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Published: August 29th 2018
Lunch at The Maids of Honor
Iris’ treat at an historic tea room in Kew.
Rain! Just enough to make me wear my raincoat for an hour, then schlep it around the rest of the day...
This morning I met Pam Harper’s dear London friend, Iris, who kindly treated me to lunch in Kew and a tour of the fabulous Royal Botanical Gardens there. I’ve been hearing about this UNESCO World Heritage Site for so long, I was especially excited to see them - all 600 acres!
We began with a Kew Explorer tram ride around the grounds, past a giant pagoda and various monumental glass hot (“temperate”) houses, ponds and playgrounds. There was plenty to admire, even though this was not peak blooming season; the gardens have more than 14,000 trees in this living library, collected over 250 years!
As a painter, I was thrilled to see the new exhibition Kew's Heritage Trees at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, with astonishingly detailed watercolor paintings by Masumi Yamanaka.
Thank you, Iris, for a lovely day, and to Pam, for connecting us!
Evening brought me to the threshold of the pub
on the corner of my block, the Prince Edward, where I sampled fruity cider and the best steak and ale pie I’ve ever had, all in very pleasant company. Well, with the exception of the American at the next table who felt compelled to make pronouncements on every topic - the more he drank, the louder and more emphatic he got (he’s in the navy shirt, closest to me in photo.)
You know the type. I even agreed with some of his points, but was sad that he couldn’t see how he stood out, and not in a good way. Likely I was sensitized to this by Iris‘ comment today that I seem to be quiet-spoken, “unlike the usual American voices.”
I’m mostly packed for tomorrow‘s train to Norwich (“Norrich”) in eastern England, where I’ll be pet-sitting, painting and exploring for a month.
New adventures await!
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