Where I've Been & What I Have Planned
I like this Substack platform so I thought I'd send you another update on things going on in London right now.
Obviously, the Platinum Jubilee is the big news. Even so, I’ve not really been out to see the bunting. I’m not sure why. Maybe there aren’t the hours in the day.
Tower of London
But I have been out to see how Superbloom at the Tower of London is looking. They have sown 20 million seeds to transform the dry moat into a new landscape.
Gardeners need sunshine, rain and optimism. April brought us the sunshine, and the gardening team here had plenty of optimism, but the rain didn’t come. It was one of the driest Aprils on record so things haven’t exactly gone to plan. Superbloom is now open but they are offering a free return visit right now as not everything is blooming yet.
Even so, it was worth going as you get to walk in the historic 13th-century moat. And the flowers will be out soon. Plus – and this is not just for the kids – you can enter the moat on a slide! Yes, you literally get given a mat to glide down the four-lane slide which is definitely a fun way to make an entrance.
The Courtauld (Gallery) at Somerset House has a new exhibition featuring a collection of paintings by Edvard Munch. I enjoyed seeing the evolution of his work across three decades.
This 1892 painting, Evening on Karl Johan, instantly makes you think of The Scream. But this was created the year before the more famous artwork. Munch said he was searching Oslo’s main boulevard (called Karl Johan) for a woman with whom he was infatuated. But he soon became emotionally overwhelmed by all the people. I think this painting portrays that well; that moment when everyone starts to look the same.
What Do I have Planned?
I’m looking forward to the building work on my house being finished very soon. And I’m looking forward to seeing the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition this month.
This bejewelled ‘mouldy lemon’ is grossly wonderful the more I look at it. I’ll let you know if it’s just as mesmerising when I see it in a few weeks.
I’m planning to go to Wales to housesit in a church which will be rather brilliant. I’ve been writing about A Church in Wales for three years following the transformation into a family home. I managed one night there earlier this year before my friends and their kids tested positive for Covid. So, I’m hoping this trip is more successful. I may well have their four-year-old son stay with me while the family go to Glastonbury Festival so he can look after me. If all goes well, I’ll write an update for Anglotopia later this month.
I’m hoping to visit a couple of National Trust properties soon. Ightham Mote (pronounced ‘item moat’) is in Kent. It’s one of the oldest medieval manor houses to survive in England. I’ve never been so I’ll rectify that soon.
And I’m hoping to see Paycocke’s House in Essex. It’s in a village I used to visit often as my dad was from there and my nan lived out her days there. But I’ve not been back for many years, and now I’m more of the National Trust target audience than I was back then. I think the National Trust visits will end up happening in July as I’ll be at the church in Wales for a few weeks.
I do hope you get to enjoy the Jubilee celebrations and find some way of embracing the extended weekend.