London was calling

With apologies to The Clash!

Seriously though, London was calling as we had a new grandson to get to know, and I wanted to visit my sister and her family. We did have a break in Paris and Luxembourg, previously blogged, and the rest of the time we spent in London with brief forays to see friends and family.

I began my adventures with The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace – or Ally Pally – I had pre-arranged a meeting with Maria from Velosews and Sew Organised Style Podcast, but finished up meeting so many more people.

With Susan Young and Jen from Jenerates.

I met up with the Tessuti ladies, which was lovely, and Grace from Beyond Measure UK, who I’ve followed for years. The last photo is of two lovely followers, Tiffany and Jackie, who came up and introduced themselves. I love our sewing community!

I was introduced to Lucy from Trend Patterns, a new to me pattern company, and I did buy a pattern that I’m looking forward to making.

And of course there was Andrew to hang out with all day, reminding me of when he took me shopping on Goldhawk Road. Have a look at the amazing shirt he’s wearing, which he made, of course!

I had a lovely catchup with Wendy from @Whendy7 on Instagram. We had a walk in the countryside near her home and the views (and weather) were absolutely splendid. Please note that I am standing uphill of Wendy so as to look a similar height. Made me laugh when she placed me there!

I was quite taken with the farm animals too!

I have a lot of family in the UK, including my sister, so I had to catch up with her. I was crocheting and she was reading about crocheting – she’s much better at it than me. I am wearing a jumper I knitted for Mark, and am so tempted to steal it!

I went shopping on Goldhawk Road, but didn’t buy a single piece of fabric. An all time record!

The middle photo is of me outside Misan West on Goldhawk Road. I am wearing the raincoat made from fabric I bought at Misan in Berwick Street a few trips to London ago. I also included a photo of me outside Liberty of London. Always amazing to visit.

I did buy a piece of fabric, but from the Marché Saint-Pierre cloth district, Montmartre. It’s wool flannel and I have plans to make Mark a shirt from it. I just hope I have enough as I have all that pattern matching to manage.

I spend a lot of time building gazing, and did manage to take a lot of photos, a few of which I include here. There are some truly beautiful buildings. I absolutely love the tiled names above railway stations, the coloured bricks which create contrast and the shapes of many of the buildings.

Speaking of beautiful buildings, we visited Fortnum and Mason a couple of times and I was keen to have morning tea there as it looked rather nice. We had scones the first time, but then I fancied cake the second time, which wasn’t as good as the scones. The little ice creams are a winner though!

Last time I was in London I admired this little house, which is known as Duck Island Cottage, the home of the birdkeeper in St James” Park. I had to revisit. It’s no longer a home (how good would it be to live in?) but has been turned into offices, which would be pretty nice to work in, I’m sure.

We saw lots of quirky vehicles, including the ice cream van, but the one that bemused me most was the pedi-bus, where the occupants pedalled the trailer along a busy London street, whilst drinking what looked like beer! I can’t imagine that being allowed in Australia. It did look like fun though.

Speaking of quirky, I saw this furniture store which advertised that they had spaceships. We went inside, and yes, they do! It looks pretty luxurious but I’m not convinced it could be launched into space!

I visited the Kaffe Fasset exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum. The quilts truly looked like paintings from a distance.

I was very taken with the coat, but know that my quilting skills aren’t up to it, although I was excited to realise that Kaffe uses the same sewing machine as I have, although mine is missing the special decoration and the extra stitches. Perhaps that’s why my quilting isn’t up to standard!

No trip to London is complete without spending many hours at the Natural History Museum. It’s one of the finest buildings in London, in my opinion, and it is full of interest and wonder.

The fossilised wood is from Tasmania and is from the paleogene period, and the rock is from Western Australia, and is 2.6billion years old. The coloured bands show the dramatic increase in admospheric oxygen, which was critical for the evolution of life. I was thrilled to meet Dippy the Dinosaur, who lived 150m years ago, in the jurassic period, and was found in pieces in Wyoming, USA. Dippy is made from a cast taken from the fossilised bones discovered by railway workers. Andrew Carnegie bought the bones, made the cast and donated it to the museum. It has been on display for 100 years and recently completed a tour of the UK. The children in the museum were so engaged in all the exhibits, but especially Dippy. My apologies that some of the photos are dark, but you can still see the amazing tail.

The last photo is of a slice of tree which was 1335 years old.

I was looking for interesting things near where my step-daughter lives when I found Shepherdess Walk in Hoxton, which contains some amazing mosaics. They are actually in a park, but the most exciting way of getting to see them is via a little alleyway through houses, which follows the path that the shepherds and shepherdesses walked their sheep to graze.

I have to say at this point that this alleyway took some finding as Google maps gave us the complete runaround. I only found it in the end by reading an article which gave the street address. It was so worth the faffing about though. The mosaics were unveiled in 2012 to coincide with the London olympics and depict life in the local parks. Absolutely stunning!

The mosaics are on the walls and the ground.

If you are ever in London, I suggest you have a go at finding them as they really are a hidden treasure.

I am a lover of elephants and there are a few sprinkled around London. This one is part of a bigger “herd” which acts as a fundraiser for wild elephants (yes, I donated).

And this one is made of wire. I’d like it in my garden.

We are home now, having survived a 21+ hour delay to our flight. We got on board with great relief, only for someone to have a medical emergency which took so long to resolve that I watched the whole of Mrs Harris goes to Paris!

It’s an interesting movie as it’s not just about a cleaning lady buying a Dior gown, there are messages about worker’s rights, class distinctions, and the overarching message of kindness. I did enjoy it much more than I thought I would.

I was going to add a bit about my capsule travel wardrobe, but probably should do a separate post as this one is dragging on a bit.

Your reward for getting to the end, as usual. Our first meeting with our grandson (and English granddog). He is a most adorable baby and it was a joy and a privilege to spend time with him.


6 thoughts on “London was calling

  1. What a fabulous journey to London you’ve had! I loved reading about it. Meeting your new grandson was the best I guess but you’ve met your sister and quite a lot of friends, too!

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