Daughter is coming home today after a week away with the school. This has been her very first trip away without the family and I'm curious to know how she got on. Certainly, I didn't even get a goodbye. She saw her friends and was off, got on the coach and that was it, apart from a wave as the coach set off.
The house has felt very strange without her presence. She has a very sunny personality and I'm looking forward to having her home. That being said, I have had a very free week. As son is on study leave I have had no school run. HALLELUJAH! That has NOT been missed, I can tell you.
So on Wednesday I took myself up to London for the day. First stop was the V&A museum for the quilt exhibition. What a fabulous selection of quilts dating from 1700s. What little history was known about each quilt (if anything) was fascinating. From times gone by when women were not allowed to express themselves through art, music, writing (whilst acknowledging the handful of female writers who did make it through), it was quite moving to see the thought, design and dedication that had gone into each and every quilt.
There was a quilt named 'The Rajah' which had been worked by British female convicts during their transportation to Australia in 1841 on HMS Rajah. The quilt was worked by the women to voice their appreciation for all the support given by Elizabeth Fry and The British Ladies' Society for Promoting the Reformation of Female Prisoners, who donated sewing supplies to women in prison and later, convict ships.
Another story told how destitute women who found themselves 'with child' and unmarried, would sew a little motif on a small square of fabric, cut it in half and pin one half to their baby's clothing or shawl before leaving the baby with a foundlings hospital. The mother would keep the other half of the fabric in the hope that in happier/easier times they might meet up with their child again and would be able to recognise each other through the matching fabric. Unfortunately, the nurses, believing the women would not want their 'disgraced' past to catch up with them, disposed of the squares attached to the babies. Heartbreaking.
The exhibition is on until 4th July 2010 and well worth a visit for anyone interested in quilting.
These elephants are scattered across London in order to raise awareness of the plight of the Asian elephant which is on the edge of extinction. The elephants can be 'adopted' by sponsoring them. (I wonder if at the end of this particular campaign the sponsors will be allowed to keep their elephant? Just the thing for my garden!) You can see a few more elephants photographed by Wend over at Ticking Stripes
Then, because there was no school run to rush home for (have I mentioned 'Hallelujah'?) I met M for an early dinner and then on to see The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard at The Old Vic (another beautiful piece of architecture):
This was M's theatre choice and unfortunately, I don't seem to get on with Stoppard's work. Oh sure, I go with an open mind, and there were some funny lines/moments, but Tom and I are obviously travelling on different escalators and I just don't 'get it'.
Now we come to my very first giveaway. It's only a token, just to let you know that I was thinking of you all as I walked around the quilt exhibition, knowing some of you would love to attend but live too far away.
I have brought home two fat quarters of Limited Edition printed cotton which has been exclusively created for the V&A museum, and a V&A thimble. Humble offerings I know, but something I believe any one of you will be able to use with beautiful results.
And for all those who quilt, you may be interested in joining Maria's quilting bee over at Me and Ma's.