A day of culture in London

Wednesday, March 21, 2018




The 14th of March will be forever remembered by me as my Day of Culture, when Steve and I took in the Picasso exhibition in the morning, the Super Troupers ABBA exhibition in the Southbank centre at lunchtime and then the Paloma Faith concert at the O2 in the evening.






I think this piece, Sleeping Woman, has to be my favourite of the exhibition. I love the tenderness conveyed through colour and pose. The body of work comprises of not only paintings, but sculptures, notebooks, sketches and installations. The show marks a significant period of Picasso's life, one of turmoil and change, and is well worth a visit. If I get back to London in the summer I will certainly view the exhibition again. 




Given my passion for ABBA, it's no surprise that I had to include this in our trip. The show took the form of a group tour throughout a collection of memorabilia that was staged in rooms recreating strategic events in their 10 years together. A recording studio with a microphone used by them, a hotel bedroom with a guitar from a performance, even a catsuit in green satin from the Mama Mia show - all made for an authentic and at times, interactive exhibition that had us singing and (for me) holding back the tears at the finale. I'm so pleased I had the opportunity to see it.




Last autumn I bought tickets for the Paloma Faith concert at the O2 as part of Steve's 60th birthday celebrations which also meant it could be part of mine too. We were all booked to fly out from the islands on Saturday the 10th, but the weather got a bit iffy resulting in us having to leave two days early. After a few days spent pottering about in Cornwall we took the train to London on Tuesday and on Wednesday had an entire culture vulture day. 




This shows where we sat, just above the stage with a fantastic view of the proceedings. Paloma came on stage at 8.30pm and sang for just over two hours. The arena was at full capacity, teaming with fans of all ages, and it don't think we were even the oldest there at all.




Paloma arose from the centre of the stage like a shining vision. The stage set mirrored her 3D silver space age jacket which she quickly dispensed with to reveal a shimmering cape and matching bodysuit.This tour is the first in two years since she had her baby and yet she looked like she's never been away and her voice was as strong and clear as ever. 




A sublime duet with Zac Abel, "I'll be gentle" went down a storm. See a full review of the show in the Independent here.






Paloma plunged into the audience to hi-five her fans.






Watching you, watching me.







Much of Paloma's appeal is her quirkiness and yet as she talked about her life we saw her as a very ordinary mum struggling with post-baby weight (I kept a little bit as a reminder, she said), sleepless nights and even her fears about the world sliding towards world war three. Her words about kindness particularly struck a chord with me after my recent Mindfulness retreat where this was a major talking point. Paloma gave a heartfelt plea to the audience that we all take part in instigating a global kindness epidemic through small daily acts, such as talking to a homeless person or checking up on a neighbour. She urged us to read more on her website here.




I'm left with a few paper reminders of our day of culture on the 14th March, but I also have a host of memories to play back. One might even say Thank you for the music...

Anna x

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13 comments

  1. You managed to squeeze a ton into that day! Must have felt a bit like a whirlwind.

    I've never heard of that singer, must check her out.

    Suzanne

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    1. Yes, it was a whirlwind and quite a heady day, full of excitement especially the concert. I somehow imagined that Paloma was a globally recognised artist.

      Have a good day!
      Anna x

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  2. I do like a day of culture!

    You're the second person who has recommended the Picasso exhibition and as a Picasso fan I must try and get to see it before it finishes...

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    1. The Picasso exhibition is certainly worth a viewing Vronni - I would suggest you book online though and then you can whizz past the queues!

      Have a lovely weekend!
      Anna x

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  3. I've seen Paloma live too! Isn't she amazing? One of the few who actually sound the same live as on CD. Sounds like a fab time in London Anna. I hope we get to meet again this year
    Laurie xx

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    1. How lucky you are to have all of these events on your doorstep Laurie! I only had one day in London before I had to turn around and come right back again, hence no blogger's meet-ups this time, but will let you know when my next trip is, I promise.

      Enjoy your weekend!
      Anna x

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  4. What a whirlwind of adventure! I haven't heard of that singer either - but I love that you went to a concert! The ABBA exhibit sounds right up my alley.

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    1. It was a great adventure Sheila. It's funny that this was our first ever concert, but I somehow don't think it'll be our last! The tour guide for the ABBA show was so enthusiastic - his pleasure in sharing the artefacts was infectious.

      Have a fab weekend!
      Anna x

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  5. What a unique and lovely post Anna! It's been very interesting and fun to peak into the non-fashion related aspects of your life and this gives us another opportunity to know you even better.
    Although I'm unfamiliar with Paloma I can see that she is a unique and energetic artist. Concerts/ live music are always such a thrilling experience I think. You certainly had a huge dose of culture while in London Anna!

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    1. Increasingly I'm aware that my blog is more an online diary than a blog about my style choices. I'd like to think that what I share is of interest as I broaden out my subject matter and therefore do appreciate your feedback about the overall content.

      The concert certainly lived up to my expectations, so much so that one of the first things I did on my return home was to go online to see what forcoming shows the O2 have lined up for the rest of the year. The experience was very moreish!

      Wishing you a super weekend!
      Anna x

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  6. Wow what a fabulous, exciting visit you recently had. It all sounds brilliant. My DIL to be saw Paloma and thought she was fabulous. Glad you had a super time. Look forward to you returning and hopefully we can meet up again. x Hope you're back safe and sound Anna. x Jacqui Mummabstylish

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    1. Paloma delivered an exciting concert, but also left us all feeling like we'd made a new friend as she managed to make the arena feel like an intimate party in her front room. She was so open and honest, confessing to having nerves and saying the wrong things; she apologised for getting her facts wrong at one point. I found her totally endearing.

      Next time I'm in London I'll be sure to organise things better to give me chance for a meet-up again.

      Have a great weekend!
      Anna x

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