Monday, 24 June 2013


Last week we were in London for a few days, staying with old friends in Twickenham.  We saw a lot while we were there, including the Pompeii exhibition at the British Museum (wonderful objects; labels informative but hard to read and badly placed;  very crowded).  It made me want to re-read Robert Harris's novel about the eruption, and read Mary Beard's book on Pompeii.  

We also visited Highgate Cemetery, including the West Cemetery which is only open to guided tours.  (The most famous memorial in Highgate, to Karl Marx, is in the East Cemetery.)

The tomb of George Wombwell, 'menagerist', died 1850

"The Trumpet Shall Sound"

There are still a few burials in Highgate Cemetery every year.  Most modern gravestones seem very standardised and uninteresting, but many of the Highgate ones are quite striking.  Especially the one that makes a feature of an obvious point - that the incumbent is DEAD.


Douglas Adams is buried at Highgate, too, and his grave has a jar of pens and pencils left by visitors, as tokens of affection. 
Douglas Adams's gravestone
On another day, I went to the Kaffe Fassett exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey.  It was, as you would expect, colourful and inspiring.  A DVD was showing in one gallery of Fassett visiting Vietnam and India and talking about the wonderful combinations of bright colours in the markets, or subtle colours in the landscape.  Some of the things he showed were surprisingly mundane, like a display of plastic buckets on a market stall, though I guess they would look different under a pale British sun.  It was fascinating.  

I took quite a lot of photos in the exhibition, but relying on the artificial light in the museum made the colours not very accurate, which kind of ruins the point.  Here are a couple anyway.   


 We had a great time in London, and it was good to see our friends again.  We also got to meet their springer spaniel puppy, Duke, who is very loveable.  (And I'm sure will learn to stay, fetch, and so on,  when he is a bit older.)


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