Sunday, August 6, 2017

In which I view wonderful art, eat a sublime meal, and break a toe
(not in that order)

I broke the toe in the middle of the night, but I'll save that story (and a picture of one scary looking digit) for the end of this entry.  If you read to the point of that pic, don't blame me for what you see.

After nearly 12 hours of sleep, I awoke feeling considerably better than I had the past few days.  It's amazing how much all that rack time can help when you haven't slept more than four hours a night for the previous three nights.  I'm now quite tired again, but I hope to awaken fully refreshed after another long slumber.

After a rather large breakfast at a nearby diner

Click an image for a larger version. Do that with the toe pic, and you can't blame me.

A long and interesting cab ride later--at least one London cabbie thinks Trump is only saying what other people are thinking, alas--I arrived at the lovely Leighton House.  Though I once again was fortunate enough to see his unfinished Clytie, my reason for visiting this time was the traveling exhibition of well more than a hundred works of Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema.

The exhibition prohibited photography, so I have no images to share.  I can tell you only that it was an honor and a treat to be able to see paintings that spanned the time from when he was about sixteen, to the height of his powers, to one he did at 76 in the last year of his life, to an unfinished piece.  For my taste, he did much of his best work when he was more than sixty years old, a sign I find hopeful.

His two daughters, Laurence and Anna, and his second wife (their mother), Laura, were also all painters, and a few of their pieces were on display.  All were lovely paintings, which makes it sad that so little of their art remains.  Yet again, history neglects talented women when it should not.

The Leighton House's garden, which sits behind the building, was a lovely and cool place to sit and ponder the art I'd just seen.  It also seemed like a fine place to capture a shot of an LYG shirt visiting the UK (albeit on my body).

Dinner took me for the third time to the tiny but wonderful restaurant, The Araki.  The sushi there is the best I have ever had the privilege to taste.  They use astonishingly great ingredients, including, in this dish, summer truffles mixed with otoro, the most prized part of the belly of the blue fin tuna.

After a rest, some reading, some email, and general messing about, a bit of a walk took me for a late dessert to La Gelateria, home to some of the best gelato I've ever tasted (and I've eaten a great deal of gelato).

Oh, yeah:  the toe.  In the middle of the night, after awakening as usual at the end of an eighty-minute sleep cycle, I meant to step around the end of the bed to see the clock, which was turned the wrong way for me to see it from in the bed.  Instead, I hit my toe hard against a little luggage bench at the foot of the bed, in the process breaking the toe.

Am I sure I broke it?

Pretty sure.

I'm not going to let it slow me down at all; though, so as you'll have noted, I walked on it all day, and I'll do the same tomorrow.

The toe can either toughen up or get the hell off my foot.

I'm hoping for the first option.

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