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Haddon Hall - A Glorious Country Manor House

Visiting historic houses is one of my favorite things to do in England and Derbyshire is a county that  offers an  extraordinary triumvirate of sites; Hardwick's Elizabethan glamour, the palatial splendors of Chatsworth and Haddon Hall, described by Simon Jenkins as "the most perfect English house to survive from the Middle Ages."  The joy of a visit to Derbyshire is that in visiting all three you can see the English country house through a variety of lenses and periods. 
In his definitive tome, England's1000 Best Houses Jenkins goes on to say of Haddon, "It has none of Hardwick's promiscuity or Chatsworth's bombast. It has not changed because it never needed to change". 
Indeed the house has remains in the hands of the Manners family since 1563 and is currently occupied by the Duke of Rutland's brother and his family. As they say on the website it has avoided, " fire; warfare;  family misfortune and changing fashions" and as such provid…

Street Art in Getsemini, Cartagena


I've blogged about the wonderful street art in Bogota and Medellin but there was interesting graffiti all over Colombia. When I looked back over our pictures, I realized that  the work from Getsemani  was  memorable. If you make it to Cartagena it's well worth walking over to Getsemani, a rapidly changing working class neighborhood on the edge of the colonial city. Here, the architecture isn't as grand and the houses are smaller, but it's every bit as colorful, and it may be more vibrant - because it's still predominantly a local quarter. 

Above  you can see the colorful but more modest homes. there's a great deal of renovating (and no doubt displacement going on here) so things are changing fast. Though there are a growing numbers of hostels and foreigners purchasing homes here. However, even a cursory walk around the neighborhood will include quite a bit of street art, including a number of works by foreign artists. We really enjoyed exploring and I highly recommend it.
In the two pieces above and below you can see the ways in which the artist has used the architectural features (the archway and the stones in the wall)  in their design. I love this sort of thing, so clever!
I loved some of the contrasting images of women and femininity. As you can see below  both of these women look powerful, but in very different ways...
Some of the work is inspirational, or social  or environmental commentary (see fish piece above) or even art commissioned by businesses. You'll need to walk to Getsemani to see any of this as you won't find large walls, or much in the way of street art or throw ups, in  the historic center of Cartagena. It doesn't fit the UNESCO criteria, or indeed the taste of many of the tourists there. 
However, we loved the work we saw in Getsemani which gives you a brief  introduction to  contemporary art and social issues in Colombia. It' s a refreshing contrast to the preservation of the past in Cartegena andI highly recommend strolling over there.




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