A rain-check on the storm cloud

Abbot Hall art gallery in Kendal has a brand new exhibition featuring the works of J M Turner and John Ruskin, focussing on landscape paintings, the weather, and Ruskin’s work in flagging up climate change.

It sounds fascinating, and we had a spare morning on Friday so we hurried over to Kendal to see it. Not our best idea. We’d reckoned without it being the ‘grand opening’ of the exhibition, and arrived to find hordes of people, a local radio broadcast team, and some rather harassed staff. We could have hung around but couldn’t really spare the time, so we cried off and had a nice walk along the River Kent instead.

The stretch of river between the gallery and the town centre was new to us. Although it’s mostly modern flats now, back in the day it housed a lot of small industrial units using the water for power and as an ingredient, and there are still the remains of medieval steps going down to the water’s edge. Sadly, although we looked we couldn’t spot any of them and because the river level was so low (we’ve had weeks without appreciable rain) there was a bit of an industrial niff so we didn’t want to linger!

The exhibition is on for a few months yet so we’ll call in again on a less busy day instead.

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