Thursday, 14 August 2014
Our Final Weeks
We are home again and all but over the jet lag. It was hard to keep up with regular blogposts while away as we wanted to soak up every sight and every sound while we had the opportunity.
We ended up going on a couple more day trips out of London after visiting the Midsomer village. One such outing was to Cambridge which lived up to our high expectations.
We also visited Brighton.
There were endless antique jewellery shops and other shops of interest in the winding, characterful streets of the old part of town.
TRAVESTY AT THE TATE
In between the day trips we explored more of London. For many months I had been savouring the moment when I would be able to lay my eyes on the gorgeous "Lady of Shalott" painting by John William Waterhouse - painted in 1888. The day finally arrived, and after admiring Big Ben and all things Westminstery, we trotted down to the Tate Britain.
It is wonderful to bask in the energy that is generated by an original painting - particularly an original that has long been admired only via reproductions, which was the case for me with "the Lady of Shalott". Alas, the very day that we had earmarked to visit the Tate Gallery was also the very day they had earmarked for dismantling and rearranging the wing in which "the Lady of Shalott" resided.
I was aghast and couldn't really believe I wouldn't end up being able to view her at close quarters, which is why I didn't give up easily. I pleaded with three different staff members on three different occasions to let me tiptoe in with them for a quick look, all to no avail. But I wasn't alone in trying to suck up to the staff. On the third occasion an outraged American woman was already pleading her case for seeing the very same painting. "But I've made a 13 hour journey to see it!" she cried (she confided to me afterwards that she'd added in her Chunnel crossing for extra effect). My tale of woe trumped hers of course with my 26 hour journey to Ireland (which didn't include the ferry crossing to Wales, or the time spent looking for the missing gangplank - or the 3 hour train journey to London!) but all our bleating was to no avail as the staff were very professional and knew if they let us in they would be deluged with other bleaters within minutes.
So we had to be satisfied with glimpsing her from a distance, at least she had yet to be removed from the wall. This shot was taken through one of the glass doors with my zoom.
Despite my disappointment, I was still able to thoroughly enjoy the visit as there was a wealth of other stunning works to admire. It is wonderful how all the famous museums and galleries in London are free to visit - with the suggestion of a small donation.
I feel this post is long enough so I will endeavor to post the final photos and sketch in the next day or so.