This week … under lockdown (six)

We’re entering week seven of lockdown here in the UK. There is a tentative feeling of hope in the air. It’s like we have all been holding our breath. Finally, we’re coming to the end of a long, dark tunnel and we can breathe out once again. We’re all anticipating the re-opening of the UK like excited children before Christmas.

As we await the government’s strategy for reemergence to be announced later this week, everyone is daring to plan their own exit from lockdown. Top of my list is being with family and, more daringingly, thinking about where I’ll be able to travel to, responsibly and safely.

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This week… under lockdown (three)

With the world in turmoil it’s not easy finding balance. All those old clich├ęs keep popping into my head. ‘Sailing in stormy seas’ takes on an all too real significance. One day I find myself singing along to Abba on the radio, the next minute I well up with tears, for apparently no reason. Mostly though this week I’ve kept sane and, if not exactly ‘happy’, I’ve been content pottering around at home. Thanks in great part to everyone generously sharing content on social media, from Raymond Blanc to Andrea Bocelli.

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This week… under lockdown (one)

If, like me, you enjoy snooping around great country houses, museums and galleries then social distancing needn’t stop you from exploring. Isn’t it true that as one door closes, another opens? While UK attractions are currently closed to the public many are opening their virtual doors. Now is the perfect time to take a personal tour of some of the best collections from the comfort of your armchair. Here’s a few of my top picks this week.

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Review: Andy Warhol at Tate Modern

Andy Warhol (1928 to 1987) was the son of immigrants, a shy gay man who became a leading figure in the visual art movement. Warhol was born in 1928 as Andrew Warhola to working class parents from present day Slovakia. In 1949 he moved from Pittsburgh to New York. Initially working as a successful commercial illustrator, his skill at transforming the imagery of American culture soon developed as ground-breaking pop art.

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A life of contemplation: Abbey of Santi Nazaro and Celso

It seems like every town and city in the Piemonte region of north west Italy features a magnificent historical building, or two. If, like me, you appreciate classical architecture, incredible gardens and exquisite frescoes this should be on your list of places to visit. This part of Italy is so different from the sunny climes further south and it has a distinctly Gothic atmosphere.

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