Arrived at fleet; met by Bevan and have been staying with Matt and Sherie and their children, Alyssa and Robbie, since. Except when jennie and I went to London for a busy two days, with an overnight stop in Earls Court. Heat was forecast. Funny how 30 actually does feel hot!! The humidity must be high.
Highlights: Victoria and Albert Museum. An amazing place.
I am on the stops. get out the magnifying glass. The building itself is so magnificent that you could just look at that for hours!
And its not all staid and serious.
We weren't allowed to take photos, or even sketch, in the exhibition rooms, so all photos are of the outside.
Don't have to pay for lots of the exhibitions but there are always extra ones that are on for just a few months, that you pay for. We went for one of these;
the Treasures of the Royal courts, Tudors; Stuarts and Russian Tsars. Which sounds dull but was most impressive. These treasures were mostly loaned from Russia as those from England for this era were destroyed when royalists were fighting with Cromwell. Those given as diplomatic gifts to the Russians Tsars before this time were saved! How there custodians managed that through all those eras of Communist rule must be an amazing story in itself. Everything from paintings to jewellery, clothing and even suits of armour and a carriage. The silver was amazing. The craftsmanship truly awe inspiring. At the same time the opulence was over the top.
Then we had lunch; another amazing experience, and not because of the food (although that was good)
Then back into the exhibitions again to some of the free exhibitions. Jennie went to the costumes, and I went to Architecture.
Back to the 'lunch room again', seeing the orange juicer on the way. It seems everything put into this building is on a truly large scale! That somehow results in old and new going well together1
Everyone was really enjoying the sunshine and the children, the sunshine AND water
Back to the hotel foe a freshen up then off to Holland Park for an Opera; The Pearl Fishers. It took us ages to find, but finally did so with enough time to spare for a glass of champagne and a sandwich.
We had fluked two good seats but not together. But I could poke Jennie in one shoulder from behind, so close enough. I knew nothing about Holland Park. Apparently it had been a very large walled in house with extensive gardens. It was bombed during the war, but some bits were left standing. Lady Holland gave the estate to the nation. Part of the back drop for the stage is the old walls, and canvas roof sails means its sort of an out doors theatre, but protected from the rain. It is all taken down in winter.
You can see how close we were to the orchestra. The lights were visible during the breaks but not noticed during the performance. (which by the way was excellent. fantastic soprano. Korean tenor, who hit some really high notes!)
Part of the estate is now a big sports field. Cricket was still being played at 8.30. 9better than standing in 40 degree heat in the middle of the day as often happens at home. Twilight means lots of daylights and time for sports.