Thursday, 27 June 2013

Rochester, Pompeii And A Bit Of Luxury In New Bond St

Tuesday saw us back in Kent to help out with a bit of babysitting. Rochester is a lovely little place. It's steeped in history and as well as playing with her at home, we had a pleasant hour in the castle grounds with our gorgeous little granddaughter Catherine who is nearly one now and almost (but not quite) toddling. Marion spent ages walking with her while Catherine clung on to her fingers not yet having the confidence to go it alone. 

The light over Framlingham a few nights ago had a fabulous luminosity about it and I had to take a photo. It's funny how as a child I loved the mystery of castles but rarely had the chance to visit one and now we've got one a few hundred yards from the house, our son has one within a mile of his place and our daughter Sarah has a castle and all the other historic buildings of St Andrews just down the road - I feel very lucky being able to spread my time between the three.

Continuing on the historic theme, we went to London yesterday to see the Pompeii exhibition at the British Museum. So much has been written about it in the Sunday supplements that I felt I had already seen it but reading about it is no substitute for the real thing and it is a fascinating insight into the lives of the Romans who lived in Pompeii and Herculaneum. I was struck by their sense of humour (which is abundantly evident in their frescoes and graffiti), the modernity in their design and their somewhat obsessive use of phalluses for decoration and as good luck charms. The shorter section of the exhibition covering the natural disaster that killed everyone who stood in its path is a sobering display. It captures some of the citizens frozen at the moment of their annihilation and is extremely touching, poignant and very very sad. I am glad that the curators placed the emphasis of the exhibition on the celebration of the lives of the people rather than making a macabre freak show of their deaths.

While we were in London Marion took the opportunity to indulge herself in a bit of shopping. She's been looking for some new make up by Chanel for ages and wherever we have been - Bluewater, Gatwick, Selfridges and Malaga - it has been sold out and unilkely to be back in stock until August. However, the shop assistant in Selfridges told Marion that the brand new Chanel boutique in Bond St had been allocated stock. So off we went to this amazing new store where we were welcomed by a concierge and led to the beauty department. It's a jaw droppingly beautiful shop and we looked a bit out of place amongst the clientele who were mostly arriving by way of chauffeur driven limos that made our lovely new car look positively ordinary. However,all credit to the lovely salesperson Irma who found Marion's holy grail (Les Beiges powder Number 30) and then took us into a plush private office to pay (no "cashier number five please" here). She then gave Marion samples and ushered us out of the office like royalty. As we paid exactly the same price ( a princely £38) that we would have paid in Boots (if they had had it) this was a bit of luxury at no extra cost - well done Chanel.

We've just  had our first assignment from the Framlingham Hour Community. We're going to take an elderly chap out in his wheelchair for an hour or two. Unfortunately we aren't going to be able to start this until the middle of next month but we hope that we can bring a little bit of happiness to someone less fortunate. You never know when me might be needing help ourselves.