Friday 2 November 2018

London in the Autumn

I've been really busy with work recently, which has buried me under a blizzard of paperwork and left me at the mercy of a series of unforgiving deadlines, but I'm determined to carve myself some me-time this weekend. And starting today I ignored all the other calls on my attention and headed off with the WonderDog for an early morning jaunt around the common. It was bracing; we've just had our first frost of the season here in London, but it got the air pumping in my lungs and blew away the cobwebs more effectively than a bucket of coffee could have done.

Ealing Common

I came back to tidy up the detritus of Halloween. I'd been away for a couple of days over 30th and 31st, and had left Mr B in charge. He and Emi had carved pumpkins and hung cobwebs with much enthusiasm, but after a couple of days of November weather everything had deteriorated into a bit of an unsightly mess.

And now, with Halloween out of the way, we're looking forward to Bonfire Night. I love the flames and the fireworks of 5th November. There's a lot to be said for this celebration of light and fire in the midst of the autumn chill. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for clear skies and a dry, star-studded firmament. A soggy bonfire night is a pretty woebegone let-down.

The other day I took a trip down to Strawberry Hill, one time home of Horace Walpole. It's one of my favourite places in London; I love Walpole's take on all things Gothic. The curators have arranged for a host of Walpole's original treasures to return to the house, and the result is a lovely exhibition featuring oddities such as Cardinal Wolsey's hat, a lock of Mary Tudor's hair, society portraits by Allan Ramsay, Joshua Reynolds and Van Dyck, majolica from the Medici and a cravat carved by Grinling Gibbons from lime-wood in imitation of Venetian needlepoint, which once adorned  Walpole's neck when he was at home to distinguished visitors. It's all beautifully eclectic and eccentric - just like Horace Walpole himself. 

Strawberry Hill, London

The exhibition runs until 24th February, so you still have a little time if you'd like to fit it in. Sadly photography is not allowed - otherwise I'd have been regaling you with photos of my favourite pieces. 

All the best for now,

Bonny x

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