Whilst I have been away from blogging I have been out and about - firstly I had a day out with a friend here last week.
The sun caught the windows on the west front of Salisbury Cathedral turning them to gold although that doesn't really show up in my photo.
As we wandered round I looked up and my eye caught these little gems - aren't they fabulous?
And the detail in the carving on the columns too.
This is the roof of the almshouse in the Cathedral Close isn't it beautiful?
Yesterday we went up to London to meet up with some friends over from France and though the wind was very cold we were lucky to have a bright and dry day - apart from one very brief shower in the afternoon.
Flower stall outside the Underground where we met.
London has some amazing architecture if one looks up though you do need to keep an eye on the pavement in front too as with the numerous works taking place - maybe in readiness for the Olympics? - you could easily break your neck!
This is the church of Notre Dame de France near Leicester Square which another friend had suggested might be of interest to our French friends whom we were meeting. I hadn't known it existed before and it was a real oasis of peace and quiet inside after the noise of the city.
The Church was built originally as a panoramic playhouse which explains it's unusual round design and became the French Catholic Church in London in 1865 but was bombed out in 1940 and almost entirely rebuilt in 1955 when the artist Jean Cocteau was commissioned to decorate the Chapelle de Saint Sacrement - his work is a depiction of the annunciation - see here
But what really struck me was the beautiful tapestry above the altar which reminded me of the tapestries I saw when I visited an exhibition of work by Dom Robert in Aubusson with the ladies of the patchwork group I belonged to in France. It turns out that this tapestry is in fact one of Dom Roberts works too. I was allowed to take a photo but as it didn't come out too well in the dim lighting I bought this postcard instead.
After lunch in what turned out to be a not very wonderful pub - we did though have time to sit and chat with our friends - even if the food wasn't that brilliant - we decided to go to the National Gallery - looking up I noticed this wonderful rainbow just after the short shower we had.
Situated alongside one side of Trafalgar Square
With St Martins in the Field almost next door it was a stunning building.
I hadn't ever visited it before and being the art philistine that I am wasn't expecting to enjoy a visit here that much, it being our friends who suggested it. Well never mind the paintings - I was blown away by the building itself - sadly no photos were allowed and I didn't get time to see if there were any postcards showing the details in the shop before we left. Am I the only person who could visit this gallery and see some of the most wonderful art work in the world and be struck not by the paintings but by the beautiful mosaics on the floor, the wonderful gold and coloured painted columns and ceilings, the fabulous fabic wall coverings the glass, the ....?!! Oh and the perfume of two enormous vases of lilies in the front entrance. I did so wish I had been able to take some photos as nowhere on the web have I found any images to show you what I mean. You must go and visit for yourselves. One series of paintings did take my fancy though and that was the Mariage a la Mode paintings by Hogarth done in the mid 1700s and which tell a story of a marriage and its problems when the wife takes a lover and were full of amusing details. My French friend and I agreed it was a sort of 18th century bande dessinee - a genre popular in France and which we might call comic or graphic novels perhaps.
Just look at that sky! See it isn't always raining in England after all! We left our friends as dusk was falling and made our way back to Hammersmith for the bus home as always wishing we had had longer and planning to go again soon.
Earlier in the week I had received a package from Louise - we had agreed to exchange magazines and this was what was in my pretty jiffy bag. It is a lovely magazine filled with ideas I will want to have a go at....
...and along with my magazine she had sent the lovely little red quilt shown in the photo above and which hangs well with the navy one which came from America too at Christmas time.
Louise had suggested it might go in the back of my cupboard! Not at all - it is lovely and it hangs on the side of my cupboard Louise and will be enjoyed by all. Many thanks.
I am also looking up this week because I finally got the results of my retinal scan done back in November and it is all normal. The problem has more or less resolved itself and it seems it was nothing to worry about though my glasses seem to have been underprescribed - I mention no names but it seems going to the cheaper chains is not to be recommended! I will now need new glasses but have otherwise been discharged. Thanks for your concern.
For those of you who commented on the fingerless mitts and shawl on my last post I have posted the patterns on a separate page which you can access by clicking on Patterns in the section headed Extra Pages at the top right side bar.