EDitorial ± 24-Sep-2002

The Needles

With kiddies un, deux et trois on Saturday to "Britain's oldest recorded town" (so says the sign off the A12), namely Colchester. Known as Camulodunum many, many years ago, it was burned by Boudica in AD60 after she'd tried and failed to master its pronunciation. Narf!

Spent most of afternoon in Castle Park engaging in customary activities for small children, such as:

  • nervously watching two-year-old climb tall spiral steps of slide
  • practicing keepy-uppy with our sadly deflated football
  • buying Twister ice-creams, last of the summer stock
  • wiping noses, changing a nappy, and worrying squirrels

As any fule kno, tho, you need to balance the fun & games with a smidgen of edukashun & culture. Which we did by popping into the Minories Art Gallery, opposite the castle, pre-playground.

Knitted map showing directions to Minories gallery, by an outfit named Cast Off who promote knitting as fun and funky

Cue that lovable Keith Allen and that wacky Damien Hirst:

Knit one, pearl one
Drop one, curl one
— Fat Les, Vindaloo

At the Minories, we found ourselves in a jolly exhibition named Cosy, the work of one Freddie Robins. Bit of a first for all of us, since every item in the show is knitted. Works ranged from a hanging jumper with six-foot long legs, to a figure pierced by knitting needles (one for the kids), to a series of woolen buildings. Only later did I find out that these knitted houses were the scenes for "high profile crimes committed by women". Nice.

Awful lot of arts and crafts going on in the sizeable garden too. Very pleasant atmosphere outside, aided I'm sure by the in-house cafe. And there, at the bottom of the garden, a fab folly, number 69 in Rick O'Brien's book of East Anglian Curiosities. Apparently this is around 250 years old, and was built as a summerhouse or "umbrello". Says the leaflet, it's "one of the earliest surviving buildings of the Gothic Revival", doncha know. Recent restoration has done it a power of good, by the look of it.

So, if you're in the area, drop by for a bit of art, a cuppa and an eyeful of the folly.

Be seeing you!