Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Kensington Musuems

It was a day of planned culture and fun for 2 of the grandaughters. A very early start as we had to be on the coach by 8am and as its the school holidays, the two girls were still very sleepy, but chatting away with excitement.

The weather report was threatening thunderstorms and torrential rain, and the sky above Windsor Castle was rather suspect. Nothing was going to dampen our spirits though... we had packed a picnic lunch and had our rain macs too.

On arrival in Kensington, we went straight to the V & A. We were looking for the Peter Rabbit exhibition and clutching the map.. went off in search. My map reading skills were as usual non-exixtant and we found ourselves in the British Galleries on the 4th floor. The grandaughters were thrilled, sketchbooks were out and they sat on the floor drawing, much to the amazement of the stewards. This was the first thing they wanted to sketch... wish I had taken a photo of their sketches... amazing detailed work for 8 year olds. Of course they wanted to know all about the coach and the Queens coronation..... Behind this glass case is the most amazing doorway with red silk wallcoverings on either side, taken from the Strand residence of the Duke of Northumberland before it was demolished...... Not sure you can really see it in the photo as it is in darkeness.

The Steward gave us directions to find the Peter Rabbit exhibition and it involved passing through the 20th Century design section. Have a look here

We were all fascinated, the Art deco and Bauhaus pieces and a Matisse drawing.. lots of sketching of the pieces on show was undertaken by us all, and one of the grandaughters was fascinated by a pendant on display, with lots of tassels. We also passed a clever exhibition on books and Font styles.

Further into the exhibition, and then the children suddenly kept saying to me.. Nanny we have seen pictures of you in dresses like that, and look Nanny you have that dining room chair ( G Plan), and we have seen a photo of those curtains in your photo book..... I suddenly felt ancient!

To see the Peter Rabbit drawings was wonderful experience and the girls were very impressed, the Steif toy also made a good impression.
Have a look here for more information

Luckily the weather remained dry and we had our lunch in the Garden, which is a quadrangle in the centre of the Musuem buildings... here.

We also went along to the Natural history Musuem... but it was far too hot and stuffy. So we only stayed long enough to visit the creepy crawly exhibition and the Musuem shop to buy some dinosaurs for the brothers left at home!
After an Ice cream outside in the Natural History Museums garden.. we went back to the V & A. In the Sackler wing, where the Grandaughters could take part in a special workshop on jewellry. The girls made necklaces and bracelets and headbands. Their work was much admired by the V & A staff who enquired about how they were made and how old the girls were... the girls chatted away merrily to them... then I suddenly heard ... of course our nanny is an art teacher.... I cringed and wanted to run away!

After a cup of tea for me and milk for the girls we made our way back to the coach still wearing the jewellry they had made. Two very happy girls. A little tired.... but they sketched all the way home in their sketchbooks.

As we crossed the county border from Oxfordshire into Wiltshire we could see the rain clouds in the distance.

Then as we came over the hill.. down came the shower of rain.... we were home.

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