Renee

A Dr Martens orgy, de-jargoning & carols with Charlie Chaplin – almost!

If you’ve never been to the Sir John Soane’s Museum in Holborn, you have to put it on your list for 2016.  It’s one of London’s most fantastic hidden gems.  The internal architecture reflects the extraordinary imagination of the creator of some of our greatest landmarks – including the houses of parliament, where I will be dining in the new year.  The collection is an eclectic mix dating back to ancient Greece that immerses you the minute you enter this magical world through the fairly ordinary looking front door.

Imaginative Training | social media blog | social media training | Plain English training | Plain English editing | copywritingA wonderful man, who was not a tour guide but shared with us a small fraction of his incredible insight, confirmed that my Dr Martens are adorned with Hogarth’s famous painting of ‘The Orgy,’  one of eight pieces that make up A Rake’s Progress.  This artwork depicts a night at a Covent Garden inn – not necessarily one that I have been to though.  The paintings in this fabulous museum are displayed in a small room using a moveable-wall system that still seems innovative today, yet was designed and constructed over 200 years ago.  Hogarth’s works are displayed alongside, in front of and behind other great artists, including some lovely pieces by Canaletto.

I didn’t even know the Hogarth collection was here until Philip mentioned it on viewing my lovely shoes.  (Not everyone thinks they’re lovely…)  The museum is actually Sir John Soane’s home, perfectly preserved with its original furnishings, books, monk’s parlour and crypt.  (What do you mean you don’t have those in your home? Think how beautifully you could deck out your monk’s parlour with baubles and boughs of holly.  Or mistletoe…)

xmas 2015

This will be my last blog of the year – and what a year it’s been!  Having spent the first half mostly in Travelodges, it will be lovely next week to be pampered in five star luxury somewhere between the Cotswolds and Bath, where I shall end 2015 in a dry flotation tank, whatever that is…

Plain English business writing training dominated the first few months, and travelling around the country delivering sessions on de-jargoning was lots of fun.  I have met some exceptional people this year and been introduced to places I’d never have come across without my national training contracts.  I’ve also had the pleasure of getting to know so many through networking – both in real life and via social media.

The last few months have been equally dominated by one topic – although less work-related and more chocolate-related.  Whilst I can’t yet claim to be an expert on all things cocoa-based, I’m surely getting there.  You can be sure the Wii Fit will be brought out of semi-retirement after the festive season wanes.

Anyway, while it’s still very much the season to be jolly, I’m off to a carol concert, held in the entrance hall to a grand old mansion once visited by Charlie Chaplin.   It has a huge, twinkling Christmas tree and the local church choir will sing on the curving staircase while I hand around my home-made cranberry and cinnamon muffins.

So it’s time to say bye for this year – and thank you!!  It’s a pleasure to write for you – and I’m truly grateful that you take the time to read this blog each week. Thank you for reading, sharing and laughing.  Have a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, successful 2016!!

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