Sunday. The weather has finally broken and there have been some patches of blue sky and intermittent sunshine! We took the opportunity to head into town to the Art Gallery, on the way we found a church with a black spire, a bright red Royal Mail post box, old street signs, a poster for the Ludus festival, an angel and for a brief moment Isaac danced with a shadow.
When we arrived at the gallery we found a Victorian tiled hall. This was originally a reading room in the library but during the 1950's the tiles were covered with shelves and a false ceiling, thankfully they restored the room in 2007 to its original state and it now serves as a cafe.
After spending an hour or so looking around the gallery we decided to get some refreshments before heading upstairs to see the rest of the artworks. It was a good excuse to spend a little time in the old reading room and better observe our strange ceramic environment. The tiles in the ceiling of the room are interspersed with golden bosses which have holes in their centers that form part of the victorian heating system which is still working today.
On offer was Dandelion and Burdock, apparently consumed in the British Isles since 1265 and originally a type of light mead. This is a fermented botanical drink which, if you are not familiar with, has an unusual flavor, sweetly herbal with a little aniseed.
On the way into town Ben had requested that we find a Post shop (Post Office® in the UK) so that he could send the copious quantities of post cards that he has been writing in every available minute since we arrived. Unfortunately we didn't make it to a PO as by the time we left the gallery everyone was getting hungry and on the way back through town we spotted a mexican restaurant called BARBURRITO, we decided that it would be a good place to stop and get dinner.
The UK is hosting the Olympics and there are little flags everywhere. It's impossible to miss the branding placed in shop windows, on products and buildings all over the city. One of the results of this is that there is a lot of colour everywhere and although I don't usually like this kind of blanket marketing some of what has been done is actually pretty cheerful; the rainbows of material look a little like the prayer flags found adorning mountains in Tibet and Nepal.
We returned to our accommodation to work through a lines run for the show. We also met the team from Salamander Tandem who are performing as part of the Ludus festival and with whom we are sharing a venue. They had spent the day packing in their equipment and were really friendly, inviting us to visit them in the space tomorrow. We are all looking forward to seeing the other performances and events in the festival and hopefully meeting more of the artists. Todays last picture is from the tiled hall, a bust of Dante watching over the readers.