Friday, 6 June 2014

Ancient and Modern

Now that I am trying to blog each Friday, I have come to think of Saturday as the start of the week. Last week, therefore, got off to an exciting start with a trip to London to see the Paul Smith exhibition at the Design Museum. This is in one of our favourite parts of London, and so we were destined to arrive elated, and an encounter with two Portuguese water dogs only enhanced our high spirits.

To my shame I will admit that I was not expecting much from the exhibition: I did not know a lot about Paul Smith, except that I associated him with overpriced T shirts featuring stripy minis. But instead of the obvious symbols of Britishness I was delighted to find a designer laying bare his inspirations, his philosophy and even his work rooms in a generous and engaging way. From the massive collage of inspirations and memorabilia, to surprising gems like the wall covered entirely in coloured buttons, I found the whole experience very affirming, and encouraging as a designer. I really enjoyed the fact that Mr. Smith was not attempting to create an inaccessible mystique, and I found it touching how he credited his wife so often. 

There were clothes to look at too, of course, and if I had to pick a favourite then I would have to choose this military overcoat- I just love its proportions, the unusual style lines, and the shaping in the arms. 

I was in pattern geek heaven in this recreation of the work room

A 3' Post-it note. Genius.

We picnicked outside, then walked across Tower Bridge and along the river, where we soon encountered a pair of geese. They were lovely creatures, and so tame... you can guess what happened to the rest of our picnic! 

The Thames was unusually choppy, giving us a glimpse into its steely yet elegant power. We delighted in the rhythm of waves hitting the river wall and the ensuing spray, making nature's ironic rimshot. 

Before coming home from London we went to take a look at Cleopatra's Needle and its accompanying sphinxes. None of us knew that it had been lost in the Bay of Biscay in the 19th Century. How on earth they found it again without planes, radar, or any other useful technologies I do not know.

It is strangely surreal to find a piece of ancient Egypt in central London, but then so much of London is like a Paul Smith collage, in the way that disparate elements sit happily next to each other, in perfect harmony- like, for example, the wonderful fig tree in rude health along the traffic-filled Embankment. 

Although May was my month for finishing projects, I am still chasing some up now that it is June. I completed this lace scarf and send it to a beautiful friend. She received it well, which made it very rewarding. The crochet blanket is also coming along, although I had thought that having made all of the squares and sewn all of the ends in assembling it would be a quick job... when will I learn that nothing about a blanket in 4 ply will ever be a quick job?! 

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