The Van Gogh exhibition was very crowded, but at least I had pre-purchased a ticket so I didn’t have to queue. The exhibition featured Van Gogh works alongside his personal correspondence with friends and family, particularly letters to his brother Theo. Many of the letters included sketches of the paintings which featured in the exhibition. Unfortunately the letters aren’t written in English, so all I could really do was admire his penmanship. You can read his letters and their translations here. What strikes me about Van Gogh is the bold expressive texture to his work which you don’t really see in prints. The other things that prints don’t do justice to is his colour palette – particularly the blues of his skies.

I then spent some time in Fortnum and Mason – on the top floor in the book section they have some lovely leather couches you can sit on whilst browsing through the books. I got Mark some tea and biscuits, and a little present, and I bought some chocolate for me. The chocolate is ‘Fortnum and Mason No 22 Dominican Republic Milk Chocolate’ – rather nice, though not sweet or creamy enough for me: I fear good chocolate is wasted on me as I’m more than happy with a Cadbury Family Block.  A few doors down I browsed through Hatchard’s, Booksellers Since 1797, where I bought three books on Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Awwww – cute. Frogdancer’s snaps of Molly only increased my desire for one. Molly was the first Cavalier I ever met and she’s gorgeous.

Dinner was lovely and now I’m back at the hotel in my pyjamas. As usual the hotel is stifling hot despite it being zero degrees outside – I have the windows open! They certainly like to keep their clients warm here. I’m actually in quite a large room with a separate living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. I appreciate the space, though I quite like the rooms upstairs which are smaller but are attic-style with sloping ceilings, which always makes me feel very artistic and garret-like.

I do love London, and it’s wonderful to be here after only a two hour train ride – much better than twenty-four hours on a plane!

Anyway – nearly bedtime. I have a ridiculously busy day planned tomorrow – when will I learn to pace myself? Night all.