We'd awarded ourselves a holiday for that entire week a while back, so as if traversing the country to Aylesbury wasn't enough we also had the whistle-stop day in London, for which we sensibly let the train take the strain. We'd scooped First Class tickets weeks ago at the cost of our normal cattle class travel.
I think Great Western's latest refit has allocated even less square inch-age per passenger in Second Class, whilst we fair sprawled around up the posh end, and who doesn't love traveling First Class when a cost-effective opportunity arises. So we made the most of the free refreshments and arrived in London feeling remarkably chipper for our 6am start.
With time to spare I wandered off around the V&A after the quilt exhibition, far away from the crowds to mull it all over quietly and found the fashion and textile galleries with a few nice moments along the way. Something different always catches my attention in the V&A, it really is a very special place and I've added a link over here >>>> under the heading Discoveries... because so much of the collection is now viewable online. You can even design patchwork from your own photographs here
Here's one I tried earlier.
Incidentally, don't miss Ben Wright's The Literary Index, on that sidebar too, it is a fantastic resource with links to excellent online essays on a wide range of authors.
But as I strolled around the V&A, a beautiful statue of a mother nursing her baby by Aime Dalou (1838-1902) which I hadn't noticed before...
An Elizabethan shoe...
How can a shoe transport me on such fanciful flights of the imagination, but it did, I couldn't stop looking at it and wondering.
Then a ceiling... because I always have to remind myself to look upwards here
A piece of fabric instantly recognisable to me as designed by ....
You'll guess it too I'm sure.
A tapestry I'd have likely started with great enthusiasm in whatever century and then sent off to the Tinker for finishing. He might even have stood a chance in the Village Show with this one.
Bookhound meanwhile had tripped off to do fishy things at The British Library and so we met up later in the day at Russell Square and forced ourselves into Patisserie Valerie, because my blood sugar was in need of active support and the strawberry tarts in the window could not be left there untested. Bookhound then had more fishy things to do in the Faber archive whilst I had a very fine time talking books and all things reading elsewhere in Faber HQ.
Finally just enough time for a London supper and a blue plaque wander around Bloomsbury on a warm May evening.
before settling in on our late and very Marie Celestesque train...
I had asked Faber if they could supply a good book, one that would keep me awake on the journey (I hate falling asleep on trains) and they had kindly sent me on my way with a copy of this