Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Changeover Day and Potential Leonardo Day

Today is change-over day where in theory the habitual chaos that is my workroom/ study/studio gets tidied and organised, where we check the girls are ''ready'' for school in terms of school uniform, foods, shoes, bus-passes , homework etc. Where I catch up on missed tv programmes and films on the computer and crochet merrily for one last un-interrupted day?
Where dogs get walked and groomed and windowsills bleached and plans are made for the annual Spring Cleaning operations to commence.It's the MOST ghastly weather with dark skies and torrential diagonal rain and gusts of wind, leaden grey skies invite one to stay in bed and read ( and eat chocolates a scenario described by a friend as heaven on earth many years ago and never forgotten) . Or watch catch up tv/ movies and crochet?!!!BUT YESTERDAY now THAT was a true holiday day and we enjoyed it immensely! It was to be a day of queueing and culture as we planned to visit the LEONARDO DA VINCI exhibition in London, his time in Milan detailed via 93 exhibits, sketches and paintings from the Court of Milan 1480's to 1490's.
After falling asleep at 2 am I awoke to an alarm set for 6:30 am and started to wake up the girls. JJ had already leapt into the shower . At 7 am I at last managed to get Miss Y out of bed and she declared she wanted to wash her hair....Not quite leaving at the planned 7:30 it was at that time that Miss Y was dressed and Miss E finally emerged from her lair. Packing day bags, finding sketchbooks and pencils for all, feeding dogs and medicating Pippa with her antibiotics, JJ kindly walked Lucy while I coralled the girls into getting ready.
With duvets, pillows and blankets tucked into the car we set off to sleep our way into London while dearest JJ drove on a gloriously sunny morning. By 9:35 we were in central London and JJ parked at Chinatown so it was only a short walk to the National Gallery. I remarked on this ship in a bottle that I had never seen before at which Miss E exclaimed how totally out of date I was as it had been there when she went to the National Gallery on a school trip '' aaaages ago''.
We joined the wrong queue at first - suspiciously short and fast moving forwards once it was 10 am) And on finding the correct LEONARDO queue- the one for people without advance tickets , which were totally sold out within a day of opening- we joined it only to be told that we would not be able to get in AT ALL that ENTIRE day. WHAT????? After all we queued for 2-3 hours for the Van Gogh exhibition and eventually went in? What was going on? Apparently you have to start queue-ing BEFORE 8 am on the day. OUCH. Avoiding disappointment I suggested the gallery shop and although we were already armed with the written guide to the exhibits from the internet, we had planned to buy the official fully illustrated published guide to the exhibition anyway. JJ - always a genius in managing the kids- let them have an amount to spend and we happily browsed in the gallery shop instead. NO queue! My treats were the official guide, a small book on the complete works of Leonardo - this included much desired anatomical sketches and horse studies-and some postcards. Miss E went for a magnetic journal and a tiger torch and Miss Y : postcards , bookmark and a pencil.
Outside it was a most glorious day which was delightful after all the grey rainy days we've been having. Loath to leave trafalgar square I took a few quick pictures.
Wonderful fountains and a tree!
Come on mum!
Looking back a few seconds at a dancing street entertainer with a puppet strapped to his knees.
Hurrying on but stopping to buy a few art supplies for Miss E. Charcoal pencils are currently her fave medium.
I love these mosaics, lovely and dedicated to the National Portrait Gallery.
Even the fencing is decorative and dedicated.

Off we went in the car to park near HARRODS ( JJ suggested an ice cream in their ice -cream parlour) and I suggested V&A for the POWER OF MAKING exhibition. We all agreed: a bit of culture first and then ice cream!!!
It was the LAST day of this exhibition which I had visited in October and this time there were no troublesome stewards stopping all photography... Only I didn't realise this until we were leaving...
The fabulous gorilla made entirely from metal coat-hangers- what a sculpture!
The amazing evening gown- sorry I missed the top V neck and dropped shoulder cap sleeves- still worrying about stewards stopping me. Made from long steel dressmaking pins!
There were also a mahogany bicycle- steam formed circles as in boat building techniques- , a crochet bikini brief( very ho-hum) the incredible crochet-dermy bear which I have featured in an earlier blog-post and lion shaped coffin, fine fabric made from tesselated pieces of thin WOOD in a beautigul marquetry pattern and so on.
On the walk from the car park we'd passed a patisserie and the girls were baying for cake by now. So a quick few photos of the glass sculpture and a visually intriguing pyramid in the entrance hall.

Bye bye V&A , JJ read the inscription in the above but it didn't come out in the photo, will need to research it on the net.
aaaah, cakes at last! Yumeeeee : the girls chose this one from the window display and both had the same. I chose an apricot frangipani tart and a raspberry torte for JJ and I to share
With drinks too, cappucino for JJ and chocolate for moi.
The cake was too heavily creamy and custardy for the girls so they ate less than half each, but enjoyed sharing a huge jam doughnut , the cake was nice but not very chocolaty except for the edge at the back.

Mmmmmmmmmm delicious! Visually DELIGHTFUL, very fruity and not very sweet despite the glaze. Very crunchy biscuity pastry case, my appel taart was better dare I say it?
HARRODS was very crowded and compartmentalised, Miss E wanted this £1,900 6 foot bear?
The girls loved their ice cream....
A Happy AND RELAXED JJ, soooo worth it, special moment time.

Afetr the ice cream on second floor, by the lifts- Miss Y saying bye bye to Harrods.
Being much more a '' Liberty of London'' kind of a gal, I have never much visited Harrods, except for the food halls in the 1980's...? There were many interesting features of the building even more than the merchandise- 4 me anyway- the lift had a nice parquet floor....
The various ceilings in the food halls- but we're rushing off now, parking here cost £10 per hour?

Sorry blurry mosaic tiling above archways- must go back to explore after the sales?
Unusual ceilings? Wonderful BLUE!
Amazing glass sculptures, couldn't get any closer.
BYE BYE Harrods.
Bye Bye!
We were home by 14:30 and the girls and I watched some wonderful old movies ( JJ slept his restorative daytime nap) and a JK Rowling feature and by evening it was the newly commissioned Endeavour- Morse as a young man- which absorbed me totally and was accompanied by much crochet. The back panel of the pink cashmere jacket is now almost completed. WHAT A BLISSFUL DAY!

No comments:

Post a Comment