20-22 July Day off Chertsey Dinner with Vikki & Adam

This is our long weekend and as I’ve stated in a previous post, “I’m tired”. So, I decided not to kill myself and take a break. I spent most of Friday working in my room. I began to get caught up on these posts, took a break and sat in the park and then went in the evening to the Charlotte Street Hotel for a nice dinner.

On Saturday, I was off to meet Graham in Chertsey. Since my visit two years ago, I have been working with Graham on his forthcoming book on tailoring trying to help him get illustrations ready for publication. It has been a lot of work but, I’ve greatly enjoyed the collaboration with him and am looking forward to seeing him again. He has just returned from holiday and is in this area visiting with family before they return home. I’m meeting him in Chertsey to see the little museum where he found the last coat for his book. I provided three of the suits for his book between the UK collection and my own. He picked me up at the train station and we went to the museum first to have a look/see. It is a small community museum as you might expect with some rather exceptional surprises inside. There is an unusually large collection of clothing and textiles (The Olive Matthews Collection – http://www.chertseymuseum.org/Fashion and it houses a collection of Greek pottery which totally took me by surprise (see my previous post from the British Museum). The museum in housed in a mid-19th century house and there is a well-done history of the house as well as images prior to it becoming a museum. They have also recently acquired a Worth gown as the ladies at the counter proudly beamed and bragged. Of course, it is currently at the restorers and won’t be put out until sometime in fall. In the meantime, they told us we could read about it on the Facebook page. You have to scroll through to find all the entries on the conservation but, it is well worth the time. They have obviously invested a great deal of money to preserve this garment which if I’m reading correctly we worn to the coronation of Edward VII.


After the museum, Graham treated me to lunch at The Rose & Crown (est. 1650). We caught up on the book and family and he then provided a tour of the area as he took me to the station to catch the train to Waterloo. This county includes Runnymede, Windsor Castle and Ascot. I got a closeup look at the race course made famous in My Fair Lady as well as hosting the royal family each year for the famous Royal Ascot.

Coming back to London, I met up with Christina and family for dinner at an Indian restaurant. We went to Palms of Goa on Charlotte Street and the owners were delightful, welcoming hosts. The food was delicious and much better than our go to restaurant in Lexington.

On Sunday, I continued getting caught up on work in my room. A skype session with Alecia, Marc and Colson. He’s sitting up so well and ready to crawl looks like. After noon, Christina and I journeyed over to St. Pancras to check on our tea reservation. We hadn’t heard anything and were getting nervous. Not to worry. We are set. After a snack and some other mundane chores we met up with Jack and Marlena to head up to Vikki and Adam’s house for dinner. This trip would take some work. We had to buy a ticket to the end of the tube line which went out of our zone. Once there, we had to catch a train for which we had no ticket but the man at the station just sent us through. It was a quick two stop trip to Highams Park where Adam picked us up.

Vikki is a former student of mine now working in the film industry in costume. She works hard and very long hours but, she seems to be enjoying the work. She has been fortunate enough to work on some very high-profile films, most recently Phantom Thread last year’s academy award winner for costume design. We spent the evening visiting and getting caught up on the latest she is doing. She and Adam have purchased their house and it is charming. We had a lovely dinner out back in the garden and they were the best hosts. We enjoyed ourselves immensely. This is one aspect of this trip I so enjoy. Getting to spend time in people’s homes and getting a sense of lives that are different and yet not so different. I look forward to Vikki coming to speak with our students this week and spending a little more time with she and Adam before I head home.

Sitting in one of the small parks nearby the dorm was enjoyable. However, I didn’t notice the dead grass until I realized I wasn’t looking at dirt.

The Charlotte Hotel where I had dinner on Friday evening.

Actually, I was sitting against the back wall. It was a lovely dinner. Quiet and peaceful.

On Saturday, I headed out to Chertsey to meet up with Graham. Waiting in Waterloo station for my train to be called. The “tote board” can be, at times, hard to decipher. During busy times especially the area below can be full of people all facing the direction of the board watching.

On the train to Chertsey crossing the River Thames.

Chertsey Museum. This was one of my favorite dresses. Linen, 1870-73.

This I included for my friend Kerri. Peace dress for a child. Made from a coarse cotton and decorated with silk pictures, images of military leaders and badges of various regiments. It was probably worn to a peace pageant in July 1919 as part of the national Peace Day celebrations.

And then there was this. A shelf of Greek pottery, some from the Archaic period. I was stunned. Refer back to my post in the British Museum.

An early 19th century cotton muslin dress c. 1809-11.

Graham took me for lunch at the Rose and Crown. You can’t see it in this picture well but underneath the name Est. 1650. The food was good and the atmosphere even better.

During our driving tour, he stopped and we explored Royal Holloway, University of London. This school was founded in 1886 for women. The founder’s building is one of the most incredible Victorian buildings I’ve ever seen. This panorama view I took is one of the interior courtyards. It is a beautiful building. Most times, Victorian buildings can be clunky or cluttered. This one is but, it has a certain elegance I rarely see.

This if a view of the other courtyard complete with a statue of Queen Victoria who they convinced to come and help open the university in 1886.

Someone was getting married in the chapel the day we visited. I couldn’t resist a pic of the bride and groom walking in this amazing setting.

Graham and I. Always good to catch up with old friends.

The eye tree. This tree was in the green space we walked through from the parking lot. It struck me like the painting of Queen Elizabeth I’s dress with the eyes and mouths and ear. the Rainbow Portrait. Kerri, what do you think?

I caught the train back to Waterloo from Ascot. It was great fun touring around that legendary race track.

After dinner at the Indian restaurant with Christine and family, I walked back to the dorm. I finally looked up and began to enjoy the buildings in the neighborhood where I stay. This at the corner of Tottenham Court Rd and Windmill Street.

I put together this collage of other buildings closer to the dorm. The one on the lower left is right on the corner of Malet Street. It is the Waterstone’s bookstore. I have another picture of that one later. The others are small street one block away and slightly further.

Better picture of the building above the bookstore.

Vikki and Adam’s garden where we had dinner.

Good to see Vikki again after two years.

The quiet street they live on as dusk settles in and we headed home.