Well, the term I’ve coined to describe this whole trip to London and Paris is “Floating”. I am a rudderless boat being cast upon the sea of opportunity. For me it is a huge plus, the freedom of it all.

However, the customs agent here in the UK didn’t see it that way. To him I was a threat. He detained me for 30 mins. He couldn’t believe that I would show up to another city without a hotel reservation. He couldn’t conceive of the fact that I would just look at art for a month, and then turn around and head home. He questioned me about how much I made, money in the bank, what kind of art I did…needless to say he wasn’t impressed. He told me, “You are giving me all the wrong answers,” but I was just being honest. He was young and sort of a &*%$ and has probably never had an adventure before. Pity him.

As for myself, I jumped on a train from the airport, and disembarked at Paddington Station. London reminds me a lot of Hamburg. The post WWII architecture, the way the people are, and the dedication to public parks. Found a cheap hotel straight away, and off I went on my merry way to the nearest museum…in the rain. Oh well, can’t get me down.

I found my way to the Wallace Collection. It was high on my list to visit because the collection, while one man’s personal collection, is absolutely fabulous, and he amassed many Rembrandt, Delaroche, Meissonier, Grueze, Rubens, Metzu, Boucher, and Fragonard paintings. They had also some stunning Phillipe de Montaigne and one amazing Franz Halls, both pictured below with some detail shots. Also pictured are Delaroche and Meissonier, two of my personal faves.

I had tea with milk and sugar for the first time as well and loved it!!! Met another professor of art at the museum and he gave me precise instructions in the “Proper” way to have tea. I am trying desperately to stay awake until 8pm. I haven’t slept in 26 hours as of now. Trying to acclimate fast. Tomorrow, after a morning run, I will head to the British Museum, and the day after the National Museum and the Portrait Museum. Life is good.

Franz Hals

Franz Hals Deatail

Montaigne

Delaroche

Meissonier Detail (This painting is only 5 x 7 in!)

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