Monday, 26 March 2012

on sleeping with the dog and dining with the lovely Lucrezia

Lucrezia by Christian Tagliavini
Dog, other half and I have been away for the weekend to Sussex. We stayed in Orford; somewhere I have never been before, and certainly somewhere I would be happy to go back to again; quaint houses, a castle, the sea and most importantly, peace and quiet.

The down side; dog had to share our room; I am wondering how we have managed 9 years of her life without encountering this scenario until now?

The last time we shared a room with a dog ( 11 years ago with a  different dog) we had to listen to, and watch, the dog blowing soap bubbles from his mouth all night after eating debris from the rear of the hotel kitchen that was full of detergent and waste food. Fortunately by morning the bubble blowing wore off and we didn't have to call the vet.

The up-side; we had breakfast and dinner with the lovely Lucrezia, shown above; a photograph that has totally blown me away with its size, beauty and incredible quality. Another fine example of how seeing an object in a magazine cannot prepare you for the joy of the real thing. I, and several other diners were unable to keep their eyes off her, and I am sure that the owners of the hotel are delighted that they bought her before her  creator, Christian Tagliavini, won first prize in the fine art category of the Hasselblad Masters awards 2012. see the winners here

Christian Tagliavini's  website and more from the series "1503" can be seen here. The image 'Lucrezia'  and the rest of the series are inspired by the Renaissance masters. All of the models are amateurs, and the clothing constructed from paper, which makes them all the more extraordinary.

The hotel was chosen for its dog friendly nature. What could be more friendly than a beautifully wrapped packet of home made bone shaped dog biscuits that smelt and looked remarkably like cheese straws. All tied up in cellophane and with a lilac ribbon they certainly seemed too good for our dog. She, like me, would have finished the whole packet if she had been allowed to start it.  It was with some difficulty that I refrained from tasting them, and saved myself for the culinary delights to be sampled later, and designed for the human palate.

To distract ourselves we went for a walk and watched the sun set over the estuary and the fishing boats.

Next morning we did some proper 'tramping' along the sea wall and then through organic fields of swedes and brassicas. The organic bit involves covering the fields in what, from a distance, appears to be snow by covering with a pest resistant membrane to reduce the need for pesticides on the growing crops. Watching a tractor pulling a device containing about 8 labourers  across the newly ploughed field to plant the young plants was something new to me; not a job that can be enjoyable, but at least they have a cover from the rain and each other for company.

baby brassicas © caroline fraser

organic farming © caroline fraser

Dog behaved remarkably well, given that she had no bed to sleep in and had to curl up in a corner of the room.

She almost deserves a biscuit!


  1. Agree with everything you say except that Orford is in Suffolk not Sussex!

  2. how right you are;my apologies to the good folk of Orford