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Sunday, 26 July 2015

July outing for Laura

Laura likes her travel bag made by Lorraine, it means she can come on outings with us.  Yesterday we went to London for the afternoon and evening.  We made a short visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington which we have visited once before (but without Laura that time).  It is a vast place and despite the map it is still easy to get lost or distracted along the way to a particular gallery as every gallery contains so many interesting artefacts.  We were trying the find the Theatre and Performance gallery but somehow got side tracked by the Architecture gallery where Laura encountered some model houses.

Laura admires the model of a traditional Japanese House and wonders if Miss Happiness and Miss Flower live here
The model Japanese house at the V&A museum
Laura is impressed with the model of a suburban house
the information about the model Suburban House at the V&A museum
We found the Theatre and Performance gallery and Laura was delighted to meet Joey the horse from War Horse as we entered the gallery.

Laura says 'hello' to Joey, the War Horse
The information about Joey at the V&A museum
In the same gallery were 16 of the poppies from the amazing display which 'grew' around the Tower of London last year.  It was interesting that these were featured in the Theatre and Performance gallery - they were part of an art installation which triggered an immense and moving public reaction because of its scale and dramatic message.
Laura and my younger daughter look at the poppies up close
Some of the artwork for the poppies art installation at the Tower of London
Laura is interested in the orchestra in the wonderfully detailed model of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
the information about the Theatre Royal Drury Lane model at the V&A museum
The side view of the model of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, showing how scene changing is done
We had a meal in Giraffe again, so added some plastic giraffe's to Laura's collection.  Then it was off to The Royal Albert Hall for the first ever prom of the whole musical 'Fiddler on the Roof', performed by Grange Park Opera with Bryn Terfel in the lead role.

Laura at the Proms again with my younger daughter
View of the stage during interval, it was a shame this prom wasn't filmed as the production was outstanding
During the interval while the girls went to get ice cream (expensive but it was a family outing) a voice behind me said "is that a Sasha doll?" I turned around and had an interesting conversation with a woman who admired Laura.  She recognised the Sasha face but was puzzled by Laura's legs as she remembered her daughter's Sasha having 'soft' (she actually meant curved) legs.  I didn't immediately realise that she was talking about a baby girl Sasha (an early 70s Trendon girl) until her daughter returned (I momentarily thought she was talking about a studio doll).  It was clear that that the baby had been cherished for years, she had kept her name of Sasha, though was no longer with her owner.  They did not know that Sasha dolls are not made any more and had come across the Gotz name in Harrods and Hamleys when looking at dolls for grandchildren (they liked the modern Gotz faces they'd seen).  I told them a bit about Sasha collectors and assured them that our little collection is small compared to some.  They were fascinated that Laura comes on outings and that Sasha collectors get together for social and creative gatherings.

It was a very good outing, Fiddler on the Roof was done wonderfully well at the Proms and the hall was packed.  The girls want to return again and again to the V&A as there is so much to see in that wonderful museum.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Midsummer Sasha Gathering 2015 - part 2

Prior to attending the Midsummer gathering, Rosie S and I were in email conversation about miniature prams. I had finally found one for restoration and she is planning to restore her pram, so I brought my pram in pieces and she brought her pram for us to compare (and compare with Dawn's amazing collection).  I photographed Dawn's collection in 2013 however it is impossible not to take photos of them and their happy little owners when the opportunity arises, they are so photogenic.
Some of Dawn's amazing pram and doll collection which includes Doucet, Red and Ponfa versions
Two of Dawn's prams 
A Doucet pram which Dawn is restoring
Some gorgeous NP Sasha girls with their prams
More lovely prams and Sasha dolls belonging to Dawn
Another pram and other wheeled transport with their Sasha and Gregor owners from Dawn's collection
Rosie S's Doucet pram which she wants to restore
Dee's visiting dolls, lead by the magnificent waif Hattie (and Lucas)
 Dawn allows careful people to hold her treasured Sasha Studio dolls, my girl was thrilled to be allowed to hold them again.
My girl with one of Dawn's Sasha Studio dolls (and Clemence bear)
A close up of Dawn's stunning Sasha Studio girl
my girl cuddles Dawn's Sasha Studio toddler doll
my girl also privileged to hold Dawn's Sasha Studio baby
my girl holds the Sasha Studio toddler and another of Dawn's Sasha Studio dolls
The Sasha Studio toddler's clothes
I did take some photos of the visiting Sasha dolls, including our own small collection.
Our Sasha collection at Dawn's house
A baseball player and friends near Rosie S's pram
Some of the lovely visiting Sasha dolls
More of the visiting Sasha dolls, including a toddler girl
Theresa's Red pram with a pram basket she added
Between Dawn's garden and the field is the home of several horses.  My girl made friends with them.
My girl enjoys feeding one of Dawn's real live horses
Thank you Dawn (and Rosie S) for hosting such a friendly, happy Sasha gathering - it was lovely to catch up with friends and see each other's dolls, discuss prams and admire the garden.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Midsummer Sasha Gathering 2015 - part 1

We were lucky enough to be able to attend Dawn's Midsummer Sasha Gathering at her beautiful home in June, the event was co-hosted by Dawn L and Rosie S and included a delicious lunch.  It was a lovely friendly gathering, the weather was kind so we could eat outside on the verandah overlooking the garden and there were plenty of photo opportunities in her extensive garden for the dolls.  My husband came with my younger daughter and I (it was Father's Day), unfortunately my elder girl had a work shift so couldn't join us.  It was great to catch up with Sasha friends and talk prams (more of that in another post).

A certain little bear called Clemence had hitched a ride with our doll family and after eating the main course at lunch, he and Laura went to watch the next episode of the Lucas Adventures being filmed...

Dee setting up a photo at Dawn's fountain
Lucas and Clemence started getting into mischief while Laura enjoyed the view of the fountain and the glorious sunshine
Clemence was following Lucas to the middle of the fountain
climbing over the stones was hard work for a small bear and it took time
"Be careful not to get your paws wet Clemence" called Laura
... so Clemence took a long route from Laura to avoid getting his paws wet
By this time Lucas was sitting on top of one of the statues (assisted by Dee's helper)
Clemence was finding the journey to the middle of the fountain tiring
Did the status shake Lucas off or did he lose his footing?
Laura watched Lucas crawl back to the side of the fountain after his fall, she was relieved to see he was okay
Lucas was grumbling under his breath about the silly statue
Laura didn't notice Clemence climbing onto a tall statue
so she wandered away from the fountain to admire the flowers
by this time Clemence was nearly at the middle of the fountain
Lucas was greeted warmly by his dog Socks who was so relieved that he was safely back on dry land
meanwhile Clemence climbed over the last bigger stone to reach the centre of the fountain
and sat cheekily in the lap of one of the statue girls
who didn't seem to mind this little bear sheltering on her knees after his long journey across the stones
Laura suddenly realised with consternation that Clemence was still in the fountain area and went to look for him
when she saw him climbing the statue, she risked her dress to climb into the fountain to rescue her naughty bear
Laura gingerly walked across the stones and cried out in anguish when she what Clemence was doing
as Clemence climbed onto the head of the statue from which Lucas had fallen earlier
"Come down carefully Clemence" said Laura, "my apologies for my cheeky bear" she said to the statue girl
"I'm coming" said Clemence
Clemence climbed down carefully
And went for a cuddle with Laura, who was very relieved to have him safely back in her arms again
Laura and Clemence had a cuddle before making the journey back across the stones
When they got to the side of the fountain Clemence sat in Laura's headband while she carefully climbed out
And they restored their energy by sitting on the verandah with some scrumptious strawberries and cakes
Soon Clemence was all for another adventure, this time some tree climbing
Laura sat in the branches enjoying the scent of summer flowers
and was joined by her friend Henry
Clemence was going out on a limb, so Laura and Henry decided it was time for a walk
Henry and Laura had a lovely walk in Dawn's garden, though all the rock and tree climbing in a dress made Laura feel a bit faint.
Lorraine took some lovely photos of Henry and Laura's outing - see  We had a great deal of trouble getting Laura to stand during the walk around the garden as the breeze was strong enough (in gusts) to blow her over just when we were about to take photos!  So as Lorraine's blog post shows, Henry and Laura were photographed sitting by the side of the path instead.