Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Shooters Hill & Dulwich Picture Gallery

Eager to get out of the house while it was sunny, albeit still windy, on Sunday Trish & I went & picked up Nora (my great-aunt & Trish's mother) for a small outing. We didn't really intend to, but somehow we ended up at Shooters Hill. One of the highest points in London (not really saying much) there are good views south across the field. We spent a bit of time wandering through the 8000 year old wood dodging the acorns being blown from the trees above us. Nora did surprisingly well with the (very modest) amount of walking & I was glad to go somewhere I hadn't been yet.

Having an arm in a sling is as tedious as usual, but with Trish repaying all I did when she was recovering from her broken ankle I shall be able to keep my arm immobilised longer than usual this time. With Saturday's trauma I've been pretty tired & have spent well too much time watching my favourite Canadian cop drama - Rookie Blue. That title is only bestowed on it due to the small sample-size; Corner Gas being the only other Canadian show I ever watched regularly. But now I'm all caught up to the end of the second series & struggling to fill the time - maybe I just wanted to hear the accent again, even though Canadian seems normal & unaccented to me, for now. Well, I'm still looking for work but that just consists of more time on the internet & looking at vacancies that I'm not quite qualified for or that just sound boring. I should go & see the Vocation Guidance Counsellor - but I don't even have the right hat for that. We're slowly starting the redecoration of the middle room, but chipping paint off an old fireplace is slow at best using my left hand.

Yesterday was Trish's birthday so we took a little outing to the Dulwich Picture Gallery - another place I didn't get to last time I was here. Famous for being one of Sir John Soane's designs & the first purpose-built art gallery open to the public in England, the collection is small compared to some of the larger galleries around but very impressive in its content. There are numerous Gainsboroughs, Rembrants, Rubens, van Dycks, Reynolds & a couple each from Canaletto & Hogarth - and many more besides. I think my favourites were those by Gainsborough. With the skylights there is plenty of light streaming in - I recommend visiting on an overcast day. The glare on the higher positioned paintings was too much & had me wandering around in random directions just to try & get a decent view of many pieces.

We had a short stroll around Dulwich Park, which has recently been returned to its original Victorian layout. It is very nice with big open spaces bordered by big old trees - we didn't even get attacked by any geese or swans. Avoiding the random toll-gate in the middle of suburbia, we tiki-toured home; I suppose if your school is almost four-hundred years old you're quite welcome to put a toll on these new-fangled automobiles. Over a very pleasant & large dinner out I was regaled with very interesting stories of Trish's seven years travelling & working in Australia.

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