The picture making up today’s header was in The Times a few weeks ago, I noticed it especially as it’s taken in Qingdao. I don’t plan to wear anything like this when I’m there but maybe it’s expected? I know some of you are worried that I’m going into hibernation and just waiting for MBB to appear, so I thought I’d let you know what I’ve done this last week. I left you on Sunday night after we’d been to SKD to assess the facilities. George headed back to Gosport that evening to continue getting Qingdao ready before sailing to London.
Monday John was rushing around getting ready to go down to Gosport so I just mooched around and yes, I did knit. I also ordered myself a piano, a bit smaller than this one and in better nick. I’m not intending to play al fresco either.
Tuesday I’d arranged to go and see my pal Rene who has Clint, one of our Welsh Springer Spaniel pups from last year. I walked to Battersea Park, near where they live, and we had a wander around and a coffee. It’s an interesting park, as well as the Pagoda I discovered the vegetable garden and a statue to “Little Brown Dog”, put up in 1906 as recognition of all the animals used in vivisection that people didn’t know about. It was taken down by the council shortly afterwards but put up again in a very secluded corner. At the end of our walk Clint wanted to come with me, so touching!
After all that exercise I was going to take it easy on Wednesday until Sue, another pal, called and said she’d come up to see the Dior exhibition at the V&A, did I want to join her? As I’d been talking about it the day before, getting cross with myself for not thinking ahead and getting a ticket, I jumped! A bit of make up on, didn’t have time to dress for the occasion or put on my Clipper necklace and earrings. It was well worth dropping everything (thankfully, no stitches in beanie number 7) and getting there in record time. The whole exhibition was fascinating and so much to see. I’m not overly fond of John Galliano, but you have to admit he’s innovative and there were a couple of his outfits I warmed to. I’m an old school girl though, it was the classic Dior dresses I could have brought home.
I was so inspired and annoyed with myself that I’ve now signed up as a member for the V&A. I’m looking forward to the Mary Quant display, I’m sure I’ll find something I wore in my youth. I also signed up for the Tate and the Garden Museum. This latter is a little gem (sorry for the pun!) just by Lambeth Palace. It’s an old church, St Mary’s, that was saved from demolition in 1977. I remember going to it when I visited the Pharmaceutical Society for work quite a few years back. It was pretty dingy and overlooked. It’s now been opened up and is well worth a visit. John Tradescant was buried there and there’s such a great stained glass window with gardeners in it. All these memberships are for me and a guest so don’t hesitate to shout if there’s an exhibition you want to take me to.
I’ve decided after only two weeks of roughing it like a mad old lady from the country that I must find a hairdresser. That resolution didn’t last long! Here’s a shot of me now, once I’ve been scalped you can judge if it’s an improvement.
There is one other thing I’m doing, it takes me back to my very first job in Southampton Docks when I was 19, working in Goods Inwards. I’m taking delivery of parcels that the sailors have been ordering over the last week or so. I’d take a shot but there’s not enough room to show them all!
I’ll be back at SKD later today to see the fleet come in. They’ve left Southend in the last half hour and should be arriving around 5.30 tonight (John and I then have a fast turnaround as we’re off to Southampton tonight in preparation for our four-day MCA STCW Proficiency in Medical First Aid on Board Ship at Hamble). They moor up in the Centre Basin and will be available to view and go onto (if you’ve booked or have a crew member inviting you) from Sunday until 31st August. There’s a fan zone with lots going on if you’re around. If not I’ll be telling you all about it in a week or so.
They sailed late yesterday from Gosport after all the preparation and photoshoots from helicopters. It must have been on the local news but I’ve not picked anything up. Go onto YouTube and see them set sail. I think I’ve put the link here:
In case you didn’t see the lovely shot of George on Qingdao leaving Gosport, from the Clipper website, I’ll leave you with that. We now have 9 days and 21 hours to go!