01 February 2010

all's well that ends well

Still on the subject of diaries, I suffered what I think is called a diary malfunction yesterday. I thought it was the day of a potato fair in East Dulwich, but it turns out that it was last week. Instead we went across to the Dulwich Art Gallery only to find that the drawing exhibition finished last week. Which left us with a trip to the Horniman Museum, a gem of a place, where at least we might get a decent cup of tea, a walk in the gardens and a dash of ethnography and culture all in the one pot.

The Horniman is a lovely museum. Small, inclusive and imaginative, it buzzes with life. We were impressed with the beautiful photography and perceptive juxtaposition of everyday and natural objects in Nature as Designer by Alision Millner and Steve Speller. Then we looked at the traveling Fabric of a Nation exhibition looking at how fabric and its design is used as an expression of everyday Ghanaian life.

Here there were uniforms where the names and distinguishing motifs of institutions were part of the fabric design, and worn with pride, a far cry from the regulation stripes of my school dresses. Other fabrics were inspired by local sayings and proverbs. A prince does not cry.

Do not put your gold around the neck of a Guinea Fowl.

A bird that is not in flight roosts.

Wildness cannot stoke fire.

Like the best exhibitions, both of these made me want to bring these ideas home with me - play with the contents of my cutlery drawer and vegetable box and see what I could come up with and think about how to illustrate well known sayings. Which all goes to show that all's well that ends well and (maybe) the best things in life are free.


Rattling On said...

I once copied out my permanent diary dates into a new one, and put all the birthdays in a month later than they should have been. Most embarrassing, especially as it wasn't until about June that someone had the courage to mention it.

Anonymous said...

Love the Horniman, although if you want a quiet look around avoid the school holidays - it gets madly busy. Always enjoy the musical instruments gallery and, of course, the aquarium. And while it appears to be in a bit of a public transport black hole (I'm a non driver so these things matter) a combination of London Bridge and national rail or DLR to Lewisham and bus make for an do-able trip. And the cafe is really nice.


Thomas said...

Hi there,

I'm Thomas from the new Dobbies.co.uk blog.

I've written a post called '37 Great Gardening Blogs', which of course includes 'Rus in urbis'. You can read the full article here:


We'd would like to know if you have any problems with being included? If you do, please let us know and we'll be happy to remove your site from the list.

We'd also like to make you our 'Gardening Blog of the Week', so if there's any specific information you'd like us to include or if you'd prefer for us not to feature you, please do let us know.

Thanks for your time. Drop us a line anytime.

All the best


(for) Ian Daniels


Dobbies Garden Centres Plc
Melville Nursery
EH18 1AZ
Tel: 0131 663 6778

colleen said...

Joan - I always find South London so challenging to understand geographically ( and I have an irrational dislike of London Bridge station). I think it is the hills and the impact they have had on the configuration of the roads. I'm rather looking forward to the opening of the East London Line extension which will stop at Forest Hill.

Tom - I've left a message on Dobbies blog for you. Delighted you visited here.

Anonymous said...


Are you sure you're not a cabbies' daughter? One of my friends is and practically hyperventilates at the thought of going 'south of the river'. I too can't wait for the East London line extension to open. Easy access to the Geffrye and the Horniman and so much else. Maybe then you can have a WI coffee morning at the Horniman.

Best wishes,


colleen said...

Joan - Aha! A cabbie's niece, and a cabbie's cousin but a lorry driver's daughter. Does that explain it?