A Foggy Day in London Town.

My eldest daughter and I were lucky enough to be in London during the Olympics this summer. My parents are in Sussex, Scotland was cold and wet and there was still a few weeks until the Scottish schools went back. I have siblings who live in London so on the pretense of going to lunch with them eldest darling and I set off on the commuter train to the big smoke.

But something very very strange had happened. People were talking to each other. The normal frosty atmosphere of London (which to a visiting Scot is amusing but not something I would like to experience frequently) was replaced by kindness and conversation. On the train into London we thought this is nice, but won’t last. We were heading to Swiss Cottage on the Saturday following the opening ceremony. All the news had been about avoiding London and traffic chaos  so we had low expectations and had allowed lots of extra traveling. Many hours discussion had taken place about the best way across London and which stations could not be alighted at.

Everything was much smoother than we had expected, and so after some negotiation (I think it involved chocolate) daughter and I got off close enough to walk to the British Museum. Apart from lots of over friendly “games makers” the streets of London were deserted and quiet.

We felt as though we had London to ourselves. It was hot and sunny and wonderful. Strangers – the few we met on the route – were walking in the middle of the road and smiling. I began to fear we had arrived in some alien city and that the film music was about to play. We discovered later that the men’s marathon route was all around us and that was why the roads were closed to traffic.

But we arrived at the British Museum without problem and walked in the main entrance. To those that know this amazing museum I hope you can understand our surprise when we arrived in the main foyer and instead of hordes of visitors we found that tourists were outnumbered by staff. My first thought was that they had just evacuated the whole building for a fire drill and that any moment thousands of people would rush back in. We rushed to our favourite gallery, the Egyptian galleries on the upper floors (darling daughter is 11) and a gallery that on many previous visits we have been unable to get past the doors into due to huge numbers of visitors. This time we had the whole floor to ourselves. Drunken with excitement we ran around for about an hour until we understood that floods of people were not about to join us.  We explored the whole museum, spent time in front of some favorites and discovered rooms we had never seen before.

One of our discoveries was a display of ammonite fossils and I was struck by how beautiful and simple they were. I had a pendant made of an ammonite surrounded in silver in my jewellery box, waiting for inspiration to strike, so I combined it with freshwater pearls and smoky quartz and the finished necklace is one I am very proud of. So proud that I may have difficulty actually parting with it. I have listed it for sale today, but it might appear on my own Christmas list instead!

This song does not reflect the sunshine or pleasure we felt at the British Museum, which could never “lose it’s charm” but it is a nice reflection of most of my London experiences and I thought it would add a nice touch to this post. Never miss a chance to reference Billie Holiday…enjoy x

Billie Holiday – A Foggy Day

A foggy day in London Town
Had me low and had me down
I viewed the morning with alarm
The British Museum had lost its charm
How long, I wondered, could this thing last?
But the age of miracles hadn’t passed,
For, suddenly, I saw you there
And through foggy London Town
The sun was shining everywhere.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jo2RaKyo5c

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16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Wendy
    Oct 07, 2012 @ 19:28:30

    What a lovely and unusual necklace

    Reply

  2. knitnrun4sanity
    Oct 07, 2012 @ 19:40:53

    I know exactly what you mean about London around the Olympics – we noted the same thing. The necklace is very special!

    Reply

  3. Ginny Sturdy
    Oct 07, 2012 @ 20:38:36

    Sadly I think we may have returned to our normal unfriendly selves. Lovely necklace.

    Reply

  4. Sarah
    Oct 07, 2012 @ 20:44:37

    We went the day after the Closing Ceremony and found the atmosphere to be delightful. We visited the Tower of London and whilst it was deserted there wasn’t a queue to see the Crown Jewels…we just walked right through….and then went round again for a second look….Unheard of. Glad you had a great day! Loving the pendant and can fully understand why you want to keep it! xx

    Reply

  5. highland monkeys
    Oct 07, 2012 @ 21:41:52

    Glad you had a nice time in London. Your necklace is really pretty.

    Reply

  6. Jill Spain (@JillSpain)
    Oct 08, 2012 @ 07:47:05

    Very true – the Olympics certainly had a very positive effective on everyone in London. They became human (and I think I can say that without offending anyone as I am originally a Londoner). I do like your necklace, it is lovely. Hope you have a good week.

    Reply

  7. adhocannie
    Oct 08, 2012 @ 08:44:22

    The blog and the necklace are lovely, AA

    Reply

  8. t1ckledp1nk
    Oct 08, 2012 @ 08:56:35

    I can’t wait until my daughter is a little bit older and we can go up to London to visit the museums. I love that necklace, beautiful and unusual, I’m not surprised you don’t want to part with it.

    Reply

  9. CatkinJane
    Oct 08, 2012 @ 12:47:51

    That necklace is gorgeous.
    We’re hoping there may be a bit of Olympic spirit left when we go to London this weekend to visit university open days – not really looking forward to all the dashing about we will need to do.

    Reply

  10. Alison
    Oct 08, 2012 @ 14:05:22

    The necklace is beautiful and very unique. I had to laugh when I read about your London trip. We visited London the week after the Olympics and people were asking us if we needed directions and very helpful.. I hope it stays like that. Have a lovely week.
    Ali x

    Reply

  11. Natalie
    Oct 08, 2012 @ 15:09:35

    what a beautiful necklace! the fossil looks fantastic combined with the pearls, i can understand why you want to hang on to this one!

    i’m glad you had such a lovely day out in London with your daughter – a precious memory i’m sure 🙂 x

    Reply

  12. Caroline
    Oct 08, 2012 @ 15:16:24

    What a beautiful necklace I would not want to part with that. London is a funny place and pockets of it are and always have been friendly whilst others are not. So pleased you enjoyed yourself ‘Down South’ we are not all bad

    Reply

  13. fatmonica
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 07:59:47

    It’s a beautiful necklace!I wish I could have got to London for the Olympics-I’m jealous.

    Reply

  14. Planet Penny
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 09:12:31

    I love ammonites, such a beautiful shape aren’t they. The necklace is beautiful.

    Reply

  15. Jan @ Handcrafted by Picto
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 20:59:08

    I wish I was with you at the museum, it’s one of my most favourite places, I would have been right with you at the Egyptian section, as for ammonites, they are beautiful things, I love the necklace. I have one similar but without the pearls.
    On my blog there are 2 posts that include Ammonites, if you click on the ‘ammonites label’ in the right it will take you straight to them.

    Jan x

    Reply

  16. Wendy Melling
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 18:44:16

    The necklace is beautiful!. I keep saying I will get down to London and the V&A , Your trip there seemed very friendly indeed.
    Wendy

    Reply

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