Happiness is…. Beautiful weather, friends, family and lots of food!

I am just recovering from an absolutely brilliant weekend… the weather in London has been fantastic and it has been amazingly and oddly quiet due to that volcanic ash cloud! (Yes, it probably sucks if you are stuck somewhere abroad but it is bliss to those of us who live under the flight path!)

I had my parents over to stay at the weekend and we celebrated my mum’s birthday – first off we went out for breakfast, then we hit the Victoria and Albert to see the much anticipated (and very popular) exhibitions on Quilts and Grace Kelly. There has been so much press coverage on both exhibitions that you would have to be living on some other planet not to notice! First off we went to the Quilts – my mum has been very keen to come to this since it opened as she is a keen quilt maker – well, I think she would like to be but the fact is that quilt has been nearly thirty years in the making!! There were some lovely designs and we were particularly impressed by the quilts made by army men – they used to promote embroidery and sewing skills in the British army as a way of distracting military men from participating in ‘unsavoury immoral practices’ and also in the recovery of the war wounded… There was a very beautiful and intricate quilt made from the fabric of army uniforms – red, white and blue. Of course the other thing that struck me was that in so many horrid and bad times in history, quilters have come together and used their skills for the benefit of others. Like the quilts made by a Canadian quilting group that were sent to family in the UK after their house was bombed in the Blitz or the birthday quilt that a group of young girls in a Japanese PoW camp made from scraps they cut out of their own dresses to give to one of their friends. Really heartwarming.

The Grace Kelly exhibition was equally breathtaking as well, her dresses were wonderful and so beautiful. A real style icon. Amazing.

Afterwards we went to Fortnum and Mason for Afternoon tea – Absolutely divine. My mum chose a dairy free afternoon tea – and her chocolate cake looked divine!!! But to be honest all the cakes and sandwiches tasted heavenly. You don’t need to be a genius to guess that when I stepped on the weighing scales on Monday, it was pretty disappointing!

After tea we decided to see if we could get into the Royal Academy’s letters from Vincent van Gogh exhibition – a bit of a spur of the moment thing but we were in the neighbourhood and saw that it was finishing on Sunday… I am so glad we got to go, it’s been quite a critically acclaimed exhibition. And it really was an exhibition which showcased his journey to becoming the artist that he became. All self taught and it was only at the age of 27/28 that he decided to become an artist… Gives hope to us all!

We eventually got home and as luck would have it, I had been lent the DVD of rear window (with Grace Kelly) by my work colleague – which we duly watched!

The next day I went to the vintage fashion fair with my mum – really lovely things… wish I could fit into half of the things though! Then after they I spent the rest of the day catching up with my friends and boyfriend on Clapham Common. What a lovely way to finish the weekend….

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