Tuesday 8 to Thursday 10 May - Earls Court to Cambridge
08.05.2012 - 24.05.2012
A huge thank you to David for his hospitality at his apartment since arriving in London on Monday afternoon. Took me a bit longer than I thought to remember how to use the tube .... and from Earls Court there are more choices of lines than I recall from Hackney (where I travelled from when staying with Liam in 2004.)
Tuesday was chill out, orientation and R&R day. Walked everywhere ... From Earls Court to Fulham to Hammersmith to 0lympia and back again. It was another laundry day and grocery shopping day and I actually got a few hours to sit it the sun on David's decking and book my train trip to Cambridge.
Everyone I have asked questions of has been really helpful. The railway station attendant who advised me how to book the tickets on line and where to catch the train from to the salesman at Marks and Spencer's who couldn't help me buy a barrel bag from them and advised me to go down the road to Argos. Success there. What a great concept for a store. You go into a foyer and look through their comprehensive hard copy catalogue ... reminded me of looking through the Simplicity or McCalls pattern books at Lincraft ....... type into a machine the catalogue number which then tells you if it is in stock and how many are left in stock. You don't actually see or touch the item until you have paid for it. You wait at a collection point within the shop and the item is brought to the collection point within 5 minutes. Shopping done .... how easy is that? One of the part time teachers who shares my office told me about the store but I thought is was an on-line only store. It sells anything and everything. Lawn mowers to tents, toys to electronics. It must have been late night shopping yesterday as many of the stores in High Street Ken (as the locals call it; or High Street Kensington) were open until 8pm. Loved Marks and Spencer's in 1977 and still do.
Most of yesterday fulfilled my eight-year desire to return to the Victoria and Albert Museum and I was not disappointed. As many of you would be aware by now, France was all about the pilgrimage for Puppa and his involvement in WWI; the United Kingdom is now learning about textiles, needlework, craft and quilts here. I have visits planned to a number of historic homes which have quilts displayed. Just as well, as many of the textiles that I wanted to see at the Victoria and Albert were in storage because a new gallery is to be built opening in November this year which will house the textile display all in one location. I was not disappointed tho as I spent the afternoon in theBritish Galleries taking photos and observing the textiles that were on display, including a huge tapestry of a conservatory and garden which was just stunning. The galleries lead you through the different eras of design starting with 1760 right up to 1900s. William Morris was featured, of course (I was very interested in that section) and other designers whose styles interest me. There was also an ironwork gallery with items from Italy, Spain, France and the UK. I took photos of those that I felt would lend themselves to quilting designs (as you do).
Had to have a coffee and British Scones and jam at one of the three cafes .... all with different themes ..... sat in the William Morris cafe to admire and photograph some of the walls decorated with his designs. Could have spent another day just in the bookshop. Fortunately, I already have two of the books ..... the really heavy ones ..... at home. But will now be able to appreciate them even more now I have seen some of the displays in real life. I saw two books I recognized in the bookshop ...... The William Morris Pattern book by Michelle Hill (still on my wish list) and 18th Century Embroidery Techniques by Gail Marsh which I managed to purchase from The Book Barn at Windsor only the week before I left. Haven't had time to even appreciate that yet. But I am meeting Gail Marsh next week as she is curator at one of the historic homes I am visiting. I bought with me "book plates" so I can ask her to sign them and stick them in the books. If any of my patchwork friends reading this would like her signature and have her books, I have a few spare book plates with me. The pattern for Gilly's coverlet is in Gail's 2nd book ..... 19th Century Embroidery techniques. I bought a photo of my Gilly's coverlet with me to show Gail.
If I have time whenI am back in London on 21 May until I leave on 24 May, I would like to visit just the tapestry gallery as I ran out of time to see that. The V&A closes at 5:30pm. As I've probably said previously, I would rather see and absorb one or two experiences in depth, than see lots superficially. Tuesday, 22nd is all day at the Chelsea Flower show.
Weather in London is showery and overcast. Doesn't help my photography. Have to practice more with the manual settings.
Fulham and Hammersmith are so different to Earls Court. In respect of the residents and types of shops. Fulham and Hammersmith have a lot of housing estates and a man I got talking to in the launderette was telling me about a stabbing across the road a few nights ago as if I knew all about it! He advised me not to go out there at night. Well I wouldn't anyway but it was thoughtful of him. It was like being in The Bill with police cars going up and down the street with sirens going!
It's been lovely to stay with David ..... we have watched a snooker tournament on TV which was exciting and a very interesting program on what is happening with the Greek economy and how it became the way it is and what can be done to rectify it.
The supermarkets here cater really well for single households with pre-packed meals for one ..... salads, hot meals, small quantities of cheeses and hams,etc small cans of drinks and the yummiest varieties of yogurt ..... citrus lime and lemon, fig and honey; and combinations of fruit drinks mango and apple, raspberry and pomegranate. Mmmmmm.
Packed now for my road trip commencing tomorrow .... leaving the big luggage at David's and just have a few smaller bags to manage.
Thank you for reading this blog.
Love Lyn xxx