Monday, 11 January 2016

Inspiring London Visit

Egyptian figurines at the British Museum
Happy 2016 everyone!  I’ve had a lovely, long break and am finally getting back into the swing of things.  The kids are now back at school, I had the Diploma Group over the weekend and now everything is back to normal, or as close to normality as they will ever get.
The London Eye
Normally after Christmas, I go comatose for several days.  All my plans to do something useful go out the window and I slump.  It’s probably my only way of relaxing!  This year, though, we did something different and on the 27th, we caught a train down to London, spending 4 days exploring the capital.  Although R and I lived there for many years and, indeed, the eldest was born there, the kids are definitely village children as we discovered!  It probably wasn’t helped by staying near Angel and using the tube station with the longest escalators in London.  However, we all had a magnificent time, concentrating on our favourite things: galleries, food, books and friends. 
Fabric of India catalogue
I got to go to the Fabric of India exhibition at the V&A, which was amazing.  You couldn’t take photos, but I’ve just checked and there is a fabulous website supporting the exhibition, which has now finished, including some really interesting 2 minute videos, which were running in the galleries.  The V&A was also the kids’ favourite museum, perhaps because they didn’t spend the two hours I did with Indian fabric, rather R took them round lots of different galleries whilst I absorbed the special show on my own.  
Inside the Fabric of India catalogue
Of course the catalogue made it back into my suitcase and I’m enjoying slowly making my way through the essays while looking at the glorious photos. 
Some of the books bought at the British Museum
We also went to the British Museum, where we went to the Greek and Egyptian Rooms.  I saw even more beautiful inspiring figures, which just had to be photographed and the kids liked the mummies more than the marbles.  Here’s an admission: I was definitely in my 30s before I realised the Elgin Marbles were the Friezes on the wall rather than a pile of balls...). 
Some of the books bought at the Tate Modern
I had less luck convincing them about modern art at the Tate Modern, but they enjoyed the views, while I appreciated some art.  In both places I also spent lots of time in the fabulous bookshops – so many amazing books in two venues.  Unfortunately, given that I had to carry everything home, the number of books was restricted slightly, but maybe on my next visit...
The roof of the Great Court at the British Museum
We also saw some tourist sites, ate fabulous food, trying out lots of different types (Mexican at Wahaca the winner, closely followed by the Thalis at the Masala Zone) and met up with some old friends and their kids.  And although part of me misses living in London (the buzz, galleries, bookshops, speed of life), I am sure we are in the right place for us now.  Just got to make sure I get my fix of the bright lights every so often!
Tower Bridge

It was also dry and sunny in London, unlike home, where we have had unremitting rain for weeks, but we are very fortunate here in that we are not at risk from flooding.  Now to get on with getting back into a routine and getting on with some work.

Egyptian fertility figurines at the British Museum

Roman Mosaic at the British Museum
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

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