Day out and a new plan

A couple of years ago Gareth and I were stuck on a broken down train for most of a day. They were meant to refund the tickets and didn’t, so Gareth hectored them for year, the result of which was two first class tickets to anywhere on the network. We completely failed to take a weekend away together, so decided we’d use the tickets separately.

Obviously I had a day out in London doing culture. Gareth is heading to Edinburgh botanic garden next week.

the surprise of my visit was the Australian art exhibit at the BM. It’s one of those I wouldn’t pay for normally, but I went because members get in free. I loved it. I went back several times to look at one particular painting, which I could happily have lived with on my wall.

Some of the textiles were fascinating, particularly the string skirts which reminded me of the one worn by the etgved girl. Aboriginal Australia was essentially a Stone Age culture until Cook arrived, and my personal feeling has always been that anthropology should be an important aspect of the study of prehistoric( and indeed some historic, one need only look at the work done in the early c20th interpreting dark age Athenian culture in the light of the culture of early c20th mani) cultures. I’ve always felt that there’s too strict a tendency for many reenactors to look only at found evidence rather than comparative anthropology, which can fill in pesky gaps with common sense.

oh, and the rack of aboriginal stone spearheads that included the later ones made from European bottle glass was wonderful.

I had a nice lunch with a friend, who was cunningly disguised as a responsible professional. Said friend explained to me, yet again, that I will never be mistaken for a grown up wearing a purple hat. She reckons the hat is a clear sign I’m well dodgy.

unfortunately I accidentally ate two mouthfuls of wheat at lunch, so I’m paying for that today.

Once I’d worn my feet out by trotting round to fortnums to buy tea for Gareth, and liberty to…well, just to drool a bit, really, I had a nice restat my private London club the British museum members room, where I spent quality time with my favourite book that I can’t afford, the Lutrell psalter facsimile.

(seriously, if anyone reading this wants to buy me presie and happens to be wealthy and in the mood to further my artistic endeavours, feel free to buy me this book, and a herd of goats…I’m sure goats would help my work, somehow)

the Lutrell psalter is going to keep me fascinated for at least another decade. This time I seemed to focus more on the interesting border patternS and tiny things


I didn’t want to get a rush hour train, so I walked to the British library for a poke about. I’ve discovered the next handbag project, the one I’m going to do once I’ve done the zodiac and female labours- in about six or seven years from now.

i want to embroider the guthlac roll.



The line drawings are just yummy, and since the theory is that it was a preparatory sketch for a larger artwork I feel that I would merely be helping it to fulfill it’s destiny. And I’ve already decided I’ll run that green through the whole thing, just as I’ve been running the red right through the zodiac.

today though, thanks to accidental wheat, I’m mostly burping farting and swearing softly about stomach cramps…

~ by opusanglicanum on May 29, 2015.

25 Responses to “Day out and a new plan”

  1. An elderly friend of mine ( in her late 80s) used to quote that poem “when I am old I shall wear purple” at me.
    I said I wasn’t going to wait until I was old!
    I hope the wheat-upset goes away soon.

    • Purple is one of my favourite colours. I’ve not had a wheat slip for years, I’d forgotten how horrid it is

      • I look better in browns and greens, but if I change my makeup, purple is a lot of fun!
        Yes, ghastly, Several of our friends are coeliac, so although we aren’t, we know something about it.

      • Coeliac is another, far more serious condition, than an allergy or intolerance. Gareth puts a lot of credence as a scientist on the theory that the sudden rise in adult wheat intolerances is down to the modern farming practice of routinely spraying commercial wheat crops with roundup so they’re dry enough for combine harvesters. The chemicals basically stay in the food and build up in your digestive system. I keep meaning to be brave and make some bread with organic wheat to see what happens, I eat organic spelt flour all the time with no problems

      • Your immediate symptoms don’t sound much better than my aunt, and she is properly coeliac, got skeletally thin 20 years ago before the diagnosis. The main issue is long term exposure.
        Fortunately for me our cook makes oatcakes for events, and I seem to be able to eat at least some barley, although it is annoying how many ales have wheat and barley in them. I seem to be intolerant rather than coeliac though; the question is how accurate the modern blood test for coeliac is. It gave me a negative result, but it’s also nice to meet someone who is also intolerant but not actually coeliac.

      • I really want to try making organic wheat bread because I’m intrigued by the research which suggests intolerance is provoked by the roundup routinely used to kill wheat before harvest in modern farming, but it’s kind of a scary experiment- esp since I’ve now been yucky for three days from minor exposure.

        I eat organic spelt flour on an almost daily basis and am fine( I love to bake, and I pretty much would have given up the will to live if I could never eat Yorkshire pudding again) kamut too( we had burgers this evening with homemade kamut/ spelt flour and homemade goats cheese) I also seem to be fine with organic einkorn, although I don’t eat it becuase I’m not keen on the taste. Kamut spelt and einkorn are all ancient wheats, which suggests it must be something about modern wheat that makes me ill.

      • So, when you say you have friends who are coeliac, is that proper medically diagnosed coeliac? Because that’s a really serious and actually potentially life threatening diseases ity a genetic component, quite different to a wheat intolerance. I tend to be a bit iffy about the assumption that wheat intolerance is coeliac disease on the whole, so am curious

      • Actually three who are medically diagnosed – including a mother and daughter who weren’t diagnosed until the daughter was 18.
        There’s also one who suspects she has a sensitivity to wheat, but not an actual intolerance.
        Add the vegetarian who doesn’t like vegetables and you can understand why, when we got married, the caterers nearly had nervous breakdowns!

      • A lot of people assume wheat intolerance equals coeliac, which it doesn’t.
        Our reenactment group once had a person called Vernon join, whom all the women called vermin, several of them to his face, for his misogyny. But he would only eat meat and potatoes, literally nothing else, one of the girls turned her back on the stew one day and he fished out every single chunk of meat, leaving the veg for everyone else. He was almost lynched. Then there was the vegetarian who refused all the special catering people had gone out of thier way to provide for her, which appeared to be for reasons shed invented on the spot for purposes of dramA ( she caused trouble til we got rid of her, then she joined another group and repeated the performance. I found it amusing that in both cases she pissed off the other veggies so much they started slipping meat into her food. She never noticed the meat sabotage, despite claiming that the slightest trace of meat would incapacitate her for days)
        Because I know I have a problem with wheat I always take something I can eat because I hate putting others out, and if there’s something I can have I quietly leave I it in my bag. If you know you have a problem you should have a back up plan or quit bitching as far as I’m concerned.

      • In the end we found a very good caterer, and he suggested having a buffet, but provided serving staff to make sure there was no cross-contamination to harm the one diagnosed coeliac who was present. It worked beautifully.
        I’m quite happy to cook for people with food sensitivities provided that a) I’ve been warned before they arrive and b) they are happy to be summoned to the kitchen to verify that I’m not about to poison them!

      • I’m happy to cater for those who can be reasonable about it without being a) greedy( like vermin, actually I might have coined his nickname, everyone else just ran with it) or b) a total drama queen, like the vegetarian I mentioned. I’m sure she was incapable of being happy unless everyone in her immediate vicinity was miserable, several people went out of thier way to cater for her, which always resulted in ” but I can’t eat that because x” when they’d made exactly what she said she wanted the week before!

      • Grrr to her.
        Yes, I must admit that – especially teenage veggies – I always have a lingering suspicion that it’s down to being a drama queen. You can’t take the same view of something serious like a genuine allergy or sensitivity.
        Besides, I can’t eat fish, so I know what it’s like. Coastal cuisines and me do not get along…
        Honestly, who would serve pork with whelks?

      • Who’d serve anything with whelks?

        ( I love fish but I’m no fan of bivalves) so does that mean you have to avoid Worcestershire sauce and thai stuff.

        I’ve always suspected that the only reason to go vegan is because one likes being miserable. I recently tasted hotel chocolates new milk free milk chocolate, which confirmed my theory

      • I can cope with smoked salmon(!) but that’s all.
        Our vegan friend went vegan by accident because of concerns about animal farming, and we’ve had some really lovely dinners with them. Eating out used to be hard, but it’s much easier now..
        If anyone can get milkfree milk chocolate right I would think it would be hotel chocolat – I take it I should avoid it!

      • Taste is reminiscent of a Herschey bar-need I say more?

      • No!

  2. Sounds like a fabulous day and travelling by first class train is always an added pleasure!

  3. I’m sure you know, but they’ve finally completed the full, zoomable, all bells and whistles online facsimile of the Luttrell Psalter (here: Of course, not a patch on having your own facsimile, but still pretty awesome.

  4. Wow, good for Gareth arguing the train tickets out of them. I like the way you’re piling up even more work for yourself…
    Also are those socks the man being tormented by devils is wearing?

    • It’s good to think ahead, it gives me time to assess possibilities.

      We had meant to pay for a ticket to London and then use the tickets to go all the way to Edinburgh, but we were never organised enough

      They do look like socks, now you mention it- do you think he shops at m and s?

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