Thursday 20 October 2011

Let me take you by the hand.....

.....and lead you through the streets of London!

Yep! Yesterday I ventured up to the Smoke. 
I left the train at Charing Cross and stepped out into a crisp, crystal blue morning, here's what I saw. 
Only the very tip in sunlight.
Turning left I headed for Trafalgar Square and my favourite big cats.
A quick glance towards the spare plinth, the one where different artists are invited to create a temporary sculpture. (Such a brilliant idea.)
Oh that's fantastic! I step up for a closer look, "Mr.Lane will love this!" I say to myself - or maybe I said it aloud as a group of Japanese tourists glanced nervously at me?
Then I drop down onto the Mall
I marvel at the lovely ICA
And then turn right and look up at my most favourite steps in the whole of Londinium! A spot where Mr.Lane and I have strolled/raced/kissed many times over our years together.
I marvel too at Boris's bikes! 
They are such a great idea - Paris did it long ago and at last we have caught up. Nice that the turquoise and navy livery matches the high blue arc of sky.
Almost upon Jermyn Street, the Red Lion scene of several incidents involving too many sherberts, but that was a long time ago.....
At last reaching Piccadily and my destination
The Royal Academy of Arts to see....
DEGAS and the ballet.
Lat night I was so excited about seeing his work in the flesh I had Christmas Eve tummy and fidgeted about so much that Mr.Lane had to tell me to calm down!

And no, it did not disappoint. I just wanted to show a soupicon.
I adore his observation of all the costume details, velvet ribbons tied into bows at the nape of the neck. Silk wraps, flowers sewn onto tulle and threaded through their hair. Oh and the way he describes tulle is amazing. His clever composition, panoramic and ground breaking. The colours in his late paintings are extraordinary. 
I am no art critic I just loved it all in that way you do when you are physically thrilled by what you see.
Degas wrote a poem called The Dance Class, some of the phrases are so beautiful

" The ribbon of her steps twists and knots, Her body sinks and falls in the movement of a bird."

"And her satin feet like needles embroider patterns of pleasure. The springing girl wears out my poor eyes, straining to follow her."

And as I sat on the train winding out into ever greener landscape my mind wandered off too. I daydreamed about The Red Shoes and resolved to watch it again at the weekend. Moira Shearer plays an auburn haired prima ballerina torn between her love for a composer and her obsession with ballet.....Mr Degas would approve I think.
 And now I shall exit stage left!


  1. You have made me want to go and see the Degas exhibition! I had been considering what the Princess and I will do in terms of her cultural education in half term next week - I think this will fit the bill perfectly. And I remember the film from my childhood - there always seemed to be one of those old films on TV on a Saturday afternoon - Red Shoes was a real tear-jerker I seem to remember.

    Pomona x

  2. What a wonderful tour!! Loved seeing it through your camera lens! Love Degas!! So glad you had a wonderful day!


  3. what a great day you had!
    I would love to see that exhibition, I had my year 3's copy some degas ballet pictures using pastels and they did really well with them.

  4. A lovely posting. We saw some of Degas' work in the Summer at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. As you say his work does not disappoint! You also visited Trafalgar Square - one of my favourite destinations in London - I'm green with envy at your special day trip!

  5. totally stunning and what a lovely day you must have had. Catherine x

  6. How lovely to see London again though your eyes. Those art works are magnificent, looks like you had the best day out.

  7. Wow- I felt like I was there with you- beauitful photos

  8. Patterns of pleasure indeed!
    What a beautiful post. And your title is a Ralph McTell song. See, I told you I have an English heart. Thanks for taking me to London with you!

  9. That was such a lovely blog post! I've always loved the Degas paintings!
    Thank you for taking me on your trip! ;-)

  10. I am long overdue a trip to our capital - when can I squeeze one in? Lovely photos and great ballet paintings. x

  11. Oh you lucky thing, I was hoping to get to this exhibition. Thank you for sharing your visit with us x

  12. Degas is my absolute favourite, I always get giddy when I see an original especially the bronzes.


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