Monday, November 9, 2009

Catching up

On Sunday morning we visited the Queen's Gallery, but the high point was seeing the Royals returning from the wreath-laying on the Cenotaph, and witnessing the parade of veterans.

In the afternoon we did another London Walk, this one to the Little Venice area. Named by Robert Browning, it was created just before trains took over. Our guide, Shaughan, who sang and recited poetry and jokes at the drop of a hat, told us that you can navigate for miles by canal, as far up as Birmingham.
Here's a view, with Richard Branson's canalboat on the left.

Posted by Picasa

Today, Monday, we followed a walk through Kensal Green Cemetery, a Victorian-era cemetery, still in use, that includes gravestones from, among others, Anthony Trollope, the accoucheur who delivered all of Queen Victoria's children, and, most movingly, little Marigold, known as Duckadilly, daughter of Winston and Clementine Churchill, who died at age two. The calligraphy is by Eric Gill.

Posted by Picasa

It was a perfect day for a cemetery walk, cool and grey and damp. The cemetery seems to be falling down in a gentle way, with stones askew or missing. Our guidebook, "TimeOut Book of London Walks," included a rant by Lucinda Lambton against the poor quality of current funerary art, and I must agree.

This afternoon we made our way to the Portrait Gallery for a special exhibit, "From Beatles to Bowie," photos of the Stones, the Beatles, and other ancient luminaries. My favorite was the photo of Robin Williamson and Mike Heron who made up The Incredible String Band. Did not know that it had been taken in Frank Zappa's garden... Keith Richards looks remarkably young in the early pictures - hard to believe he turned into the ravaged pirate he is today.

We limped gallantly home, getting ready for the BM and Darwin tomorrow.


Judy said...

The Churchill's youngest daughter - Cecelia? - was born after Marigold's death and didn't learn for years and years that the little girl in the photo on her mother's dressing table was her sister. Her mother never talked about her.

Could you get me one of those paper poppies? Golly, I'd love to have one.

Yes, those were three Navy guys. They're the ones who wear the tricorns.

What a great time you are having!!

Augusta said...

Duckadilly sounds like a good pet name. I'm putting it on the short list for our next dog.

Sounds like you're having a great time!

Martha said...

This all sounds just too wonderful. Will you have a cup of tea and a pint of Old Peculiar for me?

Caroline said...

Martha, have had the cup of tea already and will seek out Old Peculiar today! Our last day, boo hoo.