We visited Salts Mill on Mother's Day. I love David Hockney's work and in particular this painting of his parents.
Mother's day is still tough for me. I don't want it to be. I feel bad that both the girls know how much I hate it. They're desperate for me to enjoy it and to be excited the way they are. But it's still too soon.
But if you're going to spend a Sunday feeling crap while so many around you are celebrating, then visiting somewhere as beautiful as Salts Mill is definitely the way to go.
The book shop alone is incredible. And books are so good for the soul. Just being surrounded by them. By books about art and birds and monsters and Moomins and Wimps and sewing and knitting and printing. Books just make you feel better.
Lily has been desperate to be able to read for as long as I can remember. But her verbal dyspraxia has lead to delays with it (phonics not being the best way to teach a child that can't process the different sounds of letters!). She's cracked it now though and reads every single thing that she can.
The look of concentration on her face just kills me. I stood and watched her for ages as she sat in a corner of the book shop, pouring over the books. Nobody can make my heart ache the way Lily can.
I know you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but how can you not with these beauties?
The new Hockney exhibition, The Arrival of Spring, is on at the moment. The girls were amazed that Hockney had 'painted' all of the pieces on his iPad. It gave us a lot to talk about. The girls were particularly interested in whether the way you produce art affects how legitimate it is. I love that we can discuss stuff like this now.
As well as the art gallery (that also stocks the best art supplies and art books), the book shop, the exhibition spaces, and a cafe, Salts Mill has a really lovely diner, which is where we ended our visit.
It wasn't a perfect day. It wasn't even a great one (no day that starts with a visit to my mothers grave would be), but it was as good as it could be, and better than I thought it would be.
If you're in the area, you really should make the time to visit Salts Mill and Saltaire. You won't regret it. Even if you're feeling sorry for yourself.