A Look Back in Time

London TixMy good friend, Pauline, and I went into London yesterday for a long-awaited Girls’ Day Out. After purchasing our tickets, we warmed ourselves with cups steaming of hot chocolate while we waited on the platform at Rayleigh Station. Transferring to the Docklands Light Railway at Stratford, we passed bustling construction sites for the 2012 Olympics and headed into a part of London I’d never seen. Sparkling new building are set into the old Docklands where the train stops still bear the names of the area’s interesting and colourful history… West India Quay, Mudchute, Island Gardens, Canary Wharf.


We had a destination, a place that sounded perfect for a day out with no husbands in tow. From the outside it looks like just another Georgian townhouse set in a Greenwhich neighbourhood of discreetly lovely homes….but inside is housed The Fan Museum, the only museum in the world dedicated solely to showcasing fans from around the world. The museum is beautifully and artistically laid out, reflecting the refinement and elegance of a bygone age. Even the warm welcome at the front desk seemed an invitation into another world.


As chance would have it, the current exhibit is A Touch of Dutch: the Royal Fans from the House of Orange-Nassau containing dozens of exquisite fans on loan from the Netherlands. As two of my dearest friends are Dutch, I have a great interest in the Netherlands, so I was thrilled by this glimpse into the Dutch Royal Family at time when the women would give each other beautiful fans, sometimes set with diamond and other gems, for special occasions. These fans would then show up discreetly in various portraits and court pictures, giving a sense of the importance they held for the recipients. I felt I was being given a peek into not only the fashion, but also the relationships that wove through these women’s lives. I found myself wondering about their long-ago days out together…

Time moves on and fashions come and go,
but the magical thread of feminine connection
endures as it sustains us
through the journeys that are our lives.

2 Replies to “A Look Back in Time”

  1. Beautiful poem!!! And what a wonderful day, so rich in history and discovery… Did you know that Healdsburg has a fan museum??? The next time you are here… we will walk in our meadow and make a journey to that little jewel… XO

  2. Even if I can not follow all your thoughts on such a day with no husbands in tow, it’s a pleasure for me to read your posts.

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