This week… botany, boredom and British paintings

Something has definitely shifted but I’m not sure if it’s a sign of lethargy within the tourism industry or just my expectations. Lately, I’ve been receiving a few of the usual seasonal press releases about Halloween, and a trickle relating to the annual light shows for the Festive Season, but they feel half-hearted. The tourism industry is trying it’s best to run business-as-usual but it feels off-kilter. It’s like trying to ignore the elephant in the room. Halloween, for instance, pales into insignificance beside the terror of real-life at the moment. I find myself wishing that someone would come right out with their marketing and say “this is a crap situation, and you probably don’t feel like dressing up or putting up the festive bunting, so let’s do things differently.”

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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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