London day out at the museums
Oh boy, we’re such country bumpkins that we rarely get down to town.
We do have a tradition of getting out of our little village to London at least twice per year. Once in July to celebrate my birthday and once in winter to celebrate Robert’s.
I go to Kew and R goes to the museums.
The trouble is that R’s birthday is late November and we’re not usually together till early December, so we pick a random pleasant weather day and go into London.
We love to drive into Oxford and take the train into Paddington and then to tube to the museum district.
It’s a short walk from the tube past one of the best named little bistros around!
(You know what? I really love the look of gloss black doors.)
The Science Museum, the Natural history Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum are all in one area and they’re all free!
Our first museum stop and Robbie’s favourite is the Science Museum.
We walk into the great hall and past years and years of scientific breakthroughs, like steam engines and light bulbs, telephones, the first manned space flight module, the first MRI machine, Bakelite, Plastic…computers…it’s all here.
Then we go up to the second floor to look at the invention of flight and the various engines.
Together this translates as, “Warning, do not turn the engine at the fan wheel”, separately it translates as “warning” “do not turn on” “fan” “go berserk”! We laughed puzzling it out.
This beautiful illuminated clock has a four-story long cable with a pendulum swinging above it measuring time by the rotation of the Earth on its axis.
I want this on my ceiling!
Here is the view from our lunch! The cafeteria has some mezzanine seating and we love to have our lunch looking down at all the activity.
After lunch, we decided to see one other museum while we still had time and daylight.
In this photo, you see the Natural History Museum on the right and the V&A on the left.
When we arrived, 2 hours ago, there was a long queue to get into the Nat. His. Museum and the queue wasn’t getting any shorter. It seems that some of the school children don’t go back to school till next week and it seems they all chose today to visit, so, not being keen on standing thru the queue or being surrounded by millions of screaming littles, we went to the V&A.
Which is just fine with us. We love the V&A.
It’s an amazing Tardis of a building.
The first exhibit we came to was a fashions thru the ages sponsored by the fashion house of Balenciaga.
This showed the most exquisite clothing from Edwardian times, thru Victorian times, and on thru the 20thC.
Here is a beautiful silk caftan from the 1920s.
Suits to die for (or have a rib removed for…lol) from the 40s.
And the 50’s.
And no place to hide the muffin top dresses from the 60’s and 70’s.
So, after committing to daily yoga and workouts and knocking off the 10 unwanted Christmas pounds, we went on to explore Asian influence in Victorian England.
Here’s a peek into the National Art Library.
Next, we came to all things gold and shiny. Buddhism, Renaissance church artifacts, stained glass windows, crowns, crosses…golden heaven.
I was looking at this little statue and said, “she’s beautiful.”
Robbie was reading and said, “She’s a he.”
I read the text and said, “those hips, that tiny waist…damn girl!”
There is a small painting gallery in the V&A.
Just four halls, but exquisite works.
I loved these:
Charles Robert Leslie 1837
Charles Robert Leslie 1849
The pearls on this alter piece Madonna 16C
Was there ever a greater master of atmosphere than Turner?
I was fascinated with the brush strokes he made to paint these waves.
You can feel the fury of the turbulant waters.
King of pastoral paintings.
That’s about all the time we had on our day train/tube passes; which run out at 6pm, so we had to make our way back out to the great hall.
I must admit a slight feeling of envy when we passed these art students.
I used to do this, and wish I had more time in my life to sit and paint in museums. If I lived in London I’d probably be here every day in the winter and at Kew every day in summer.
So Robbie waited for me under the Dale Chihuly chandelier while I had a quick mooch around the gift shop. I bought a few lovely things…
…and we walked out of the V&A, walked down the block to the Natural History Museum, watched the people for a few minutes, and walked down to the tube, and started our return trip back to Oxford and back home.