This weekend I had planned ahead for a trip to London to see the John Everett Millais exhibition at Tate Britain before it closes on the 13th January. I managed a brilliantly cheap coach fare on National Express - £2 return from Portsmouth by booking last month.
The queues were forming by the time I got there a little after 10am, but it was still easy enough to view the paintings, and after 90 minutes, my plan to find somewhere to sit and write a few notes were abandoned due to lack of seating and pure exhaustion. I'd been wavering on whether to make the trip due to shortage of funds, but I'm glad I did now, as there were several paintings from private collections and from the States which I could never hope to see in real life away from the exhibition. There were a lot of drawings and prints and especially charming were the exhibit of the actual child's bonnet and shoes worn for the painting of 'Cherry Ripe' which still belong to the model's family.
Most splendid was the portrait of Alfred, Lord Tennyson - a resident of the Isle of Wight, and poet laureate to Queen Victoria.
After a restorative sandwich and banana on a bench at the Millbank entrance, enjoying the winter sun, I decided that I'd try walking around London for the first time since I was a schoolchild instead of using the Tube. Saving money and getting exercise and fresh air into the bargain. I was amazed to discover just how close everything is to everything else, and was snapping away like a demented tourist.
View from the Thames - Lambeth Palace, and just making out the Gherkin towards the right of the frame.
Swiftly followed by the Houses of Parliament
Anti War protestors in Parliament Square
Nelson's Column (Nelson's been on the drink! or is that just my lousy camera work?)
Trafalgar Square, where New Year revellers used to jump into the fountain. (The National Gallery in the background)
I weakened here when I spotted some rarely-seen 2mm double pointed needles, so I blew a whole £2.70.
Then some after-dark pictures as I bravely walked back from Oxford Street to Victoria. Eek!!
South Molton Street with its angel decorations.
Buckingham Palace (particularly difficult to get a good shot without being run over!)
Now armed with the correct size needles, I made my first sock.
Sized for fairies!
I was dreading socks after reading so much about the hell of 'turning the heel', but it was a piece of cake. Hurrah for socks!
Now to get back into my spinning for 2008. So much fibre.....so little time.