Wednesday, 23 April 2008

What a difference a day makes

Hello! I can't tell you how good it is to be back, looking forward to catching up with all of your news over the next day or so. Before I do, here's the highlights of the past few days. Our weekend was one of two very distinct halves:

We took the girls up to London for the day. A day of visiting galleries, walking along the river and eating. It was a good day. Grey but good, as if all the colour had been bleached from the city. The sort of grey that affects all your senses, mutes the noise and softens the sights.

We started off at the Tate where the girls fell in love with all the wonderful Pre Raphaelite paintings, (particularly the very lovely and romantic "April in Love" ) and mooched around the galleries in awe of all the colour and beauty that they contained.

We walked along the embankment and London and the Thames reminded me so much of one of the Whistler paintings I had seen. Grey, soft and quiet. There is nothing like walking around a city to fully appreciate it. No matter how many times you drive around it, it's only when walking that you can appreciate the scale and beauty of its buildings and stumble across hidden treasures that you never knew were there.

This monument commemorating the abolition of slavery in the grounds of Parliament, I had never noticed before.

Big Sister was very excited to find the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst and Little Sister listened (perhaps pretending to be interested) as she told her all about the suffragetes.

Even in busier parts of London and the hot tourist spots, there was time to stop and marvel.

I love the mix of old and new London in this photo.

We carried on walking down the embankment opposite the London Eye towards Somerset House and went to the Courtauld Gallery. This has to be one of my favourite art galleries. When I was at school I remember my art teacher always going on about this place but I think it took me about ten years to finally visit it. If you ever get the chance and haven't been it really is worth the visit. Quiet and out of the way, it houses a wonderful collection of Impressionist , Post-Impressionist and Bloomsbury paintings which for me was the highlight of the trip.
The girls loved it and want to go back for more, I think it was one of our best days in London.

SUNDAY BEST (the one where Miss Blossom finally gets a dress)

A day of colour and unexpected sunshine. An early trip to the car boot where I find a lovely little vintage dress for Miss Blossom (only £1). I've got my eye on it for myself but she is rather more endowed than me and I would feel mean taking it from her now. So out into the garden she came, all dressed up and she held court over my car booty.

This could be mistaken for a spot the difference photo from the last post. I was lucky enough to find candy stripe pillow cases for last week's sheets. Another enamel tub and an old flour pot which is destined to become a flower pot of a different kind.

A couple of apothecary bottles from an old local chemist shop which now sit on the groaning bathroom shelf.

This tea cup and saucer were just too pretty to ignore and they came running home with me. They reminded me of all my floral postcards which came outside to be sorted.

Sssssh I'll let you into a secret, I'm not the only squirrel around.

Meet Sir Squigs the fattest squirrel in town. He spent the afternoon admiring my treasures and, unfortunately, digging up the bulbs but we love him (not as much as the cats do as he provides their only form of exercise).


The girls went back to school I sat down to catch up at the computer and within five minutes the smell of burning and the computer had died. I spent the day beside myself. Am I the only one who never backs anything? All my photos. contacts, work details - everything had potentially disappeared. I didn't sleep well. It was a black sort of day.

But hooray M took it to work and the hard drive was retrieved (does that sound right?). The memory board had burnt out (I know the feeling) and we have had to borrow a computer. So a happy ending of sorts.
Right I'm off to catch up with all your lovely news while I can. It may be a grey drizzly kind of day but I'm so so happy to be back. Sorry again for the length of this post - 48 hours without internet access is a long time!


April said...

Sounds like you have been very busy!!

Miss Blossom looks lovely. April Love is one of my favourite paintings too - I love Pre-Raphaelites.

Sorry to hear about your computer problems too - hope all is better now

April xx

Emma Herian said...

Sounds like fun! I love visiting London and pretending to be a tourist!
I must come along with you to the booty one day, so many goodies!
Life without a computer sometimes seems tempting, but rather scary too.
Hope all gets back to normal soon - I am rather frantic at the mo .... May just around the corner! Ahhh! help!
Spk soonx

Donna Lynn said...

Looks like you had such a wonderful time with your family! I would love to come to London one day, my dear friend Diana Lyn ( is coming over this coming Christmas, as her daughter is living there! Lucky girl! Loved all your pictures, felt like I was along for the trip...your finds were great as well! Thanks for visiting me, come back soon...
Hugs to you and hoping your weather is sunny and warm soon!
Donna Lynn

Thimbleanna said...

Ahhh Kim. Sigh. I just love to visit and see what adventures you've had. Especially when they involve trips around England. How fortunate you are to be able to just pop into London. April Love is just beautiful. Oh to have time to just sit and savor all the beautiful museums -- that's what's so hard for this American tourist -- there are SO many things to see when visiting, there's just not time to fully appreciate each one! Love the car booty -- you always nab such lovelies!

Pondside said...

Big sympathy on the frying of your hard drive!! I had it happen last year and was in a panic as I hadn't backed up either! Thank heavens for the computer savvy Great Dane, who performed a couple of days worth of magic and retrieved everything from cyber space.
Your time away with your girls must have been wonderful. I've only been to London once, and it was a grey November. I do envy you the access to the galleries and museums - April in Love was too lovely for words!
Happy catch-up!

French Knots said...

I went to the Cortauld Gallery some years ago when staying in London and was really impressed.
Glad you sorted out your hard drive, ours died last year and we thought we had lost everything. Luckliy a friend managed to rescue the photos for us, which are now regularly backed up!

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

I enjoyed the little trip around London, you were able to get some nice shots :)

Good thing they were able to recover the info on your hard drive....this reminds me.....I need to back up!!

Happy day :o)

She'sSewPretty said...

Your pictures of your trip to London are so wonderful. You are so lucky to live where there is so much history.
Miss Blossom's dress is perfect. I love how you took her out to the garden for photos.

Suzie Sews said...

Oh my what a few days, horror story about your computer. I adore your description of grey...still looks like a good time was had and as for that boots I go to never have such good stuff.

Greentwinsmummy said...

oh my goodness!! Thats the sort of computer disaster I have!! I have been rescued by pals hubbys many a time!!
lovely post,I had never seen that painting so it was a joy to discover it,I like Rossetti Venus,I saw that in the Russell Coates museum in Bournemouth & stood there agog at its beauty,there was one there called Midsummer too but I forget the artist,a gogeous glowing orangy marvel that you could feel the heat off
x x x x

Heidi Ann said...

So enjoyed today's blog entry & your photos!!!! Just wonderful!!!.. I would love to spend some greyish days walking around London...As much as I do love living here in California, I sometimes yearn for cloudy skies & drizzle!.. your photos made me almost feel I was there! Thanks so much!...heidi:)

ShabbyInTheCity said...

48 hours without!!! Awful to be sure!
I could stare at that ferris wheel for hours :)

Sea Angels said...

If Miss Blossom lived with me she would have a housecoat on now, and I would be tripping down the road a vision in blue, waving goodbye as I went...ha ha
Your London visit sounds perfect, and the photographs are lovely. I must, I must get to the Courtauld Gallery, this will be my new mantra...
You scooped up again at the carboot, I can't believe all the gorgeous stuff you get, I am soooo's all too much for me, oh poorly computer, I bet you felt like your arm had been cut off, I would.
Lovely post, have a few days at home now...R&R...
Hugs Lynn xx

Summer by the sea said...

Sounds like a lovely break in London - We went in December and it was very grey and drizzly! - And well done on your car boot finds too - Natalie x

Kari & Kijsa said...

So glad to hear you were able to save the information from the hard drive! Your photos are WONDERFUL!!!

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

smiles, kari & kijsa

Katherines Dream said...

I new it was the Thames as soon as I saw it! what a great day out..shame you did get a bit of sun. We were in London on the Friday and boy was it cold...I was frozen stiff, which spoiled the day a wee bit. I said that it would fun to get the river boat and then walk back criss-crossing all the bridges.
Love the new goodies especially the enamel!
Carol x

Jennie said...

I love pre raphaelite paintings!
Looks like you had a great time.
Love all your car boot goodies.
Sorry about your computer! My old computer died on me and I lost everything! that was a bleak time.
Hope it is all sorted soon.

The Fairy Glade said...

Hi there my computer crashed last year and I lost everything including my daughters 8th birthday pictures at a resturant..was gutted as no one else had taken any. You can't get those moments in time back..I cried for days!

mollycupcakes said...

Great catching up with you hun, all the photos are gorgeous as ever. I've sent the linkto your blog to my Mum she's ex-Londoner, as you know she lives in Ireland now and just loves to see photos of the old place.
Loving the car bootie and the pink table it's all on. I want one lol
Glad you computer tec hubby sorted all the problems out and your back to normal now.
A get in a flap when things pop up and make Ben laught or sigh out loud lol He's a programer and nothing seems to trouble him on here hehe! just me. oh well good to have you back sweetie.
Catherine x

Gill at Lucy Locket said...

Fab weekend Kim, I enjoy seeing your trips to London, they always make me want to have a day out there too. And great finds at the boot sales,I'd have snapped them up too ( In fact I'd probably be like the woman who grabbed something from under your nose!). I didn't find much last Sunday but am hoping for a fine day next weekend.
Gill x
p.s I don't back-up either, I really should, lucky we've got clever IT people to sort it out.

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

What a busy lady! I so love those photos of London! I've never seen the London Eye (it's been a long time since our last visit obviously)! Your dress is the perfect fot for your mannequin! =)

Knitty, Vintage and Rosy said...

I am so glad you were able to recover all your stuff from the computer. Oh, my, I don't know what I would do if that happened!

Lovely items you found at the boot sale.

Knitty, Vintage and Rosy

Alison Boon said...

What a great weekend. It might have been grey in London but you still seemed to have lots of fun. Sorry to hear about the computer, it is tragic when you think everything might be gone.

thriftymrs said...

Wow, very busy! I adore the tate too, I could spend hours walking around there. Sometimes it is nice to be a tourist in a city you know so well.

You car booty is fab too.

Glad to see the computer didn't explode!

Garden girl said...

am so pleased you got the sheets to match the pillow cases! Sigh, am having a nostalgic moment...!The enamel tub with be great fow flowers, do you put holes in the bottom or just go straight in with the compost? Never quite sure about the best way to adapt containers for outside use, so all suggestions gratefully received! Love Mr Squigs, he is very lovely x

Lucy Bloom said...

Hi Kim, lovely day out, I haven't been to London for ages, hate the noise and crowds really. And some more great car boot finds, ours never seem to have really pretty things like that, or maybe I'm just not looking hard enough!
Hope you're having a good week,
Lucy x

Cowboys & Custard said...

Take II
My first comment on this post went A.W.O.L so here I am again..
A visit to RR is like a breath of fresh air.. and this post is particularly nostalgic for me.. Red brick walls.. Love them and your garden is enchanting.. like The Secret Garden..
Candy striped sheets are another memory of my childhood..
Hope the memory board hasn't got the same virus as my memory.... Mine is certainly burnt out!

periwinkle said...

Sounds like you had a lovely weekend ( apart from your computer that is). You always find the nicest things at your sales, you are so lucky. Mr Squigs is adorable.... I,ve explained to Milo that the new teddy has to have appendages or it won't be able to play with his other toys when he goes to sleep :-)
Lisa x

Curlew Country said...

What a fab weekend. Phew, glad the computer is feeling better too. I MUST put my pictures on cds quick.
I love your boot finds, went to one on Sunday and it was hopeless, only plants of any interest to me.
Beautiful frock!


There really are some great places to visit in London and for the girls to be so interested in culture is nice. Have you qualifications in set design, the subjects of your photos are always so well put together. Really so pretty. My squirrel has disppeared of late, although I am still finding the occasional monkey nut buried! I don't mind them in my garden, just as long as they leave my bulbs alone. You have managed to get some great photos of yours. My one never did like posing for the camera! x

Sal said...

It was so nice to read about your weekend and all of your lovely finds ;-) Sal

~~ATTIC CLUTTER~~ said...

You live is such a lovely place glad I stopped in .. cute ragged roses too(:)It is so fun to see peoples lives in other countries~~ Patty

driftwood said...

what a great day out, and lovely car boot treasures, glad your computer wasn't too badly damaged, that sounds scary