Lately

Past couple of weeks have been both quiet and busy. Quiet in the sense that nothing much exciting has happened, busy because my wonderful assistant left UK for the sunnier shores of the southern US couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been working on my own since then. Somewhere along the way, the autumn has really, truly come – it’s dark outside by seven nowadays, and some adventurous shops already have displays of Christmas goodies.

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I went to Victoria and Albert Museum on Saturday. Wonderful ceilings. Wonderful pretty much everything, then again. I love how the V&A is like the attic and the garage and the garden shed of the nation all rolled in one, an enormous collection of the most random things imaginable. A whole gallery, hundreds of feet long, full of wrought iron garden gates? Check. 15 000 silver salt shakers? Check? An ornate wooden staircase leading up to nowhere? Yes, they have got one of those. Actually, probably a dozen of those, but they only display one at the time.

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Also on display, a life-size rhinoceros costume from an early silent film. Yes, this is a costume, not an actual rhino.

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Old and new: 30-ft tall screens made of pinwheels lead to a space filled with bits and pieces of pre-Great Fire London, including the timber frame of a house that had survived the fire but was then demolished in 1860s – no doubt to give way to something really depressing like a car park 😉

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The Renaissance city scape gallery. I love those two doorways. The exhibition of church pieces behind the three-arch gate is pretty amazing too.

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One of my favourite things: the Norfolk House Music Room. The house was demolished in 1936, but many of its interiors were detached from the building and are preserved in the museum. There is something magical about this space, like stepping through the looking glass into another world. A whole room. From another building, from another time.

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Domestic matters: I have mostly eaten vegetarian food this week, like this homemade vegetable ragu.

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Knitting little hats for the Innocent Big Knits campaign. They donate 25p per sold, hatted bottle to the Age UK, to help elderly people to heat their houses over the winter. Learn about the campaign here, and about how to participate here.

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