Friday, November 6, 2009

Hijacked to London

The garden blog has been hijacked again, this time to London. My great plan of sleeping on the plane was derailed by an evil baby in the seat ahead of us who screamed with rage on and off for a couple hours. I know just how she felt.

However, we arrived on time to cloudy skies and cool temps. Heathrow Express to Paddington Station and breakfast there by 9:00. Here's the industrial ceiling of the station,


and here is Alison's first cup of tea.


From here we cabbed to our hotel, then on to the tube - here is Earl's Court's ceiling -


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and the Victoria and Albert.


We avoided total confusion at this enormous museum, housing everything from medieval Islamic art to some of Diana's dresses, by taking the general tour with a most exuberant and enthusiastic guide. The Great Bed of Ware, Dale Chihuly's remarkable hanging (imagine trying to dust this two-ton behemoth - they do it very carefully, on scaffolding, and not often),


a carved jade bowl belonging to Shah Jahan, the great cartoons by Raphael, and the largest and oldest "oriental" rug known, which is housed in a special gallery and lit for only ten minutes each hour to preserve it.

Here is a favorite from the sculpture gallery, Lot's wife being turned into a pillar of salt, by a sculptor with the improbable name of Hamo Thornycroft.

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Time for soup and the tube back to the hotel.

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The room is small but modern, with free Internet and a flat screen TV so we can watch the weather each morning. We are both wiped out, but looking forward to more tomorrow.

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