Family portraits

The last couple of weeks have been busy – mostly taken up with my niece Tilly visiting London for five days. We’ve had a ball – the V&A Museum was brilliantly set up for children. On the day we went, they had badge-making and you can borrow activity back-packs on various themes; we tried two – one on glass and another on organising a party in ancient China. We found the architecture gallery on the way to the glass gallery, including a short film on the building of the Swiss Re building – or Gherkin. Since we had already been Gherkin-spotting earlier in the week (usually to make our time on public transport pass by more quickly), this was a bonus.

The V&A also has a paddling pool in the square in the middle, with a very civilised lunch and coffee place – so I could chill with a latte while Tilly dashed in and out of the water. We also had a quick trip to the Natural History Museum, to see the dinosaurs and the blue whale. This was especially fun as there is a huge whale in our bedtime reading “The Bad-Tempered Ladybird”.

An interactive exhibition at the Livesey Museum on Old Kent Road on the numbers 1-12 was also good for a couple of hours. There was a great pretend shop where you could ‘buy’ hairy spiders, string knots and scorpions – complete with till. A game of table football was probably our favourite thing, although not sure what it has to do with numbers.

When Tilly left, I realised that I don’t have many photographs of my family around, so have just ordered portraits of her and my sister Kirsty for the lounge, as well as a large canvas of a landscape that has very happy memories for me, to go over the sofa. Much as I love the painting that is already there, it’s really too small for the space and will fit in well in the bedroom.

Below is a portrait of Kirsty when we were playing around in the studio with her favourite hats.

And this is Tilly, wrapped in some of the material I recently bought for portraits. The idea was to have it around for some maternity portraits, but realised that it’s great for children as well – and could be used for mother and child portraits.

And this is the landscape, taken with friends in Southwold on a blustery day with long walks on the beach, bluebell woods and involving bacon sandwiches.

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