Last week we ’saved’ our Bank Holiday and took it this week instead. It was a complete break from work with no phones, no queries and no schedules. The last time I had a proper weekend off work was back in June when we went to Hay. And given that our next break won’t be for a while we wanted to make this one count.
The thing about time off work when you run a business is that you end up working the day off in advance. So by the time Saturday arrived we were knackered. We had a bit of a slow morning with a late breakfast and then went along to The Whitworth Art Gallery. I’ve only ever visited the gallery as part of an event and have never really taken the time to have a proper look round. It’s a lot bigger than I thought and there’s lots to see. But what I like best about it is that alongside more traditional pieces are modern works by contemporary artists and makers. And it’s not just about art. I particularly enjoyed the textile collection, which gave me lots of ideas.
After the gallery it was home for a quick tea and then off to The Lowry to see Prick up Your Ears. If you get chance, go and see this play. It’s dark, funny and uncomfortably moving.
On Sunday we went for a guided walk around Manchester. This probably sounds a bit odd. I mean I’ve lived here for most of life but there’s so much that I don’t know about the area. For example, did you know that the three lines on the Manchester crest symbolize the three rivers? The Medlock, the Irk and the Irwell. Walking round and listening to a guide makes you see things you might normally overlook or take for granted. And of course I love stories and so the guide had a captive audience. There were only four of us, my husband and me and a couple visiting from Austria.
On Monday we ended up in Haworth. Yes, I admit I saw the recent adaptation and it sparked my interest. I’ve started to reread ‘Wuthering Heights’ and wanted to go back to the moors to see where it all began. I’ve been to Haworth before but I’d never visited the Parsonage. This is where the Brontë family lived from 1820 to 1861. It’s full of interesting artifacts and some of the family’s personal possessions. A brooch made from Charlotte’s hair, her writing box and paints, pictures, letters, diary entries. All absolutely fascinating.
Some of the costumes from the recent ITV adaptation were also on loan and it was interesting to see the inspiration behind them. To be honest I felt that Cathy’s clothes were a bit too modern but it seems that this had been the intention. The costume designer had wanted to move away from traditional garments of the period and introduce a slightly more contemporary look. The strong colours of Cathy’s clothes mirrored the countryside and were later ‘bleached out’ when she went to live with the Lintons, to symbolize the ‘taming’ of her nature. There’s more information on the ITV website.
Later we walked on the moors. The sun came out and it was the perfect end to the long weekend.
And when I got up for work on Tuesday autumn had arrived.