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September 19, 2013 By Andy Ross

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London - the city of surprises!

A week in London is always good - time to catch up on fashion, exhibitions and galleries, old friends and friends to be.

This week, I saw some dedicated followers of fashion at Somerset House, all bright and sparkly in gold lame at London Fashion Week. A lot of fun to see and a great introduction to a first day in the Big Smoke. Maybe one day we will get to see the whole show...

It has been a week of art too. Monday was a third sector FSI conference which took place in a Law firm's venue. Freshfields Law building is in the City and on the way to the conference I stopped in to see the beautiful St Bride's Church, a Christopher Wren building. The church webcasts some of its services and, with its professional choir and programme of Choral Evensong, you can listen again to some beautiful music.

The third surprise of the morning (and it was only ten o'clock!) was seeing, as I entered Freshfields, six of Paul Bloomer's paintings on the walls. Freshfields, as with a lot of  big companies, has a corporate art collection and these paintings are beautiful. It was lovely to see Shetland work so prominently displayed and admired by everyone at the conference. One of the paintings is on the link above, Night Fishing. Kangas Kangas

Later that day we took a wander down to the British Museum which I returned to later in the week. Here are some pictures, (Kangas in the large glass case and a wooden sculpture by El Anatsui which evokes the bright colours and textures of kente cloth of Ghana) in the Africa gallery, which always has beautiful textiles displayed.

Kente Rhapsody Kente Rhapsody

Hat made of spider's web Hat made of spider's web Don't you love the San hat made of twigs, feathers and spider's web?!

Of course, there is always something that is a must-see in town. A wonderful collection of book-bindings of works by Shakespeare is on display at St Bride Foundation and I have been sorely tempted by some of the pieces on display. But the best has to be the Victoriana exhibition at the City of London Gallery. What an amazing show! Contemporary takes on Victorian sensibilities which had me chuckling and intrigued. Go if you can and look for the small fairy skeletons on the staircase. Fantastic and fantastical!