A lazy sunday of cultural stuff

For once, Mark wasn’t playing rugby this weekend, so we have had a Saturday of ‘doing’. Namely cleaning the house, a bit of baking for a wedding cake consultation and cooking dinner for the in-laws, which involved investigating the butchers’ in the parade of shops at the end of the road. I’ve never bought anything in a proper butchers before- a vague befuddled feeling about weights and measures has always put me off, I mean, are you meant to know how much meat weighs? ‘Hello butcher, I’d like a pound of stewing beef and a kilo of pork loin’…have I just bought enough for a week, a meal or a dieter?! What can I say, I prefer to know I’m using the right lingo, rather than risk having a shopkeeper laugh at me…. anyway, the butchers was surprisingly busy- so much for the death of the high street, it took 10 minutes to even get served! And I blagged my way through weights and measures by dealing only in whole items- Lamb chops to be precise. If I ever had to go back for mince, I’ll probably have to do some research first! We gave this a go- lamb chops with leek mashed potato and redcurrant and mustard sauce– I highly recommend it. We went for chops rather than cutlets, so it took a wee bit longer to cook, and in retrospect, cutlets might have been better because the chops were a little on the gristly side but other than that it was pretty triumphant.

Because of working reasonably hard on Saturday to get the house straight, we have had a lovely Sunday to ourselves and so decided to take ourselves off to a couple of museums.

Mark’s pick first- The Museum of London Docklands. I was admittedly a bit sad at his pick- There was a really cool sounding exhibition on at the actual Museum of London, about dissections and grave robbers that I quite fancied, but still, his choice, so off we went. The museum gives the history of London’s docks from Roman times to the present day and was, I’m pleased to report, an interesting choice. I wish we’d not spent quite as long on the first floor, because we were a bit exhausted by the time we got into the Victorian times and up to present day, which I personally found a bit more interesting- I love a bit of social history, and this gave more information on the actual people who were around at the time. There was a great account from one of the inspectors who went round the Isle of Dogs after a big bombing raid in the Blitz, who reported that while there was no electricity, gas or water, the pubs had managed to stay open- God bless the East End, eh!

1930s room from the Geffrye Museum website

A quick bit of lunch in the wetherspoons next door (mmmmm, microwave sausage and mash anyone?!), and we were off to my choice- The Geffrye Museum in Hoxton. I used to come here loads when I was a kid, mainly, so I’m told, because they used to have brilliant activity sheets for children to fill out as they went round the museum, so I hold fond memories of it from then, plus the aforementioned more than passing interest in social history. Now to give the Geffrye Museum in a nutshell, it’s basically room sets of front rooms/drawing rooms/parlours (call them what you will) from a typical middle class person’s house from eras going from the 1600s up to the present day. We were particularly interested to have a look at the 1930s house, because I’m quite keen to do up our newly purchased 1930s semi in a vaguely sympathetic style, so it was great to see the room sets around that era.

Now we’re back home after that, awaiting our buddies Dan and Ange, who are coming over to discuss cakes, for their wedding in December- we’ll be baking it as our wedding present to them- So it will shortly be time for tea, a chat and a nice slice of victoria sponge, and then Sunday night TV, and yet more chilling. And a very lovely weekend it has been too!

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