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6:29pm on Thursday, 14th April, 2011:

A Day Off


I went to London today with my younger daughter, giving her a day off revision for her exams.

Our primary target was the National Portrait gallery, which includes major paintings known to everyone who ever studied British history. OK, so not so many people study British history these days (at GCSE my daughters did the history of Medicine, of the Wild West and of the US Civil Rights movement, so the pictures of Gladstone, D'Israeli and Prince Albert weren't going to impress them), but to those of us who did do the Tudors and the Stuarts and so on, some of the paintings are absolutely iconic.

Annoyingly, there were two portraits that I particularly wanted to see that weren't there. The first was the Chandos portrait of Shakespeare, which is out on tour but will be back in "April 2011" — obviously after the 14th... The second was a portrait of Wilberforce I adore, which wasn't where it should have been but (unlike the Shakespeare portrait) there was no indication that it had been removed. Oh well.

We could have stayed longer, but we went to lunch at a place called My Old Dutch in High Holborn, which I was introduced to many years ago at a MUDmeet organised by Skiff the Arch-Wizard. It serves enormous pancakes:

If you want a pear and cinnamon one without the cinammon, try saying something other than "I don't want the cinammon on it, please"; as you can see from the picture, that doesn't work.

After that, we went to the British Museum, mainly because it was close by. I really need to finish reading the History of the World in 100 Objects my wife's brother got me for my birthday — I've only got as far as number 24, and I kept seeing signs saying numbers higher than that.

Probably not a lot of fun for my daughter, but a great deal more than revision would have been.

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).