When we went on our last trip to London I took a photograph of Tower Bridge illuminated at night and that was when I realised something important. I couldn't see the controls on my camera in the dark so if I wanted to change a setting I had to walk across to the nearest source of light, change the setting and then walk back to my original viewpoint. 😳

I decided I needed a torch small enough to fit in one of the pockets in my camera bag. I managed to get one which is just 3.5 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. It takes 3 small batteries and the light comes from 9 LEDs which use little power so the batteries will last a long time. On the last trip, when we got back, we also had trouble following the footpath in the dark across the fields from the station to where we had parked our car so the new torch would be useful for that. 😆

So the new torch was put to use when we returned from our trip to London yesterday, Wednesday, and very useful it was.

We had been on another trip to the South Kensington Museums and started with the Victoria and Albert Museum to see some of the areas we had missed on the previous trip. One of those was the Silver Gallery. Notice the two elaborately decorated pillars in the foreground and you should also be able to see that there are more pairs of pillars further along the gallery but that they are plain. Originally all of the pillars were as elaborately decorated as the first two but at the beginning of the 1900s it was decided that, because tastes had changed, the decorative tiles should be removed.

Now it has been decided that the decorative tiles are a good idea but there were only enough left to complete two pillars. Better than none at all I suppose.

We also visited the British Galleries which seem to hold a lot of items that aren't actually British but were brought back to this country by British travellers to decorate their homes. I'm not really convinced that that is a valid reason for including them in a 'British' Gallery.

However we did see this picture and thought it would be of interest. "Well", I hear you say, " it is attractive but not particularly special" but you would be wrong! The picture has been created using nothing but small stone shapes, not micro-mosaics, and I suspect the sky is a piece of marble with the veining looking like clouds. Each shape must have been cut to perfectly fit in with all the other shapes and I think that that is astonishing.

The odd vertical shape just to the left of centre is a reflection which I couldn't do anything about.

There was an exhibition devoted to the eighteenth century fashion setters, Mr & Mrs Garrick. The Garricks were certainly a fashionable couple, David Garrick was a famous actor, theatre manager and playwright and his wife Eva Maria Veigel was a Viennese dancer. They were very keen on fashionable society and created their own lifestyle to be at the height of London fashion.

This was a corner of their bedroom.

This is the Raphael Gallery which I though was rather imposing. The gallery houses the surviving designs painted by Raphael for tapestries commissioned in Rome in 1515 by Pope Leo X. These cartoons, as they are known, have been owned by the British Royal Family since 1623 and they have been on loan to the Museum since 1865.

This room set shows the panelling in the Music Room from Norfolk House. Norfolk House was located on the west side of St James's Square and was the London residence of the Dukes of Norfolk from 1722 until it was demolished in 1938.

What is a remarkable coincidence is that it's just like our music room. Well, actually, we don't have a music room but if we did we'd have one just like this.

We did, eventually, run out of things to look at and decided to have a sit down and a cup of tea/coffee. We also decided to try a cafe in the Natural History Museum as the price of such things in the Victoria and Albert Museum Cafe is about twice what I'd expect to pay in London. It turned out that although the Natural History Museum was cheaper it wasn't by very much.

After we had finished our drinks we thought we'd have a look round at some of the things we had missed on our previous visit. That included the Dinosaur Gallery.

One of the exhibits that caught my eye was this replica of a dinosaur's nest. I think that the little dinosaurs are rather cute.

Meeting one of these wouldn't be so cute. 😯

There was one exhibit that we both thought to be very well done and that was a life-sized replica of Tyrannosaurus Rex which was animated in a remarkably life-like manner. I couldn't take a photograph because the lighting was too dim and the replica didn't stop moving so ruled out a very slow shutter speed. It's worth seeing if you visit the Natural History Museum.

Afterwards we wandered around the Mineral Gallery and saw these very pretty opals together with a lot of other rather colourful minerals.

We were very definitely flagging now and it was time to leave for Liverpool Street Station, and home, so I'll leave you with this view of the Main Hall after dark.

When we arrived back at our local station we had to walk across a public footpath across the fields to get back to where we had parked our car. My new little torch proved to be invaluable in this situation so it was a worthwhile purchase. It was bitterly cold walking across the fields and we were glad to get back inside our car. Brrrrrr!