Actually I had high hopes for this my final blog. I rang the ‘IT Crowd’ with the suggestion that they could do something wizzy and overlay this entry with Ole’ Blue Eyes singing ‘My Way’. However, we got involved in a long discussion about copyright and I started to lose the will to live. However you get the gist – I am yesterday’s woman, I’ve had my 15 minutes of fame, I am about to be put out to grass. I said my final goodbye to Quilts 1700-2010 with a tour for the aged mother (a cross between Mrs Malaprop and Count Arthur Strong). I had been putting this off since I presented her with a copy of the publication. Much to the amusement of the daughters her only comment was ‘So you didn’t write it all then.’ On the day, she was actually very moved and wished she had the opportunity to visit again, the prodigal daughter wiped a tear from her eye as she stood in front of the HMP Wandsworth quilt and I thought I would disolve myself until I rallied round and spent a small fortune in the cafe on hot chocolate and muffins.
I spent Sunday ensconced in the garden podding peas – reflecting on the last six years. I had made the decision not to be there when the team start to dismantle and pack up the exhibition, it would be too painful, like leaving the family home. There are so many memories bound up in that space – hopes, fears and ambitions. Hopefully the exhibition will have a new life, in a different venue as our Exhibitions Team work on developing a tour in the near future. But for me things have moved on – next time you see me in the Museum I’ll be pushing a trolley loaded with mannequins, channelling my inner Mrs Overall in Acorn Antiques ‘nice cup of tea Miss Babs?’ I seriously thought about buying the ‘I love V&A quilts’ bumper sticker and stitching it to my derriere but decided that perhaps even I couldn’t really get away with that.
Over the course of this blog I’ve probably revealed far too much, more information than you ever needed to know. I’m guilty of shattering forever the image of the V&A curator sitting in a lofty tower pontificating over some obscure objet from the bowels of the Museum. I have shared with you the thoughts of curator, wife, mother, daughter, feminist and stitcher. Despite or perhaps because of the pigeon holes, we are all an amalgamation and contradiction of terms. However I hope that by sharing some of the highs and lows of working on a major exhibition, you will have come to know the human face behind the door marked ‘Private Staff Only’.