I think I walked even further today than yesterday.
I didn’t sleep all that well last night – I usually find it hard the first night in an unfamiliar bed, plus it was very warm. London is about four to five degrees warmer than Liverpool, so summer is well and truly on the way here. I actually hesitated to pack t-shirts, but it’s a good thing I did. No hat though, and I think I almost got sunburnt again! I am pleased to say though that my new trans-seasonal jacket was perfect again today, as despite the sunshine and warmth, you occasionally have a bit of cloud or a cool wind picks up and you’re glad for the option of an extra layer.
I started the day at the Victoria and Albert Museum for the Grace Kelly: Style Icon exhibition. My favourites were the black silk chiffon dress she wore in Rear Window, plus a green Givenchy suit she wore to lunch with the Kennedys. She also had a great collection of sunglasses. There were beautiful gowns galore. Near each exhibit was usually a photograph of Kelly wearing the outfit, which clearly shows that it’s not just the dress that creates the look – some of the exhibits looked sadly stark without Kelly’s styling: hair, accessories, jewellery and lots of furs. At about 11 am I looked around me and did a quick headcount: 85 women attending the exhibition and four men.
I then crossed the road to the Natural History Museum – I’d never been there before.
In the central gallery is a giant Diplodocus. He ate grass.
There were hundreds of other dinosaurs too, and even more school children. It was great seeing how interested they were.
The full size animated T-Rex was a bit scary. His tail was actually stirring up that dust. Now he has pointy teeth.
Look! It’s Orlando at the boarding cattery. He doesn’t make friends easily.
And this is me before I’ve had my breakfast. Don’t try to have meaningful conversation with me before my Sultana Bran and a cup of tea. Something about blood-sugar levels.
This is not a dinosaur, it’s a mammal. She’s from Australia and she was called a Diprotodon – the world’s largest recorded marsupial.
The mineral collection was amazing. I’m not really interested in igneous rock formations, well, not as much as I am in the metamorphic or sedimentary rock categories. I mean, I can take your igneous rocks or leave them. I relate primarily to micas, quartz, feldspar. You can keep your pyroxenes, magnetites and coarse-grained plutonics as far as I’m concerned.
They have a super high-security section called The Vault, with some of the most amazing gemstones in the world.
The cross-section of the Giant Sequoia was incredible. Over 1,300 years old when felled at the end of the nineteenth century.
In homage to Charles Darwin, not only does his statue overlook the central gallery, everywhere you look on the building there are stone carvings of animals – apes and birds especially, both of which were crucial in his development of the theory of evolution.
The Household Cavalry. I then took a walk along Hyde Park. I was headed for Wellington Arch and Apsley House, but they weren’t open! I’ll try again tomorrow.
I then had to review my plans, so I took the tube to Pimlico and walked to the Tate Britain. I haven’t been there since 1997.
They had a wonderful Henry Moore exhibition. Afterwards I did the rest of the Tate Britain. They have an entire wing dedicated to Turner, but I prefer the Turners in the National Gallery.
I spent some time in Green Park watching the world go by – didn’t realise that so many people jog.
Walked up Piccadilly to Fortnum and Mason for a few supplies, mainly tea. Had a delicious roast chicken dinner at their Fountain Restaurant. The lady at the table next to me, also dining alone, said casually “Oh yes I met Princess Grace once” when I told her I’d been to the Grace Kelly Exhibition.
Funny, no-one said that to me yesterday when I dined at the Holloway KFC.