Bath, the returning the Honda Jazz to Cambridge
21.05.2012 - 24.05.2012 13 °C
Saying goodbye to my hosts at Cleveland's and to Abi as he headed off to the last day of the Quilt Show, GPS and I headed off to Bath (actually Bathampton) to visit the American Museum In Britain and to see the quilts on display as well as the museum rooms, each one of which is set out in a different era of American history. The textile and quilt display was first on my list to see ..... only interrupted by the need to eat something, damn it! The quilts were very difficult to photograph because they were hanging on huge picture-type frames behind the special type of acetate that archivists use; hence a lot of reflection from the acetate and the fluorescent lighting. I was told that there are over 200 quilts in the museum which are progressively rotated on display. Fortunately at home I have the reference book to refer to but I can't remember which of the quilts I saw are documented/ reviewed in the book. However, everything I saw in the museum will now have greater meaning now I've seen it in real life.
The display rooms for each era of history are so dimly lit that, while photography is permitted, the use of flash isn't. On entering the first room while my eyes were adjusting to the light, I saw someone sitting in a corner and thought it was a display model ..... until she spoke!!!! In each of the rooms is a volunteer guide some of whom turned a blind eye to the flash photography restriction. This sweet lady volunteer detailed many aspects and artifacts on display and had me guessing at some of the objects'd'art from the past. A wig stand on a pedestal I thought was a hat block .... close; but the wooden rollers in a dish that accompanied it I had never heard of. The wooden rollers would have heated with hot water and rolled into the wig to create the waves!!! The small brass barrel shape attached to the wall was "the mystery item". Apparently mice used to like eating candle wax so this barrel shaped container was attached about a metre off the floor to hold the candles!!!!
The quilts and textiles (embroideries and cross stitches) were beautiful and I felt privileged to see them. Hopefully, these precious items from the past (some of which are as old as Australia!) are now preserved in a safe environment for future generations to appreciate.
I had arranged accommodation in Bathampton (outside the main town of Bath) because I knew that parking in Bath is restricted and, what is available, eats pound coins voraciously. Lyndisfarne B&B (has a nice name) advertised off street free parking and was really close to the American Museum. Finishing at the museum at 4:00pm, there was still time and lots more daylight to visit the main part of Bath. I dropped my bag at the B&B, met my hosts and ..... amazingly found a free parking spot on the outskirts of Bath. Because it was Sunday, the parking was free and untimed. Yah!!!! Managed to walk to the Jane Austen Centre ....... fortuitously going in the wrong direction (again), I stumbled upon a house where Jane Austen had lived from 1801 to 1805. (4 Sydney Streeet). Photo opportunity dropped in my lap! Getting my bearings and walking up a long steep set of "public foot way" stairs connecting two of the many terraces in Bath, I arrived at the Jane Austen Centre with enough time to for a quick visit. I've been here in 2004 and I don't think the tea rooms had been built then. No time for tea tho. I 'd passed an interesting bookshop on the way so headed back there. A lovely, relaxing pastime on a Sunday evening when nothing else was open but pubs and restaurants AND I found a book from my wish list.
Lovely Thai dinner .... fried duck with vegetables and rice from a quaint restaurant in a heritage building.
Tomorrow is another big day of driving. The car and Georgina Potter-Smithington have to be back by 4:00pm in Cambridge. My hosts at Lyndisfarne, whose son lives in Cambridge, tell me that it will be another 3 plus hours of driving as there is no direct route. Hopefully GPS knows where she is going because I don't have a clue ...... just a lot of confidence in Georgina and a lot of faith.
Thank you for reading this installment. I know I have missed a few episodes in the blog of both France and the UK but I have three hours at Heathrow on Thursday (boo hoo) before my flight leaves to return to Australia and back to reality! I will post some more episodes when I can.
Love Lyn xxx