|Ladies Day - London - Maria A Smith|
Last Friday, I went to London with the ladies, you might recall, if you read my blog on a regular basis, that I was very much in need of some laughter last week. I wasn't disappointed. As well as Lichtenstein, at Tate Modern, and a lack of lavatories at St Pancras International, laughter was very much the order of the day.
We set off in a light flurry of snow, in our big coats with plenty of smiles, as we left Loughborough railway station, regardless of the warnings of bad weather. We'd already decided nothing was going to stop us having fun. I perhaps should add, it was also the first full day on my new prescription drugs, and so far, so good, I felt amazingly sciatica free, and very happy!
We sat in our reserved First Class seats, drinking tea, nibbling on biscuits, and chatting happily, we caught up on each others news. The hour and twenty minute journey flew by as it always does when you're in good company.
After a short tube journey that took far too long for two of us, with our weak bladders pushed to the limit after too much tea on the journey, and a lack of ladies loo's when we arrived at St Pancras International. All seemed temporarily closed which seemed very odd, I couldn't quite believe they were all out of order! We battled on over a very blustery Millennium Bridge towards the Tate Modern. I was so glad I'd decided to wear my big coat. The weather was grim, but the capital was wet and windy rather than white over.
LICHTENSTEIN A Retrospective
I hadn't really thought about the exhibition, preoccupied with other thoughts over the last few weeks, so I really hadn't much idea of what I was going to see, no clue other than a billboard with a cartoon painting I'd seen a few weeks before. Cate organised our day, and Gabrielle and I had rather lazily left all the arrangements to her - probably because we knew she'd make a good job of whatever we did.
The exhibition was definitely popular, and there were plenty of people milling around in the thirteen rooms we walked through to gaze at this important American artists works. I made lots of notes, and I thought about writing about each area here on the blog, but art is a personal thing, and my opinion is my own. I wouldn't want to force it on anyone reading this who might be thinking of visiting.
My favourite area was Room 11, Late Nudes. Lichtenstein never used live models, yet the paintings felt erotic, huge colourful works of graphic pulp. Appealing, yet I was intrigued by the females, who all had either bright yellow, blue or colourless hair. And there were no male nudes. This felt like good art.
We browsed for well over an hour, maybe two, before entering the gift shop, stuffed to the hilt with books and souvenirs. Commercially, this exhibition is huge. All proceeds from purchases go to support the Tate.
Afterwards we headed to the top of the building to admire the views across the Thames, enjoying tea, poured from brightly coloured pots, and yummy carrot and pecan cake. We sat a while, chatted and watched the world go by. In no hurry, the day was ours.
Then we walked back over the bridge to the New Change Shopping Centre, located in Cheapside, where we soared to the top in a glass lift, to admire the stunning views of St Paul's Cathedral, and the Shard in the distance. We took some pictures, before deciding to go shopping over in Oxford Street, where pennies were spent on girlie attire.
Onwards to Victoria and Albert Museum where we enjoyed drinks, and more cake! Rested our feet for an hour, before ordering an early evening meal in their restaurant, which was excellent. We had time to visit the Light from the Middle East New Photography Exhibition in the Porter Gallery, which was the work of several different photographers.
Back outside it was busy, this was London on a Friday evening, the tubes were manic, the streets packed with people trying to get around, everything seemed rushed and hectic after the slow gentle pace in the museum.
Back at St Pancras we did a little window shopping, before ending up in des Vins for drinks, there was much more laughter before we boarded the train at 8.55pm tired and ready for more tea. I was worn out in a good sort of way. Eventually, when I got home, I went straight to bed. Friday had been a very enjoyable day out.
Have you been to the exhibitions I mentioned? Or spent a day out with friends recently? If not, I urge you to do it, its so good for your soul to spend time with people who make you happy.