Tuesday, July 30, 2013
V&A Museum, British Library and a Dinner Party in Battersea
I am slowly getting accustomed to the trains passing outside my window—although a particularly long goods train in the middle of the night woke me up with a start. Still, brekkie done (muesli and Greek honey yogurt), I was ready to start my day. Rain all night and a drizzle in the morning fell in quite well with my plans to spend most of the day indoors.
I also quickly mastered the bus routes at Battersea and found that not having a Tube station nearby was not a disadvantage at all as I could be in Victoria or at South Kensington in about 15 minutes on the frequent buses and the many routes that ply Battersea High Street.
So off I went on the 345 bus to South Kensington directly to the Victoria and Albert Museum to start my self-guided tour of its highlights by using its very useful leaflet entitled “Twenty Treasures of the V&A”. I have to admit that it was a daunting task finding them all as the Cast Court was closed and access to the rest of the galleries that led from it kept me going around in circles. I have also forgotten a lot of what I saw as I am writing this installment of my blog a full week after seeing them. But here is what I remember:
1. Samson Killing the Phillistine by Giambologna—Sculpture in the new Renaissance Court
2. The Luck of Edenhall Medieval Glass Beaker—British.
3. Gloucestershire Candlestick
4. The Heneage Jewel—gold bauble with image of Elizabeth I engraved on it
5. The Bed of Melville
6. Marble Sculpture of Handel
7. Ardabil Carpet
8. Painting of a Paris Theatrical Scene by Degas
9. Tipu’s Tiger
10. The Raphael Cartoons
Well, I can’t recall the rest but they were all quite fascinating. In my attempt to find them, I traversed some of my favorite parts of the museum—especially the Jewelry Galleries that I never miss and where I could spend an hour simply gazing upon the 18th century silver chatelaine.
I was also delighted to come upon the three huge silver lions that are copies of the ones in the Throne Room of the Rosenborg Palace in Copenhagen where Llew and I had seen the original not even three weeks ago.
I grabbed a bite to eat in the incredibly beautiful Morris Room—a scone with cream and jam and a pot of tea and then I was off.
Work at the British Library:
I took the bus then to the British Library and spent the entire afternoon working at the British Library in the Asian Reading Room on the third floor. As always happens when I am at work, time simply gallops by and before I knew it, I had to leave and rush off to Battersea again. However, I managed to get a great deal of work in the several hours I spent there, so it was truly grateful for the opportunity to gain access to the India House Records that I needed to examine in connection with my book.
A Dinner Party with New Friends:
My friend Roz decided to throw a dinner party at her place and to invite the new American friends I had made at the opening of her son Alex’s solo art exhibition. They were Ginny (short for Virginia) and Richard. Roz also invited an old friend of her’s that I have met before and whom I really liked—Lizzie Rodgers. So we were a very merry group as we gathered for drinks in her lovely garden with its loads of colorful flowers and the regular whoosh of trains on the tracks behind us. We sipped our drinks and nibbled our nibbles and then we went inside to enjoy one of Roz’s great meals for she is an amazing chef. Roz’s Chicken Fingers with mixed roasted veggies were great as was her salad and her cherry and blueberry crumble that I helped her make. Conversation was fun and there was a great deal of laughter around the table.
But because the best dinner parties must eventually end, her guests were off about 11.00pm. I had, fortunately, packed my backpack ready for my early morning departure on the coach to Oxford, so I excused myself and went straight up to bed.
Until tomorrow, Cheerio!