The plan to await my train in the lounge sipping a coffee and digesting the newspaper was thwarted when an irate passenger began a long, loud phone call complaining about being stuck in Crewe due to West Coast Mainline problems and not knowing what time he would be back in London. I gave up and wandered down to the platform. The sun had come out and looking up, I started thinking about abstract paintings based on the patterns of the roof structures against the sky.
My train was on time and after a sprint up the platform (it had come in in reverse formation) I was settled on board and in London without a problem. My first destination was the Victoria and Albert Museum where I wanted to see the ‘Fabric of India’ exhibition which is on until early January. It was all sold out on my last trip to the capital but today I was able to enjoy it. There were antique textiles from many different parts of the Indian subcontinent, with a commentary on the history and the production techniques used. The trade routes and modern Indian fashion were also included with contextual information. Amongst the many good things, I loved the Kashmiri shawls and familiar patterns (my uncle worked in a Viyella factory so my sister and I had clothes made from ‘Paisley Pattern’ fabrics as children). This map shawl showing Srinagar and Lake Dal with the mosque and surrounding countryside dating from c.1875 and was particularly interesting as I have been there and was trying to decipher the various buildings and Mughal gardens. We were not allowed to take photographs inside the exhibition but I bought the book and here are two details from the map shawl. As they are taken from photographs in the book, the colours are probably not completely accurate.
The other fabulous thing I spotted was this light in the museum foyer.
I walked from the V&A to my hotel in Kensington (11,600+ steps as I did not want to take a shortcut across the parks in the dark). Now an early night is essential before a long day tomorrow.