Sunday, November 20, 2011

What's New at the V&A?

Friday was a full day of AWC activities.  I had signed up to play Mah Jongg at the AWC office during the day, and to attend the monthly potluck cocktail party at the fabulous Kensington flat of one of my fellow members in the evening.  Since the AWC office is only a few blocks from the party locale, it didn't make sense for me to go all the way back to Wimbledon in between, so I baked a loaf of pumpkin bread (with walnuts and chocolate chunks, of course!) the day before and brought it and a bottle of California Zinfandel (this month's party theme: American!) with me to Mah Jongg.

I'm gradually getting the hang of how to play the game, but either had bad luck or still have a lot to learn, since I didn't win a single hand.  But I still enjoyed the opportunity to socialize with other people and learn something new.  If there's enough interest, I might try to start up a regular Scrabble game after Christmas, since playing against my iPhone is getting a little monotonous...

I had about an hour to kill between Mah Jongg and the party, so I walked over to the Victoria & Albert Museum, which is open late on Fridays.   The V&A is my favorite museum in London, and even though I've already been there several times, it's so vast that I end up seeing something new every time I go.  This visit was no exception.  I peeked into the "new acquisitions" gallery and found some interesting fashions:
Pac-Man dress and Alexander McQueen dress
Chris Martin's costume from Coldplay's Viva la Vida tour,
designed by Stella McCartney
I also found a small exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the British magazine Private Eye.  I was particularly amused by the display of cheeky covers from the past 50 years.
Wall of Fame
A few covers lampooning our former presidents caught my eye...

While others touched on more timely subjects...
I stopped in the ladies' room to powder my nose (literally and figuratively) before heading to the party, and since I was the only one in there, I just had to snap a photo of the sinks.   They reminded me of Hogwarts, for some reason.  Perhaps because they are sort of shaped like the fancy bathroom sinks in the Chamber of Secrets.  It's pretty rare that I have trouble figuring out how to wash my hands in a public restroom, but this sink did give me pause.  How do they work?  I think they have a motion sensor somewhere, because a little semi-circular waterfall trickled out from the disc when I held my hands out.  The top part is a soap dispenser.
Interesting sinks...
On the way out, I noticed a skating rink and carousel had been set up in front of the Natural History Museum across the street.  It was quite pretty all lit up, and clearly a popular spot to be on a Friday evening.
Ice rink at the Natural History Museum
Although a few people had already headed back to the States for Thanksgiving, there was a good turnout at the party, and I was able to catch up with a few people I hadn't seen in a while.  Josh met me there after work, and we had a nice time chatting with fellow American expats and sharing travel tips and stories.  The pumpkin bread must have turned out well, because by the time I was in the mood for something sweet, there wasn't even a crumb remaining.  Fortunately, the hostess had made brownies from scratch, and there were still a few left.  Delicious!

Other "American" food offerings included mini burgers and hot dogs, cheese cubes with Ritz crackers, meatballs in barbecue sauce, shrimp cocktail, chicken wings, and veggies & dip. Most of it was devoured long before the party ended.  It's funny how you take typical American foods for granted -- like, say, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, cheeseburgers, or Triscuits -- and how you start CRAVING them when you can't get them easily.  (Yes, they have cheeseburgers here, but they taste very different!)  I hope they do another American-themed party soon...

No comments:

Post a Comment

To prevent spam and other inappropriate messages, all comments are moderated before being posted.