Monday, 9 April 2012

Homes and antiques

Recently, the Medievalist came a-visiting from Glasgow so we went touristy. 

The Geffrye Museum was a serious highlight. I am a fan of the history of domestic objects, architecture and the home, as you know. The museum was free entry so we hired audio guides, like the history geeks we are. The estimated visit time was one hour, we managed to stay for three - with a break for lunch in the beautiful cafe, all glass and organically entwined metal stems. Oh, and a rather expensive trip to the bookshop, where we both were tempted by this, possibly because we both want to be Lucy Worsley or maybe just have her job and her wardrobe

My favourites:

The Aesthetic, for its reaction to Victorian stuffiness and standardised ways of being. Check out the blue-and-white china and the oriental influences.

The Arts and Crafts, for the Morris-inspired natural forms and delicious restful colours. Love that stained glass in the entryway.

And, of course, the Mid-Century, for the multi-purpose family-oriented rooms, the sleek wooden forms and the cleanliness of the design aesthetic,

We also took in our favourite bits of the British Museum, the Anglo-Saxon and Medieval galleries, so for the Medievalist's benefit, here are some splendid thirteenth century tiles:

Oh, and we visited the cultural monolith that is Westfield Stratford City, for the Olympic site viewing platform on the third floor of John Lewis ...

Such fun being a tourist in your own city, once in a while.

Come back soon, Medievalist, there are lots more on my touristic to-do list!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Something else is alive

Came across this (unknown, to me) Ted Hughes poem on the ever-gorgeous dovegreyreader today ...

The Thought Fox

I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock’s loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:

Cold, delicately as the dark snow,
A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Brilliantly, concentratedly,
Coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.

Ted Hughes

I really respond to Ted Hughes’s poetry. I was taken out of the office for one brief still, powerful moment of abstraction in a busy day. Thanks, dovegreyreader. I needed that.


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