More photos are on flickr.
I felt like Phileas Fogg returning to Canada this past week, as what would normally have been a 7 hr flight from England turned into a 50 hr shuffle through 4 countries, innumerable airport queues and even more security checks. We spent so long at Schiphol after KLM cancelled its flights that the words "Achtung Bitte" are seared into my brain and keep announcing themselves in a robotic female airport voice at unexpected moments.
A glimpse at Maggie Taylor's visions of Alice in Wonderland- it was difficult to take photos, so do check her website for more images.
That said, I had a wonderful time away and so can hardly complain. The main purpose of this trip was to see family (and indulge in those strangely exotic, quintessentially British jaffa cakes), but I was also able to go on a graffiti trek in Stokes Croft, do some intensive corset hunting in Bristol and Bath, and drift around Portishead listening to Portishead. Also visited a 13th century abbey (which, being a history nut, was exciting enough before learning that Alan Rickman had been filming there), danced around Bath's beautiful Assembly Rooms with a waltz on my iPod, and went to sing-along Mamma Mia at a tiny theatre in Devon.
Here are some photos, beginning with Stokes Croft.
To and from the Bristol library.
Roaming Bath, I noticed this red mannequin/sculpture, oddly positioned by a top window, sporting a matching red suit and sling.
Later, I saw this little stone dog sitting alone near the top of a building. An adorable gargoyle- I wonder who commissioned him?
A chandelier from the Octagon at the Assembly Rooms in Bath. The four doors spaced around the walls lead to the grand tea, card and ballrooms, as well as the Costume Museum. If you come early, the rooms are completely empty. With good music and a little imagination, it's easy to be transported back to the 18th century.The Costume Museum is downstairs. I was amazed by this court dress the first time I saw it on an earlier trip to Bath. The lady who wore it stood about as high as my waist and the panniers are so wide, I can't imagine her being able to move. French silk, 1760s.
I was reading about Catherine the Great's coronation dress the other day, which is quite similar in appearance, but she was taller, so perhaps those panniers were easier to manage.
Corsets from the 1880s and 1890s.
Sack back dress from the 1760s made of blue brocaded silk.
Evening dress from 1804. Muslin embroidered with glass beads.
Day dress of purple striped taffeta. It consists of a separate bodice and skirt, common from the 1850s through the end of the Victorian period, as the sewing machine enabled people to make complex garments in component parts. The purple is still bright because the dress was coloured with chemical dye, invented in 1856.
Silk evening dress from the 1880s. I wish it was a more dramatic colour, particularly with that neckline. I never understand peach.
Opulent bodices by Worth.
Mini in the medieval village of Lacock. The 1995 Pride and Prejudice was filmed here, which I didn't know until I was walking along a dirt shoulder on the "High Street" and realized I had watched Lizzy Bennet pass by an identical row of buildings.
Lattice window where Henry Fox Talbot made the oldest surviving photographic negative (1835). Photography was strictly verboten elsewhere in the house, but he had an amazing collection of books, ranging in every possible subject, including one ancient looking volume simply titled "Bubbles", which I was very curious about.