‘Tis the Season

London is merry and bright.

Literally.

All the streets are lined with twinkling lights, the stores are decorated, and the houses are decked.

Once again, I have purchased what could only be considered a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.  Barely four feet tall, it adds some meager holiday spirit to our living room.   Unlike the forlorn tree that Charlie Brown rescued, I actually paid top dollar (or should I say pound) for this underwhelming symbol of Christmas…£50 or about $80.  Oh joy!

A day’s outing to the formidable Waddesdon Manor provided the chance to view massive (and probably priceless) Christmas trees in the festive halls of a proper English manor house.  In 1874, Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild bought the Waddesdon estate of rolling hills and vacant farmland.  Over the next four years, he built a country retreat in the style of a Loire château where he could entertain high profile guests within the social circle around the Prince of Wales, politics, and culture.

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‘Tis the season, and every hall was decked and every room was festively festooned.  There were too many Christmas trees to count, and the grand house with its soaring ceilings accommodated truly beautiful specimens.

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A special exhibit of Bruce Munro’s light installations illuminated the gardens.  Munro is recognized as a pioneer in light sculpture.  I was impressed with his ability to use every day materials in an extraordinary way.  This display is a “fountain” of light that changes neon optic colors as choreographed to symphonic music.  The best part is that it is assembled of empty large water bottles.  Now that’s what I call recycling.

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My favorite installation was the “river of light” meant to represent daffodils in a field.  Here is a close up of the literal and proverbial bulbs:

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And here is the full effect:

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 What better way to kick off the season than with a day of such magical beauty?

As Charlie Brown and his gang would warble:

Christmastime is here! Happiness and cheer!

 

 

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