It’s been a rather social week.
Monday I went to a private show at Camberwell College of Arts to look at their graduating student exhibition. My friend Flick (incidentally, not her real name, as I discovered after NOT finding her work) had just finished her MA in Conservation and the Ledger books she’d repaired were on display. I really Other exhibits included some papyrus, conserved in a “less innovative way” (code for, the Museum that owns the piece wouldn’t take my advice); a navy velvet Victorian jacket; a copy of Dante; a ‘heiroglyphical’ bible, essentially a version of the bible with some nouns replaced by line drawings and the images of a Norwich fabric pattern book from the 1700s which was still in Norwich, although it is going on display in September. Sounds like a good excuse for a viist. I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and hanging out with Flick, getting the insider’s description of the works and the personalities of each conservator.
Managed to get lost on the way home, by taking the bus going in the other direction. I really miss my ability to zen navigate in this country. It’s probably because of a lack of familiarity with how everything connects, and this will change in time, nevertheless, it’s frustrating. On the other hand, I did get to fill in some of my knowledge of South London between Camberwell and Lewisham, so not all bad.
Wednesday I caught up with Brendan, who was on the London leg of his extended European holiday, and Monty, who hadn’t realised I’d moved over. We went out for curry in Brick Lane. I got to watch Monty haggle with the touts in front of each restaurant to get us a 20% discount, free beers and pappadums. I’d been to Brick Lane once before, on that occasion we walked into the 1st place we saw as we were all so hungry we didn’t care. This time round I got to see how it should be done.
Had a long lunch with Brendan the next day. It was perfect weather, so we headed to Canary Wharf (near where I work) and ate by the water. With the exception of Friday last week’s weather was gorgeous, similar to the best days in October in Sydney. If this is as hot as it gets all Summer then I’ll be happy.
Saturday we caught up with Scruffy & J to do a tour of Hever Castle, which is only two valleys away from our house. This is the castle that Anne Boleyn grew up in, and where she retired while Henry VIII was getting his marriage with Catherine of Aragon annulled. It was full of Tudor portraits, most of the ones J and I were familiar with from our costuming days. We lingered in these sections of the castle while Jed and Scruffy motored on ahead and had a relaxing recline on the lawn. Hever is surrounded by fantastically landscaped gardens built in the early 19th century to house the collection of artifacts that a member of the Astor family collected while he was the British ambassador to Italy. Some of these items date back 2000 years. I took many photos (of course) which will be on my Flickr account soon.
Yesterday we re-arranged the house to make it more liveable. Very happy with the results, and we could tell it was a success from the impressed exclamations of our flatmate, Robbie, when he came home.
Otherwise I’ve not got as much done this week as I wanted to, mostly as I bought two PC games on special last week, Rollercoast Tycoon 3 and Settlers 5, and have been sucked into the vortex of gaming. There’s a reason I wasn’t allowed to purchase anything like this until after I’d secured employment. Robbie is a PC gamer as well, so now evenings at our place consist of the 3 of us in the living room with our laptops going and the TV on in the background. Quite communal in a strange sort of way.