I’m of the Anglican persuasion anyway, but after yesterday’s trip to the National Gallery I am really really in favour of the Reformation. Waaaaay too many pictures of the Madonna, crucifixion, St Sebastian pierced with arrows and Judith chopping off Holofernes’ head. I was in there with my firstborn son, who is planning to take 2 art A-levels, and virtually his only comment on the day was “There were an awful lot of pictures of the adoration of the magi.”

I prefer portraits and Dutch landscapes. Firstborn prefers anything that isn’t religious, although he did comment at one point that Canaletto’s sea was “crap”. Which, on a closer view, I had to agree with. Brilliant buildings and ships, but his sea consisted of a solid background with little white wavelets.  After a cup of tea, gingerbread men (firstborn) and treacle tart (me) I whisked him round part of the National Portrait Gallery, which is one of my favourite places in the world, and bought myself a poster for the 18th century Bluestockings exhibition, in the hope it will inspire me to keep going with the research project. then we mooched around a few bookshops on Charing Cross Road, inspected the Chinese garden in the forecourt of the British Museum, and met Annabelle for dinner.

Excitement and exhaustion followed on the way home: we left King’s Cross at 8pm and were due in at Wakefield about 10.15, but our train stood in Retford station for half an hour before the guard announced on the tannoy that a train ahead of us on the line had caught fire! Aaargh! I had visions of us having to sleep on board as the guard told us there was no way to get past the stricken engine. However they got it moved eventually and we were just an hour late home.

It’s nice to be able to get into London so easily (fast trains from Wakefield mean only a two hour journey to King’s Cross) but it’s even nicer to get home and be picked up from the station by a warm and welcoming husband. M’husband had been tracking our journey home online so arrived just a few minutes before we did. Not so the poor woman he was talking to in the station, who had driven all the way from Holmfirth to pick up her son from the train which was due in at 9pm, only to be told on arrival in Wakefield that his train had caught fire (I am so glad I booked on the 8pm train from London rather than 7pm) and now wouldn’t be arriving until about midnight.

Here’s a picture for today; it’s the engraving used on the Bluestockings poster. Excellent exhbition, do go and see it.