I went to London last Tuesday, all on my own, complete with book to read on the train (well Kindle…on my phone actually, Robert Harris ‘Enigma’ which I loved) to see the Wedding Dress exhibition at the V&A. It was great, not just the exhibition itself, but sitting on the train reading, having lunch in the museum and wandering around the galleries without bored kids in tow.
But it made me feel guilty, as we rarely take the kids ‘into town’ and it’s only a 40 min train ride into Victoria, so I decided to take advantage of an inset day on the Friday and I took them to see the Butterflies at The Natural History Museum. M was away for his IronMan in Austria (he did it – hurrah!) so it was just me and the munchkins and it was good fun. They became a bit tired and whiny by the afternoon and we ran out of steam and didn’t get around even half of the Museum, we’ve been before and will, no doubt, go again so this wasn’t a problem.
The butterflies were great, it was quiet, there was certainly no need to have pre-booked our tickets, in fact we were allowed to go in early as there was no queue. Of course, like everyone else, I had my phone out the entire time attempting to snap photos of the ever moving beauties, but I made lots of time to just watch them and it was fascinating seeing the long, curled tongues sipping nectar. I’d have loved a shot of the chrysalis, all lined up, as they really were fascinating, but that area was quite busy and I don’t like to take photos at the expense of blocking other people’s views.
Charlie was keen to get his phone/camera out too and if you’re wondering why F has his hoodie up, it’s because the very first thing that happened when we stepped inside the tent, was a butterfly landed on his head and he instinctively tried to swat it only to have me yell at him in horror. Luckily it flew off before he smacked his own head, but he thought it best to put his hood up just in case it happened again. I think killing the exhibits might be frowned upon 😉
They loved both my frock and newly dyed hair. My top tip? Go through the side entrance to the museum (the butterfly tent is outside so you don’t enter from the museum anyway) as the queue was ridiculous, it was very, very long and I got totally confused why no-one was using another entrances, apparently it was simply because they don’t know to, or so the guard told me.
Back home, I struggled to get going this morning. My attempt to re-arrange the studio and shoehorn all my ‘stuff’ in has got out of hand. I had hit the stage when it felt like I’ve been working for days but with no obvious results so I woke determined to sort things out. It hasn’t helped that I’ve not been sleeping very well, largely down to the humid weather we’ve been having. I waited patiently for the forecast rain all weekend, but it never arrived, we had the odd spot, but not the stormy showers I was expecting and certainly not enough to clear the air. Not only does it make our bedroom (built into the original loft) hot but the studio and kitchen, with all its glass is like working in a sauna.
Today, I finally feel like I made it over the hump, as it were, and I can step into my workroom without tripping up on piles of boxes. Again, I’ve made myself crack on with unfinished jobs. The old office chair, kindly given to me by my bosses at The Imperial War Museum (it was out by the bins ready for collection but is, apparently, a designer classic, clearly no-one knew that or I’m sure they’d have never have let me scavenge it!!) has been re-covered ready to go into F’s new room. Phew, another unnecessary thing removed from ‘my’ space (I use M’s Aeron chair, which is much better for my back and currently has no home…it’s a bit like his old camera, I figure if I borrow it long enough it just becomes mine…no? Have I got that wrong ;)).
It’s the second time I’ve re-covered it, the first was done in the nice vintage gold linen, but that had worn through, so I’ve gone for a super heavy blue tweed. It doesn’t feel that nice to touch (it really is very weighty, when I sewed the Weekender Bag above, which I originally bought the fabric for, I nearly cried trying to get the side seams stitched together, with their multiple layers!) but it’s tough and should cope with a little boy mistreating it.
Nearly forgot to mention the lovely cushion came from Felicity at Eclectic Handmade.
I’ve also finally glued and waxed a rocking horse I’ve had since I was a kid. Yet more of the typical ‘junk’ I hoard. This has followed me around for years, I stripped it back in 2009, and sadly I can see from the photo I took at the time (as above) that storing it in the roof alcove, directly in front of a glass window, has done it no good and has left me with cracked paint to deal with.
Oh well, it’s glued back together and waxed, maybe I’ll find time in another 5 years to give the head a coat of varnish to stop it flaking even more 😉
I need to get back to sewing now, I am very aware how quickly this school term is flying. Tick tock and all that!