Saturday, 17 February 2018

Visit to London

Dorothy and I went to London for the day to get a cultural fix. We started at the Royal Academy and the exhibition of the Charles I collection. Marvellous. The Mantegna cartoons were there , nicely put into one enormous room. I last saw them 60 years ago when I was a student working for the summer at Teddington. I could walk across Bushey Park to Hampton Court. In those days they were in the Orangery at Hampton Court. This time they are exhibited in a very low light level and it does seem to me that they have faded a lot. There was a large number of world class things, Titians, Rembrandts, a Rubens (you can have him), a load of van Dykes, a Furer, a Bruegel. And a Velaquez which was marvellous. But there were a lot of Holbeins. And I would trade all the rest for one Holbein drawing.

Then a visit to a Pret café and a rather good sandwich and a walk over to Trafalgar Square where we had an appointment for the afternoon at the Coliseum! On the way we walked through Cecil Court. It is a long time since I was there and I had forgotten its excellences. It is a collection of high class secondhand booksellers along with several print sellers. We both did the same thing there, walked past a shop, stopped dead, turned round and went back. And I bought Anne's next birthday present which was a bit difficult because I found myself having to explain to the searcher what it was. I took it out of the bag and the searcher was quite jealous.

We went to see the English National Opera's production of Iolanthe at the Coliseum, very new, first performance was only a few days ago. And it is a romp, from the fire chief who came on at the beginning and talked to the denoument. The costumes were spectacular, the scenery ditto and at the end, most of the cast was flying round the stage on wires. I hope they had air traffic control because the speeds seemed quite high. Oh, I forgot, the music was good too.

After that it was going home time. And I was singing inside all the way home.

Added 5 minutes later. I nearly forgot. Half way through the first act, the Lords come in. In this production in a full sized steam train of the Stephenson Rocket variety plus carriages of the Victorian era.  No doubt it had an electric motor but it produced steam and some very convincing noises and whistles. And one of the Lords was got up to look and behave like Boris Johnson which brought the house down. I cannot help feeling that anyone not British would have trouble following the jokes.

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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.