculptors in the country, and she has helped the gallery in many ways and been very generous in the past.
She has never needed to be involved with us, she can sell her sculptures wherever and in whatever country she chooses, but she is that sort of woman.
She does what pleases her.
We have had "up's and down's", but she has remained to be one of the nicest and most professional artists that we have dealt with, and I am ever grateful for her support.

She, like the artist Jackie Morris doesn't need us, but for whatever reason allows us to show her
beautiful and highly sought after art.

So! Emma was telling me that she thought it would be good for us to have her bronze
"Boxing Hares" in the exhibition.
These are on permanent display in the V&A Museum, and this was the last available sculpture
world wide.
"No it's too big, anyway I can't talk now I have to rush", was what I replied.
Or something along those lines [I hope not that rudely].
We finished the conversation and I rushed off out to the printers.

Thirty minutes later, new invitations in hand and panic over I re-played in my mind what she had said to me.
What an idiot [actually, my mind said much stronger words].
How could I have turned these down?
Such a prestigious and beautiful work of sculpture.

Luckily, some people know me better than I know myself, so when I called her this week
asking if she had any pictures of pieces for me she said [in her lovely Liverpudlian accent]
"Oh! By the way I'm including the Hares, I think they would be good for you".

Thank you Emma.
Sometimes it's good to have someone holding your hand.

I spoke with another sculptor, John Maltby.
A very famous English ceramic sculptor, and one in poor health and advancing years.
Another person who doesn't need us, but has chosen to be part of us.
I understood from the conversation that he was in poor health, and I really regretted any pressure that I was putting on him. He doesn't need it.
However, all he said was "tell me the date you need them and I will get them done".
These sculptures of his will be the last from his kiln as he said that it is on the verge of collapse
and can't be used ever again.
So we will have a little piece of history on show from a very great and collected artist.

I am still awaiting pictures of sculptures that we shall have from the other artists, but I am sure before the week is out I shall be showing them to you.

So just to show you what I am preparing for her are a few photo's.
Just looking at the different things makes me excited, I can't wait to see and touch them.

But before that.
I just had an occasion to go outside [I must add that it is 7.40 pm and all other sensible gallery
and shop owners have gone home long ago].
It is a typical 'Suffolk' evening. Beautiful, large, bright stormy grey skies, but with such strong
evening sunlight. Illuminating the many and varied coloured cottages along the road.
It is an evening that makes you feel "good to be alive".
So why am I not at home enjoying it?
Because I am following a dream, a dream that shows a different beauty. One created by people,
just ordinary people, but with extraordinary talents.

I turned and walked back inside thinking "what am I still doing here"?
Looking around I understood why.
The beauty was without and within.

Above we have Emma's Hares.
A beautiful intriguing Herman Muys sculpture
Detail of a "Dancer" by Emma.
John Maltby "Wall Piece".
Plus a piece by an artist who wasn't include but I have a VERY strong feeling she will be.
Monique Muylaert.

Saturday 5 June 2010

I had better get back to the 'Jim Malone' exhibition.
This exhibition by one of the UK's greatest potters opened here at the gallery less than a week ago, which seems very strange as it feels almost like a year ago.
The pressure of holding an event by such an important artist was immense.
On many occasions I felt that I wanted to walk away and pretend that it wasn't happening.
That's the trouble with showing the work of hero's, you just feel
"we are not worthy".
But of course we were, and perhaps more so than some bigger galleries who are just looking to make a "fast buck". This was a homage to someone that I have respected for a lifetime.

The opening of the event was unlike any that we have held, with people queuing at the door and
the telephone ringing constantly from two hours before the opening.
We had to open the door twenty minutes early as people were trying to purchase 'on-line' and by telephone and I had an awful feeling that when we opened the door at 12. noon there would be a riot if most of the major pieces had sold, especially as one man kept banging on the door calling out " I have travelled 300 miles let me in".
So for the first time ever we opened twenty minutes early.
Twenty minutes later over half the ceramics had gone, and this is how the day continued.
Jim Malone who arrived precisely at noon was "hounded" by fans as soon as he climbed from his car and I had no chance to talk to him for five hours.
By then he was exhausted, from talking to fans, signing autographs and posing for pictures.
I was exhausted by just doing what I normally do "talking to friends [customers], enthusing about the work, and drinking every glass of wine that was offered me.
It was a great day.
Most of the ceramics were sold and we were all happy, so off we went for a celebratory meal and drinks. But that really is "another story".

Since the opening we have had a constant stream of visitors/fans which has been fantastic, with only one problem.
Most of the work has sold.
We have had every different type of enthusiast here.
Film directors, gallery owners, museum curators plus many, many collectors.

What was especially nice was to know that one pot [perhaps the best] sold to the wife of
John Anderson, the man who produced the famous film about
'Isaac Button' the last of the English country potters.
The lady who I know will forgive me for saying she is 'advanced in years', acted like a young girl at the opening, she was obviously so happy to be amongst beautiful pots and with the company
of people who appreciated them.
" I know John would have wanted me to buy this", she said of her purchase.
What was lovely to know is that this pot will one day be in the collection at the
Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, alongside the other pots in her collection.

What a day it was, exhausting yet fun, and was finished in a variety of pubs and restaurants.

The remainder of the exhibition has continued to do well
but we are determined to have a total "sell out".
So today after a chat with Jim we have decided to produce a series of posters of the exhibition,
Each will feature one of the remaining pots and will be signed by Jim.
The only problem is I want them all.

Here are a few of the posters.

Thursday 3 June 2010

" What a piece of work is man, how noble in reason,
how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable,
in action how like an Angel, in apprehension how like a God!
The beauty of the world, the paragon of animals - and yet,
to me,
what is quintessence of dust?
Man delights not me - nor woman neither............................

Hamlet, by William Shakespeare.

The Jim Malone Exhibition is open at last.
Although there is not a lot left to see if you make a visit, it was almost a "sell out".
Because of telephone "bids" we had to open the door early, and within minutes most of the work was showing 'Red Spots'.
I will come back to this and show a few more of his pots on another post, and include one pot that I love which remains unsold, I just wish that someone would purchase it so that the lust and temptation to buy this pot for myself would be removed.
I have to remind myself that 'I sell art, not buy it'.

However, I am going back in time a week.
The week that I travelled with Sam [my son] to the Lake District to collect Jim's pots.
We travelled across North Yorkshire on route to his pottery. I have come to associate any trip across Yorkshire with the famous pub
"The Green Dragon".
The Green Dragon will feature in a later post,
there are just so many things to say about the place.
It's famous waterfall, painted by 'Turner', visited by Wordsworth, and bathed under by Kevin Kostner [Robin Hood]. Still more of this later, including the new gallery situated there
which we will become involved with.

Later, later, later. It's all I seem to say.
But Much More Later.

Sam was persuaded to join me on the journey by the promise of a visit to the famous
"Uncle Monty's cottage", featured in the film
'Withnail & I".
This film and its locations I have mentioned before, and I will do again, as in my opinion it is the very best example of English humour, acting and film making ever produced.
Mind you, it did "flop" at the box office,
but we are continually hearing about the possibility of a 'Johnny Depp', re-make.
If any man can do it he will.

So after an overnight stay at the 'Green Dragon' Inn, which included the most magnificent "English breakfast" in front of a log fire, we set off for "Crows Crag", the fictional name for the fictional cottage featured in the motion picture.
Although it has become something of an annual pilgrimage for myself this was
Sam's first visit and his own excitement fed my enthusiasm.
After a long drive and an even longer walk amongst the hills of Cumbria we eventually arrived at our destination.

It had changed.
It sold last year at auction, against strong bidding from many celebrities it sold to a local publican, who made the promise that it would be restored for film enthusiast's to visit.
Which interpreted means "give me your money".
I had wanted, and especially for Sam, to see it before "restoration" had finished.

What a disappointment.
Had it ever been started? For obvious reasons I will say no more.
Although we both really enjoyed our brief visit it was tinged with sadness.
The last time I came you could look inside and see the fireplace and room made famous in the film.
It obviously has attracted many thousands of pilgrims over the years, and on my last visit I was able to photograph the famous monologue from William Shakespeare's "Hamlet"
[used at the films ending],
which had been written on an old door.
Not vandalism, a homage.
I am sure that visitors respect, love and would help to pay for restoration of the building.

Seeing inside is no longer an option.
Restoration means surrounding the building with barbed wire and closing the windows with bricks.
I do understand that this is now "one" mans property, but what a shame.
I don't doubt that there are many reasons for this and perhaps one day we can all see inside again, but until then if you are to knock on the door, it will be a case of
"No answer came the stern reply".

So above I have the picture of the famous "Hardraw Fall" [Green Dragon].
Inside the kitchen of "Monty's cottage" [from a previous visit]. The famous monologue [written on a door], a view from the window [previous visit], and the window as it is now.

What a piece of work is man?