Niall already wrote about it—you can read it here.
For me too, it was a like a dream come true. I couldn’t believe that I was actually inside this dream, and this dream in reality, is a reality! I was interacting with Jan, for the first time and I felt I had known her all my life. My kids too got along with Annie really well.
Niall gifted me EIGHT of his pictures. I just couldn’t take my eyes of them. Seeing them ‘in the flesh’ (as he puts it) is something else. The prints that he has of his pictures, are such high quality that you cannot distinguish at all, between the prints and the originals. They are incredible. He had inscribed them, and it makes it so special. He later told me that he has given his originals to very few people–and I felt so honoured to be among those few.
At the hotel room, when he took them out, I asked him which one was for me.
He said “All of them.” I was speechless. His pictures are simply Sui generic, outstanding, brilliant. I feel so proud to own so many of them—that too inscribed. These paintings are treasured so much and always will be.
Sometimes words are simply not enough, to express the depth of a friendship, a relationship or an emotional bonding that transcends all bondaries. If you find a friend like that, you must do everything to hold on to it.I feel really fortunate to be blessed with such friends.
We were there for about nine days. We did all the touristy things. Went to all the places worth going to. (or at least what the tourist brochures say are worth going to!) For me, more than these places, it was the chance that I got to actually gaze at Van Gogh and Rene Magritte (my favourite artists) ,Georges Suerat (along with Niall, at the National gallery) , Manet and Monet and many others. I never thought that I’d ever get an oppotunity to see all these paintings. Niall remarked that it is like meeting old friends. I couldn’t agree more. These images were so familiar, having grown up, gazing at prints of these pictures, and even copying some– and suddenly here they were—the originals.
When all of us were walking outside, Big Ben, Niall said to Atul (my 9 year old) that the inscription on the clock, just under the clock face, says that the last person to go to bed has to wind it up. Atul and I actually looked up to see if it actually said that.(you never know—with the English sense of humour, they actually might have something like that!) A second later I realised he was joking and I burst out laughing. Jan quickly clarified to Atul that Niall was only joking, and the inscription was in Latin.
We went to Cambridge too—that was a stunning , magnificent and a picturesque town. It deserves a whole new post, and I shall write about it soon.
Here are some pictures—and I shall drop by your blog soon to see what you have been upto!