Last weekend, feeling a lot better at last, we had a mammoth day in London - mainly to see the amazing Mr Hockney at the Royal Academy. The story of how we finally managed to get tickets to the Hockney exhibition is too long and tedious to include here - suffice to say it was long, and er tedious. Anyhoo, we eventually had tickets for 8.00pm on Saturday in our little paws and were mighty pleased with ourselves for this achievement alone.
Although we don't live that far from London we still don't venture into the city terribly often. Certainly, when we lived in the depths of the North Yorkshire Dales we rarely did anything 'cultural' - it was an hours round trip just to drive out for a take-away! Needless to say we were jolly excited when we got the train to Waterloo.
Past the London Eye - that will have to be done on another trip, if I'm ever brave enough.
We walked along the Thames to our first stop (the Picasso exhibition at Tate Britain - oh yes, we were going to overdose on ART today) in the unseasonably warm Spring weather. Beautiful.
After coffee, croissants, and two hours of Picasso and Modern British Art, we were expelled back into the daylight a little dazed and overwhelmed. We still had about eight hours to fill before Hockney so we headed off to the British Museum, one of my favourite places. My lovely hubby was a little knackered so I went for a stroll around the Egyptian Rooms and took a few snaps. I wanted to be an Egyptologist as a child and still take every opportunity to watch TV programmes and read about Egypt when I can.
The Sculpture Room has some beautiful Egyptian and Assyrian sculptures. Part of me is not sure that we should still have these objects but at least they're on permanent display and the place was packed with visitors.
Revived by copious amounts of coffee and cake in the BM's cafe we strolled through Soho, via Paul A Young's chocolate shop. Some of you may know that we once spent three glorious days with Paul training as chocolatiers. Although we (sadly) had to move on from making fine chocolates our love for quality chocolate has not faded and we take any opportunity we can to get hold of the real thing. Paul's chocolates didn't disappoint and didn't hang around for long either!
By early evening we had managed to find two large comfy chairs in the Royal Academy and were sitting happily with nuts and Yorkshire beer whiling away the last hour before we could enter the exhibition. We've been huge Hockney fans for some time, especially since we discovered Salts Mill, near Bradford, in West Yorkshire, when delivering chocolate several years ago, where there's a permanent Hockney exhibition.
The Hockney exhibition was superb. It's hard to describe something so completely wonderful. We spent a very happy two hours going through the galleries and, yes, it would have been great to have the place to ourselves but then we wouldn't have overheard two ladies discussing the paintings and deciding his greens were a little 'too garish' (did they not notice the purple??) - my husband has just reminded me they were watching Hockney's film at the time, that is, real colours - I guess they don't get out of the city very often! But still, it was simply brilliant.
We then took our weary bodies, tired feet and brains full of disturbing, ravishing and beautiful images back to Waterloo and home to Basingstoke. A perfect day - thank you Mr Hockney.