1. Having an excellent time at the Horniman Museum.
On Thursday night I went to a museum late – the Edwardian themed museum late at the Horniman. I haven’t been to the museum before, but I was struck by the beauty of its grounds and gardens, and the beautiful, ‘golden hour’ view over London. When I first arrived I wondered up the path, to discover a performance going on by the Acrojou Circus. It was the Wheel House – two acrobats and an aptly named, innovative ‘Wheel House’. As it rolled along, windows opened, doors opened, the acrobats moved in and out and around the structure, pulling, pushing, falling out, standing on top, and generally putting on an excellent show. My stop motion filming of the action didn’t work that well, but should give you some idea – I was aware that most people were filming it, but I felt like I wanted to watch rather than get a good film.
Once that had finished, there was a queue forming nearby, so, like the suggestible character I am, I joined it and happily discovered that I was queuing for the Lucky Dog Picturehouse. They showed a variety of silent films with live music – from George Melies, to some live footage of crowds. I loved watching the crowd scenes – all small boys jumping up and down to get noticed by the camera, women holding their babies up, and everyone waving happily – exactly the same as if you point a camera at a crowd now, with Edwardian dress. We also saw La Voyage Dans La Lune, which was incredible. I loved watching it, especially for the moon and stars, the background decoration.
After discovering all this outside, I went inside and found the many many rooms of old fashioned taxidermy museum. I really want to go back to explore properly.
There was also an Edwardian-themed photo booth that I took advantage of.
I’d had a lovely time walking around by myself, in the golden sunset, looking at things at my own speed and deciding what I did want to see. I missed out some of the cabaret inside the museum, because the area was a bit dark and enclosed and didn’t have the same atmosphere. However, there is something rather strange about queuing for a photobooth by youself! Is it the modern equivalent of enjoying a meal in your own company? These days, with a phone, no one thinks twice about eating alone, but I felt a bit strange in the queue for a very group activity. There was another woman in the queue ahead who was by herself, so that reassured me I wasn’t too unusual.
2. Baking and celebrating a birthday tea.
I hadn’t seen Anna properly for a while, and definitely not over her birthday, so I suggested making her a birthday cake, and then by chance, a few other people could come along too, so I put together a tea. I used Dan Lepard’s Slider buns recipe, which, excitingly, includes custard, to make little rolls. I filled half of them with grilled haloumi and aubergine, and the other with egg. I sprinkled them with black onion seed. The cake I made was a combination of recipes. I had planned on making a raspberry and almond cake – I can’t actually remember which recipe now – but there were no raspberries in the shop down the road. Instead I went for blueberries, with some lemon in the cake, and mascapone icing. I made a syrup with blueberries and lemon, and poured it over the sponge over night, and then iced it the next morning.
We sat and drank many pots of tea and ate and talked a lot. It was lovely. Happy birthday Anna!
Funnily enough, we then left to celebrate Mr Story’s brother’s belated birthday, which included another celebratory meal, and birthday cake. By the end of Sunday, I just had to be rolled home!
3. Working on some map-based illustration.
This week, I have been working on a map based bespoke illustration. I can’t give too much away as it’s a surprise for the recipient! It will follow a lot of travels, with a lot of friends, in the building up to the wedding this autumn. If you would like to give a couple a map of their journey, or even your other half, then click here for more information.
4. Remembering Turkmenistan.
I’m working on the last our illustrations for our photo travel book, based on Turkmenistan. I found it a really difficult place to be – a highly controlled dictatorship, you could feel the oppressive environment, even as a tourist. The thing I absolutely fell for though, was the bright colours and fabrics that the women wore. While outside, the buildings were drab and ex-soviet, or shiny and white, with no character, and every magazine solely featured the ‘president’, in contrast every women put together the most beautiful collection of fabrics, patterns, in a huge expression of colour. That’s what made me so sad about the palpable lack of freedom of expression – there was colour bursting out from the seams. If you’d like to read more about our impressions of Turkmenistan, our travel blog is here.