“Is this for real????” I had to keep asking myself. It had been all of a little more than a day since we arrived in London, and I already felt like I couldn’t possibly see any more cool things than I already had. It was waaaaay too early for me to hit my point-of-overwhelm, so I pulled in my sense of panic, thought calm and happy thoughts, and tried to contain my urge to bounce-bounce-bounce as my hubby and I sat down for breakfast at a local café eating the standard English fair of beans, eggs, “bacon” (which I have to put in quotes simply because it isn’t the delicacy that we have here), and really yummy tea.
My hubby was a champ at navigating the tube system. While it took me a little while, I started to get the hang of it over time; thinking of it more and more like getting around San Francisco. But after going up and down stairs, changing trains, and being jostled around a bit; my poor hubby was starting to succumb to the first of what would turn out to be severely chronic back pain. Knowing that we had a LOT of walking in our future, we set up the standard practice pretty early – walk while you can. Stop to rest when you need. No rush. No pressure. And that is good, because this particular expedition involved a bit more underground walking than we had anticipated. But it was worth it! Why? Because our destination was none other than the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Already treasure-struck with so many shinies from the British Museum, visiting the Victoria and Albert was an unusually different experience. More modern than I had anticipated, the first few rooms that we visited displayed beautiful objects of more recent times – 17th century and onward. While beautiful, it wasn’t really so much my thing. But it gave my brain the needed time and input to reset – which was fantastic and much appreciated by the time we reached items of Cavalier, Elizabethan, and medieval age. Once again, SOOOO many pretties! The GLOVES! The Jewelry! The paintings! The sculpture!!!! (particularly the Dacre Beasts) The embroidery!!!! I swear, to do and make all the things I want would take several lifetimes. I saw a couple of pieces of embroidery I want so much to replicate (and know that I can!). But…. One thing at a time.
I have to admit to a particularly geeky moment. Of all of the pieces that I saw in the V&A, the one that made me have a distinct paused “O…M…G…” out loud was not a particular treasure (at least not in the average sense). Rather, it was a beautiful and impressively large majolica jar with the word, “Mostarda” in large script. Now, for those of you who haven’t been following, mostarda has been one of my deepest rabbit-hole dives as of late. So to see a really GORGEOUS mostarda jar from the 16th century that was clearly designed for a merchant selling that particular product; yah… I had a moment (and had to commission a replica to be made.)
A couple of times, I had to go ahead of my hubby while he planted himself on a bench to rest up. And naturally, we simply HAD to have tea in the William Morris Arts and Crafts Tea Room. (Whimper again!) Just sitting there and in the courtyard watching kids play in the fountain, my head started fantasizing about what it might be like to, oh… I dunno… live there. But I digress.
Making our first real solid killing in the book store, it was time to maneuver back to the hotel for post-museum-overwhelm nap. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, the inspiration, and cannot wait to start some new projects!!!!