I spent Saturday in London, to meet up with friends Jess, Paul, Anabel and Ian. I saw Ian and Anabel when I was in Dublin in October, but it's been over a year since I last saw Jess and Paul (Pittsburg and Trowbridge being, unfortunately, too far apart for frequent visits)
I was concerned about getting to London, as there were reports of flooding causing major delays on the trains, but I found in fact that the train into London was more-or less on time, and not particularly crowded, which was a pleasant surprise!
We all met up the British Library, and then started with a visit to the V&A, where we found Creepy Dolls, and a Wish Fulfilling Cow, and a golden chicken (which he label insisted was a goose, but which was, quite clearly, a chicken, and made me think immediately of The Bloggess).
We visited the Tippoo's Tiger, and looked at some of the South East Asian textiles and other exhibits.
I loved this 1900 year old winged lion, which is from India, but which looked somewhat Celtic to me.
After some lunch, we headed over to Sir John Soane's house, which is now a museum. You are not allowed to take pictures inside, but should you find yourself in London it's well worth a visit. Soane was an a architect, who died in 1837. He was a avid collector, and the house has everything from a Caneletto, several Turners and Hogarths, to pieces of Roman masonry, the sarcophagus of King Seti I, and a roof boss from the old Westminster Hall. The museum is set up as it was at the time Soane died (which does mean that many parts of it are very gloomy, as it is lit by candles!)
We then tried to visit the Hunterian Museum in order to see Babbage's brain,but sadly it was closed, so we went to Forbidden Palnet instead, before finishing the day in a pub near St Pancras.
It was great to hang out with everyone, and to have some bite-sized bits of culture!
I did have some delays getting home - my train from London was fine (although not actually the train which was on the timetable) I felt sorry for those wishing to travel beyond Bristol - just after we pulled out of Paddington (with no further stops until Reading) they announced that the train (due to go to Exeter) was not going beyond Bristol, that there was no alternative transport being provided and that they suggested that anyone wishing to travel went back to their point of origin to try again... Given that the train had been sitting, fully loaded, for about 15 minutes, it seemed a little unkind not to have made the announcement 5 minutes earlier!)