Sunday, 28 November 2010

I Was Taken Away...

Thank you all, for your warm wishes and sweet words. I've had a magical week.

Almost every day this week I was meeting with friends, breakfasting here, lunching there, being fed and spoilt, and pampered and gifted. It was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. And I'd like to dedicate this post to all those dear folk, you know who you are!

Then, after depositing the children to my most generous (and uncomplaining) parents, on Friday myself and Jay rose in the small hours of the freezing morning and drove to the airport. I had no idea, until we were at the airport, where we were going!

All photos taken on my phone as my camera was on holiday too!

A favourite place of ours, and although it's only a couple of years since we were there, it's many more since we were there without any little people along. 
And so, we spent a weekend wandering the streets, Covent Garden, Charing Cross, Primrose Hill, Portobello, Notting Hill, browsing bookshops and markets for hours.


And the highlight was a most exhilarating, spine-tingling, magical night with some dear friends, Tom  and Nina, (thank you!!!) who brought us to see this incredible performer, Jónsi, who is someone both myself and Jay love, which is rare enough! It was, I think the best show I've seen, in the best year of amazing gigs I've ever had. And the most visually stunning. Take a look here and here  to see what I mean. It was an Icelandic cornucopia of falling leaves, tidal waves, flocks of birds and butterflies, racing, chasing animals, and thunderstorms that breathlessly swept you away. I was moved to tears on more than one occasion, and the show is something that is impossible to do any justice to here. This man is a wonder. And I was left wondering just what creates someone with such vision and beauty and absolute magic that seems to explode out of his very pores.
I thought my heart would burst right out of my chest, and I was left feeling battered and bruised and elated all at once, such is the power of his music.
An amazing night, truly, and one I will never forget.

We packed a lot into our two days, and although it was cold, it was the most perfect, crisp, blue-sky kind of weather that made walking around very pleasant, once we were dressed for it!

And of course, when it's cold what do you do but eat! Which we did. Heartily. And often.
And while we didn't do much in the way of shopping, just being away, being able to sleep in, and wander and browse, is as much a tonic as anything.

...and more books!
The other highlight for us was visiting The Museum of Everything in Primrose Hill, which is holding an exhibition of the Collections of Sir Peter Blake. It was one of the most wonderful, surreal and completely Marvellous shows I have ever seen. Unfortunately photography is forbidden, with signs like "No Photography = £1000" and "No Photography = Death"! so I have nothing to show for it, and even their website, frustratingly, has no images. But it does have lots of links so if you have the time, do explore them, and be prepared to be amazed. Let's just say it is a magical, marvellous, experience, and at the same time strangely sad.
And if by any chance you will be in London any time soon, I urge you to pay it a visit.

A visit to the fabulous Pedlars shop in Notting Hill.
It was wonderful to have some quiet time to hang out together, after all the chaos and busyness of everyday-life-with-four-children and work taking Jay to the oddest corners of the world. We both agreed another two days wouldn't have gone amiss.

Thank you Jay, for an amazing weekend!

We came home to a snowy, winter wonderland, (more on that later), to happy children, to tired grandparents, and to not just a house warmed for us, but to dinner cooked for us, by Lisa. So thank you, thank you, thank you to you all! 

I feel incredibly blessed.

It was a wonderful birthday week.


Lisa Conmara said...

You deserve it! And who is to say its over either? I think 40 deserves a birthday MONTH!



LOVE PEACE enJOY being 40!

Rima Staines said...

Ah Ciara, I wish you a very wonderful year to come and happy happy times.
Your trip sounds altogether brilliant! I have wanted to go to the Museum of Everything too, so shall one of these days!
Its lovely to see London, the place I came from and left as a place to visit for a treat :)
Hugs xxx

Jayne said...

Oh wonderful! What a lovely trip away (and happy birthday!) - books, music, together-time, friends - sounds perfect. The Museum of Everything is my sort of place. I think my room could well be a mini-museum of everything.

Ciara Brehony said...

Lisa, you doll. I might just take you up on that!

Swedish House, thank you! I'm enjoying it already. :-)

Rima, the whole time I was in the MofE I was thinking about you! You would LOVE it! And do try and go while this particular exhibition is on, it really is amazing, and right up your street!

Jayne, exactly why I think I loved it so much! I think all us collectors secretly have a Museum of Everything in our heads!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

What bliss. A birthday trip to London. What could be better?! I'm so happy you had such a wonderful time. I'll be in London in February, and can hardly wait.

Poetry24 said...

So glad to hear that you had a great time. I must acquaint myself with Jónsi.

bright star said...

Wow You certainly got around London.I was there this week staying with my Mum and visiting the Gauguin Exhibition at The Tate Modern. Thanks foe sharing your happy time,lovely pictures!

Susan said...

What a wonderful two days you had, Ciara! I'm so happy for you that you and Jay got away! Thanks for the tour, too. Susan

helen said...

These are wonderful images. You certainly have captured the soul of the place!

gz said...

A wonderful break-thankyou for sharing it with us

Emma said...

Looks like a wonderful trip -- lots of bookstores, good food, great music and great company. The MoE sounds great. I would love to visit London again. Only been there once and Mike has never been there. Don't know when that will happen! That was awesome of Lisa to have the house warm and dinner cooked on your return.

Elaine Prunty said...

sounds like you had just about the best birthday possible ciara , you;ve really wetted my appetite for a jonsi gig and a london visit...i've to go back to that link for MOE , I think it requires more time than i have right now....thanks so much for your lovely comments over at mine, i'm blushing here.