Art and warm weather – at least two reasons to venture south - Susan Morrison

Last week, the daffodils were out in London. They might as well be. Everyone else is out on picket lines from junior doctors to train drivers and bin men from what I could see.
The Holbein exhibition at Buckingham Palace runs until April 14 and is well worth visitingThe Holbein exhibition at Buckingham Palace runs until April 14 and is well worth visiting
The Holbein exhibition at Buckingham Palace runs until April 14 and is well worth visiting

But there they were, enough golden daffies to gladden the heart of any lonely poet who identified as a cloud.

And for some reason, that narked me slightly. Up in Leith, the Links crocuses were still doing battle with icy rain.

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That morning LNER had carried me from a storm-battered Waverly to the balmy south.

Four and a bit hours later, I arrived in what felt like a positively Mediterranean climate.

I was not the only Scot outside Kings Cross peeling off layers of woolies. We looked like a bunch of highly niche strippers doing an impromptu rehearsal for a gig at a knitwear convention.

I know you won’t believe me, but it was warm, good people.

I have a theory that London generates its own climate. It’s massive, and home to nearly nine million people, all little bundles of heat.

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It must all rise and keep those Atlantic storms at bay. Look how nuts they go on the telly if a flurry of snow falls. No wonder they have sweltering summers.

Now, let's be honest, the Scottish weather is not our friend, at least not in the summer.

How many of our holidays have been washed out and wind-swept when we wanted sun-drenched?

So, my idea is that we all move to one corner of Scotland and concentrate our efforts to generate heat and keep the skies clear for a fortnight at least once a year.

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I’m voting for Fife, but open to suggestions of the Clyde coast.

I was in London to entertain the good people thereof, but I had the time to visit Buckingham Palace to see the Holbein exhibition.

It's the closest I’ve ever been to the palace. The young raging student lefty in me once had dreams of clambering gates mid-revolution, like the peasants storming the Winter Palace, but today’s global peasantry seem happy just to take pictures of it.

Tell you what, some of those windows need a good going over with a bit of shammy leather. You could write your name on some of those panes. Looks to me like standards have slipped.

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If you are heading down south, the exhibition is pricey, but well worth it if you are into Tudor history. Well, any history really.

Hans Holbein was a genius. These quickly sketched faces of people dead more than 500 years are so immediate you half expect them to turn and talk to you.

Pride of place is given to Henry VIII’s armour, originally made for him when he was a younger and, it has to be said, a considerably slimmer chap.

In his older and chubbier years they had to let it out, not something easily done for a metal suit. They had some belly there to deal with.

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Clearly, Henry never met a calorie he didn’t like. Think retired Premier League footballer after a decade or two on the after-dinner circuit. There is, of course, an excellent gift shop.

Well, tropical London or not, that big pile of a hoose looks like a nightmare to heat. Those gas bills won’t pay themselves. Every reed diffuser counts.

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