The London blog

This week’s blog is only a few days late… I had planned to write it before we left for London, but with a family coming to stay in the house while we were away, there were a few things that I needed to get done before I went to pick up the rest of the family and go to the train. And suddenly it’s Friday.

Our usual plan of attack is to show up in London and then figure out what to do. There is always a handwork/sewing/material event that is the prompt for us to go there in the first place, but the variety of other offerings and special exhibitions is always impressive, no matter what time of year we are there. Having posters everywhere is very helpful in finding out about the shorter-running events that a simple internet search might not immediately come up with.

Take the Chocolate Show, for example. It was inevitable that we would go once we saw the first poster. A huge exhibition hall devoted to chocolate. With so much tasting opportunities that we grew quite selective (= picky) by the end of the day and probably aren’t going to eat any chocolate for a few more days still. But we can now identify a Madagascar dark chocolate by the taste, so we  learned something useful.

We saw some fun chocolate replicas of everyday items…



… but the most unusual part of the event was the fashion show at the end.


Some of the costumes seemed to have only a tangential connection to chocolate, but a chocolate Dalek costume?







There is nothing quite like the variety of museums in London. This time, we finally got to go to the Imperial War Museum, which was being renovated the first time we were down there. I feel I should warn those in the Shard that someone has their sights on them…


The Science Museum had a capsule that had been around the moon and had the scorch marks from re-entry on the bottom…


… as well as a 19-volume book of part of the human genome:


It wasn’t all just museums, though. Homage was paid to the Pineapple Dance Studios (I thought it was just a dance-based brand to sell over-priced clothes, it turns out there are also real dance studios.)


And there was Billy ElliotBob Dylan and the choral evensong at St Paul’s. So a decent dose of culture in there as well.

The other benefit London has for me is the time on the underground. Apart from when we try to get on a train at Holborn at 6pm and decide instead to walk 20 minutes to a different line rather than stand in the crowd that can’t even get into the station, never mind onto a train, Tube time is reading time and my goal is to get through one novel while I’m there. This week was Jonathan Franzen’s new novel Purity, which was long enough to challenge me to get it finished before we got home. It took me until York on the train back yesterday, but I made it. Review coming next week.

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