I had just made Denise a sneaky batch of shortbread and was preparing to go to bed – switching off lights, securing the door, etc – when the storm hit. It was ferocious, lashing the windows, spattering the ceiling lantern. Fortunately the roof is still not leaking so I sat happily typing as I wondered which storm it was.
You see, there’s been two named storms this year already. Duncan is in the north, somewhere in Scotland and Eleanor is Irish. We are (sort of) surrounded. It’s as if the elements are honing in on the people who voted for Brexit, trying to wipe them out. Hopefully they’ll realise I’m not one of them.
Fortunately the storms waited for the day to go by before hitting as we went to London today to visit the V&A. While there was a bit of spitty rain in the morning, the weather wasn’t too bad (unless you were queuing outside the Natural History Museum) and we stayed warm and dry.
Actually the trip in was perfectly timed for transport. Bus, train, tube, all of them turning up as we needed them. In fact, as we reached the Waterloo platform for the Tube train to Embankment a waiting train started shutting the doors. As if seeing us and realising how nice we are, the train opened it’s doors again for us to board. I have to say that’s damn good service on the part of London Underground.
Turning up at the V&A I pointed out to Denise the long arduous queue of family groups waiting to enter the Natural History Museum and, quite frankly, she was shocked that anyone would choose to spend their day standing up outside a museum. I think a few of the kids would agree with her.
Anyway, we didn’t mind as we walked into the V&A without a queue in sight.
The first thing we visited (after the loo) was this year’s Christmas tree.
The Singing Tree by designer, Es Devlin, is…
…brought to life via machine learning and thousands of words collected from the public. All these contributions will then be combined and processed by an algorithm into an audio-visual carol, which illuminates the Christmas tree, accompanied by an interactive choir of human and synthesised voices. (VAM website)
It’s very cool and traditional sounding and bright and jolly. It somehow evokes everything Christmassy without resorting to any religious nonsense. I loved it.
We then had a good old wander around the museum, visiting the Cast Court on the way, stopping to admire David from very close rather than the limits of the Accademia. Denise said it made you realise just how colossal he is…though he IS quite small in this photograph.
We also visited the Theatre Gallery where we were entertained by a young boy who was very vocal in his opinion of everything. As his mother dragged him from room to room he reported to all and sundry that it was all “BORING.” His mother was surprised by this though everyone else realised that a couple of rooms full of photographs depicting various dancers is not really going to interest an 8 year old.
Actually there were a lot of kids at the V&A today. We assumed it was because there was thousands more at the museums across the road so the V&A captured the ones that didn’t want to queue. While I feel sorry for the bored kids, it was no picnic for us either.
‘Picnic’ would have been a fine thing. The arrangement of the food delivery system at the V&A is appalling! As if to teach people the art of queuing in preparation for a life of queues to come (and because they skipped the ones across the road) they insist that you queue for the various different types of food then for tea and coffee then to pay. And then you have to find somewhere to sit. It was beyond irritating.
Still, we managed to get a baguette and water and sat surrounded by squalling, bawling, kicking, noisy children. What joy.
The trip home was as smooth and comfortable as the one in – we were royally entertained by a laughing baby – and, after shopping, we arrived home with time to sit and chill before dinner.
For our last night together we watched the film, Victor Frankenstein before Mirinda and Denise hit the mattresses, leaving me to the kitchen. Tomorrow is an early start given the taxi is due to turn up at 7:30am.
Eventually, as I went to bed, the clouds blew away and the big, beautiful full moon shone down, lighting everything with pure white reflected light. It was a glorious end to some pretty fierce winds.