A museum afternoon

December 21, 2013

The thing about our birthdays is that we’re usually always together for mine in July and 50/50 for Robert’s in November, so we make up for it when we can.

Eleven am Robert said, “let’s have my birthday day at the museums today!” and so we jumped in the car and drove to Oxford and took the train into London.

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It’s so easy to get to London via train, and, if you catch a fast train, you can be in Paddington Station in 30 minutes. We bought the economy train/tube pass and so walked out of Paddington and jumped on the tube to Earl’s Court and walked over to the museums.
I love Paddington Station, not just because of Paddington bear, but because my father had a huge old English sheep dog, who was the dirtiest mucky pup in the world and he was called Paddington after the dirtiest train station in London. 😀

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The greatest thing about London museums is that they are free! So one doesn’t feel guilty about just checking out a section or two only instead of trying to get the full admission’s worth. It takes so much pressure off…do you know what I mean?

We started with the Natural History Museum. The outside of this beautiful building was being refurbished last summer and had green plastic and scaffolding down the walls. Now it’s completed and shining. I asked Robert what the building used to be and he told me it was built in Victoria’s reign to serve as the museum. Wow! Love those Victorians.

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We walked thru to the mammals. We walked around that wing and then we got hungry but we didn’t fancy anything in the little restaurant there so…

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…we walked past the skating rink to the Science Museum.

I wanted to go have a skate so badly, but there wasn’t time this time…because there is so much more to explore.

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The Science Museum is right next door to the NHM and this museum is really our favourite. When you walk in you see a giant three story ring which flashes and spins brilliant lights which occasionally collide to reveal text. Most spectacular.

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We had lunch in one of the little restaurants and R started photo bombing all my photos. 😀

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R’s favourite section is the engine section. He asked me to thoroughly photograph two engines for him.

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Then on to my favourite section, the Steampunk Wing! Actually, it’s the King George III Collection. But it’s just sooo Steampunk! I love it! I was jumping around pointing at things and taking about a million photos while my long suffering darling looked on.

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But I couldn’t help myself. 🙂

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One more look at the giant ring, a good explore of the Who Am I gallery and off we went…

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…across the street…to the…

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By now it was getting pretty late and it was the best time to explore the Victoria and Albert because most of the people had left.

I don’t know what it is about me but when I see a North West artist’s work I feel so connected. Who else loves Dale Chihuly? That one year he did an installation at RBG Kew is still so memorable.


So Robert and I ran thru the exhibitions picking out our future house looks…lol.


But then we came to the Ballroom and it took my breath away. If only a waltz was playing.

ball room

But then the day was really getting on and we were thinking of poor starving Theo tapping his toes on the window sill waiting for his supper, and we still had at least an hour and half in rush hour traffic to negotiate our way back to Paddigton and back to Oxford, so we had one last walk around the garden at the heart of the V&A…

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…and walk across the street to the nearest tube station…and went home to cuddle and feed Theo.

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We had such a lovely time that we’re already talking about going back in the New Year. 🙂

Whirlwind days
The return of the random!

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  • Reply dianecayton December 21, 2013 at 4:21 am

    I loved this post! Here in the U.S. we have free museums in Washington D.C. The People’s museums and there are a number of them that when we visit I never tire of re-visiting. Of course there are also a couple that you pay for, but the best and largest museums happen to be free. xox

    • Reply Veronica December 21, 2013 at 8:13 am

      Hi Diane, I love American museums, although I haven’t been to too many, but the ones I’ve been to have all been wonderful. It’s so important to get people out to museums and galleries, isn’t it? It’s a great way to educate and so if it’s free education all the better. XOX

  • Reply Shawn Stoen December 21, 2013 at 6:25 am

    Veronica – I love reading your blog. My bucket list includes a trip to England and Scotland as well. Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply Veronica December 21, 2013 at 8:07 am

      Thank you so much Shawn. If you manage and if I’m in the country, please let em know and we can go have tea. 🙂

  • Reply Sabra Bowers December 21, 2013 at 6:32 am

    Thanks for taking us with you! I love Chihuly. He had an exhibit some years back in the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. I went three times, once at night. I do not remember any exhibit as well as I remember his at night.

    • Reply Veronica December 21, 2013 at 8:06 am

      A Chihuly exhibition in the botanical gardens is just magical, isn’t it Sabra? I took about 500 photos, and still bought the book from Kew. It was amazing because in some parts I really couldn’t tell what was plant and what was glass. Oh, and don’t get me started on all the floating globes on the ponds! I wish I could have gone to Venice to see the chandeliers over the waterways. That must have been magical.

  • Reply Ellen Buffington December 21, 2013 at 7:10 am

    This was a wonderful post! Thank you so much for taking us with you, your photos were just beautiful! Looks like a wonderful way to spend a birthday!

    • Reply Veronica December 21, 2013 at 8:03 am

      Hi Ellen, thank you so much. I take ever so many photos and so am very happy that you like the ones I show. 🙂

  • Reply Alexandria Ingham December 21, 2013 at 7:13 am

    I love all your photos. London is wonderful, and I try to visit every year, but being up in Glasgow with a young family makes it difficult. We’ve started taking trips to Edinburgh now, since the museum there is free, except for any special exhibition that’s on.

    • Reply Veronica December 21, 2013 at 8:02 am

      Thank you so much Alexandria. Hmm, being 300 miles away it’s pretty hard to drive down with young children, isn’t it? I remember when mine were young and we were driving about that distance between Vancouver and Kelowna, (interior of BC Canada). What a slog! Happily one of the kids would fall asleep as soon as we started; the other…never. 🙂 But then they grow up and it gets easier. 🙂

  • Reply Pondside December 21, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Another Chihuly lover here – he’s the best thing about the Bellagio in Vegas.
    Free museums – what a concept. The Royal BC Museum is a great place to visit but it is out of reach for many young families – the very ones that would benefit most from visiting.
    Lovely post – lovely day!

    • Reply Veronica December 21, 2013 at 7:59 am

      Thank you so much Pondside. 🙂 I visit the RBC Museum every time I come to Victoria and feel the same way you do. But then, there is a membership which makes it cheaper, isn’t there? When the children were little we used to belong to the Van Aquarium and went all the time.

  • Reply ebbandflo (@pomomama) December 21, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Envious. Reminds me of a summer holiday with my wee guy a few summers ago – must repeat. 🙂

    • Reply Veronica December 21, 2013 at 10:32 am

      Absolutely must Amanda, and, if you’re here, I’ll come meet you for a tea! Wouldn’t that be bizarre? We’d be from the same town and meet in a different country…lol. 🙂

  • Reply michellepond December 21, 2013 at 9:30 am

    What a wonderful birthday day! As usual, your photos and comments make us feel like we are there.

    • Reply Veronica December 21, 2013 at 10:30 am

      Aw, thank you so much Michelle. I always keep you in mind. X

  • Reply Cindy December 21, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    I’m not sure if I need to make this trip now that you have done such a lovely tour. Padington station sounds just like you expressed it lol both the station and the pup. It is like being in a dream going from one excitement to another. I have to say the ballroom is amazing, but then the skating rink seems tempting as well everything is lovely including your pictures.

  • Reply Marian December 22, 2013 at 6:26 am

    Great Blog…. brings back good memories, miss being so close to London as I was before I moved to Spain, and now back in the UK in Welsh Wales… seems just as far away! Used to drive in the city every Christmas with my, then small boys, drive up to Marble Arch, down to Piccadilly, turn left up Regent Street, left again onto Oxford Street, a right back down the Edgeware Road and home… the picture of the Christmas lights safely locked away in our memories…

  • Reply Daryl December 23, 2013 at 6:54 am

    oh lovely … and thank you Robert for taking those photos of V!

  • Reply ladyfi December 23, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Wow – that was a busy and fun day! I love the Science Museum! Lovely lovely shots.

  • Reply Kate North January 10, 2014 at 7:34 am

    What a lovely day. I love all three of those museums as well, though I’ve never done them all in one day 🙂 Of course, the British Museum and the Museum of London are well worth visiting, too. And of course, you’ve got your very own great museum in Oxford, which I also love…

    • Reply Veronica January 10, 2014 at 9:59 am

      I love all those museums Kate. Too many museums not enough free days! 🙂

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