Isn't she adorable?
After Cheney Walk we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum where my mother brimmed with joy as we looked at renaissance bronzes, like the sexy satyrs above, and a tiny wax model for a sculpture by Michelangelo. I geeked out over one of da Vinci’s notebooks...
...and then we both died over Donatello’s carvings (it was a big Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle day). Clelia and Hugh left us there, and once we’d had our fill we took a long walk to the National Gallery.
When we arrived, after making a brief stop at Top Shop to buy some socks (that store is awesome, by the way; I now totally get the British obsession), we stumbled upon a concert of Indian popular music. There was an Indian rapper, a drummer all mic-ed up, and a dancer. We also saw a bagpiper. It was kind of amazing to go from great art, old and well-protected in a museum, to the vitality of the modern scene outside.
The National Gallery produced the same effect on my mother as the V&A: total and utter rapture. The first time she went there was with her parents when she was eight years old, and it was as if they were there with us as we ogled the Michelangelos, the Raphaels, the Pontormos, the Ruebenses, etc.
I loved the museum as well; I find the vivid colors and the sensual shapes of Renaissance paintings deeply satisfying. We saw Titian's Diana and Callisto, an illustration of one of Ovid's stories about one of Diana's handmaidens who gets raped and pregnant by Jupiter, only to be cast out by Diana. The first time I saw Titian's paintings in person was on our Venice trip, so seeing his work in London, with my mother, was another "full circle" moment. I love going to see art with my mom; she majored in art history and has written extensively about art for The New York Times, so it's like going with my own talking, funny, and deeply nuanced encyclopedia. I learned so much and was constantly blown away by just how much she knows.
However, by the time we'd gotten through much of the museum, it was about 3:30 and my blood sugar was plummeting; had I still been a child I would have had a major meltdown. I’m very proud to say that I kept it together, and we made our way to a cab and back to Sloane Square for a nice lunch of smoked salmon and salad.
And what kind of fashion-crazed women would we be if we hadn’t stopped at the...
After a quick shower and getting all dressed up, it was off to drinks with Clelia, Hugh, his sister, and his grandmother. We had a lovely time, toasted my mother’s birthday, discussed single-sex education (always fascinating when you have a large enough contingent present that has