We’re coming Out. We want the world to know … Writer in Transit: London


I’m out and about in London. And I’m not the only one. I find myself here on a historic day when the question everyone asks you on first meeting is: are you In or Out. There can only be one subject under discussion on a day when everything changed but it all seems much the same.  U.K.is leaving the EU. 

On arrival in London I headed for High St Kensington towards the Gardens to an annual antiques and art fair. Couldn’t afford so much as a photo of most of the glorious items on sale but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  

I discovered the fabric designs of Edinburgh weavers and of Henry Moore and was reminded how much I love textiles. I was moved by the slightly eerie sculptures of Phillip Jackson. 

Everyone I met was remarkably friendly, sharing knowledge freely and without a hint of disappointment that I wasn’t likely to be handing over my Amex any time soon. Even for the very small, framed piece of fabric by one of those little known Edinburgh Weavers. No really I couldn’t afford even that. Thank you so much. 

I was (again) reminded just how much collectors are wiling to pay for Chinese art… A tiny Chinese ceramic pot much like an egg cup was on sale for well over $10,000. I couldn’t figure out why either. 

I stopped for a sandwich on the temporary balcony created for the purpose at the show which overlooked the gates to the Kensington Gardens.  As I munched my salmon bagel, I chatted with a couple of the dealers. One lovely lady saw no irony in bemoaning the fate of her family gardener’s need for 2 jobs to make ends meet and citing this type of situation as the reason for the Out vote. Perhaps we should all hire a gardener. 

I still hadn’t had my fix of culture so headed for the V&A via the Royal Geographic Society which had a free exhibition of aerial views of the U.K.  Seems everyone is looking at the big picture today.  

Now I’m sitting in the internal courtyard cafe at the V&A museum sipping my annual Diet Coke on ice. I’ve found a quiet haven. In fact everywhere I’ve been today has had an unexpected air of tranquility. (Even Euston Station!)

The V&A gift shop is my last stop and what do I find but a piece of fabric the design of which is by none other than one of those Edinburgh Weavers, Keith Vaughan! This one I can afford! 

I’m so delighted with my find as I feel I’ve discovered an unrecognised artifact after my lustful musings on similar exhibits at the art fair. So I buy two pieces just to reinforce the fact to myself! 

John Drumond 1948

It’s been a big day. Time to go back in; everyone will be out again tomorrow. 

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