George Walton (1867-1933) was born into an artistic Glasgow family and was the brother of one of the "Glasgow Boys", Edward A. Walton. George set up a decorating company and worked in the distinctive Glasgow Style - Charles Rennie Mackintosh is the most famous proponent of this. Walton designed stained glass and stencilling, furniture, fabrics and fireplaces, carpets and cutlery, metalware, glassware and graphics - almost every area of decorative work. Later he moved to London and became an architect as well.
Our family became interested in him when Daughter 1 did a school project on him at the age of 15 or 16, and we visited York at that time to look at his interior work on Elm Bank, a house which is now a hotel. So for my birthday lunch, we decided to revisit Elm Bank and admire his stained glass, metalwork, woodwork and painted and mosaic friezes. which are still there.
For some reason I didn't take any pictures of the decoration this time except this one, which gives the impression that everyone was having a terrible time, hated each other and had just fallen out. I was really photographing the windows but it might have been an idea to warn these victims that they were also in the photo. Our son-in-law seems to be the only one aware of this possibility.
Here they all are moments later, smiling nicely. My brother is holding up our book on Walton, from which some photos below are stolen (but only to encourage you all to buy the book: George Walton, Designer and Architect by Karen Moon, published by White Cockade). I have to say he's not really smiling but then he recently broke his jaw.
To explain the cake....
This is a Walton window - not at Elm Bank but in the coach house of another house, The Leys, and I really love the colours and shapes. I hope the coachmen and chauffeurs appreciated it.
When we became Walton groupies, Daughter 1 adapted the design to fit our front door and we had it made up by a stained-glass maker. Hence Daughter 2's further reimagining in the medium of cake. I imagine George W would have been surprised. It was a very tasty cake; indeed, parts of it still are.
Lovely, don't you think?
And this - quite Mackintoshy. Or maybe Mackintosh is Waltony.
This is part of Daughter 2's birthday gift to me. (Her name isn't really Boot. Why we call her Boot is ... well, it's short for Scooshieboot, but that leads to a further question to which there's no real answer. "Snoof" means "look around". It's one of my dad's many invented words. The Restaurante de Hawthornden is her flat. We're going to see Tim Vine. Some of you may remember him: he's the chap who throws a pen and catches it behind his ear. We like quality entertainment.)
This is Daughter 2's card, again adapted from a Walton window:
Part of our son's gift. He hasn't interited our daughters' artistic flair, perhaps - also he's very busy - but the thought is lovely. (And he'd be better than the girls at diagnosing your gout, repetitive strain injury, gallstones or whatever, though I trust you have none of these).
Right then, I think that may be enough about my birthday. Now I must go blog-visiting.