So, I am declaring Thursday to be "get on a train and go somewhere" day, even if I just go as far as the next town and sit in cafes reading books all day. No excuses! (Except legit ones like being stuck in bed ill, or it snowing or something like that, and even then I hope I'll be able to make up for it by taking extra time off another week). And to make sure I stick to this plan each week, I'll be blogging about my trips... so you can all tell me off if I, er, slack off at slacking off! I hope you'll enjoy a peek at some of my travels :)
I've already been enjoying the magical power of A Proper Day Off.... I took a trip to London this Thursday, getting out of the house much later than I'd planned, already sort-of regretting my decision to take a day off and feeling stressed about my To Do list... and had a lovely, relaxing day and came back feeling de-stressed and inspired and really very happy.
First up I went to Kensington Gardens, which is somewhere I'd never been before. I went up to London a lot in my teens but it was mostly to go shopping with friends and to hang out in places we thought were "cool", so we didn't go to a lot of parks!
I visited the Italian Gardens (very peaceful) ...
... and the Albert Memorial (very shiny) ...
... and the Serpentine Gallery. I'm not a big fan of contemporary art (& the main exhibition left me a bit cold) but the Pavillion (designed by Sou Fujimoto and on display until 20th October) outside the gallery is pretty darn awesome and an amazing space to sit in.
I also loved this huge (5 metre high) sculpture: Rock on Top of Another Rock.
Then I had a quick look round the Travel Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society which was really interesting, and a lovely oasis of calm on busy Exhibition Road. (The last day for this exhibition is tomorrow, but I guess it's an annual thing?)
Next up: the Natural History Museum which is such a fab building.
We went here on a school trip when I was a kid and I remember being totally obsessed with the bits in my souvenir guide book that showed details of the architecture.
I ummed and ahhed about whether it was worth paying to have a look at this but I'm so glad I did, there were so many large and beautiful butterflies, it was quite magical.
The whole place was full of kids with their mouths wide open in amazement and adults grinning from ear to ear at how lovely it was. In terms of happiness per minute, my ticket for this may have been the best value thing I've bought in years!
Then I popped to the V&A ...
... and had a cuppa in their magnificent cafe. It is impossible to not feel super-fancy sitting in a space like this, or to not spend half the time staring at all that decorative detail!
Everything in the V&A is great, but one of my favourite bits is the ceramics galleries which I just had time to wander round before starting my journey home. I always enjoy the ceramics rooms in museums - there is so much colour and pattern and shape to look at (always inspiring!) and they're not usually very popular so you get this wonderful peace and quiet that you rarely get in tourist-filled places. The ones at the V&A are, of course, the best. Cabinets that seem to go on for days! Just wonderful.
I've got no idea where I'll be going next Thursday, but I'll let you know what I get up to...