|One of the wild |
green parakeets of London
Here's a list of the main places we've visited, in order since Bath, with a few photos and notes thrown in for good measure.
|Chair and photo of |
1960s "middling class" with
photo of parallel world look-alikes.
|Parallel world look-alikes|
Geffrye Museum of the Home is housed in a building that was built in 1714 as an almshouse for the poor. A series of period rooms along the hall that is the spine of the building allow visitors a peek at the homes of the 'middling class' from 17th century to the present day. In the modern section, reduced to one photo and a chair, I came face to face with a 1960s version of myself and two of my children. The likenesses between them and us was mind-blowing, definitely time shifting, parallel world look-alikes.
|The Queen's Horse Guard.|
The horse didn't like it
and neither did the guard.
|The Reckless Sleeper|
by René Magritte
Tate Modern - We both really enjoyed the Poetry and Dream exhibit. It had works from some of my favorite painters, like René Magritte. And then there was the inevitable black painting and the white painting, some garbage, a broken chair suspended from the ceiling, an unmade bed in a corner, and even two sacks of sand all posing as art. I could not, did not contain myself.
|"Art"at Tate Modern|
Tate Modern, Britain
Our art crawl through Europe has led to some interesting discussions about the current state of art or "art". This morning M. sent me two good links to articles on the subject, one at 3quarksdaily and the other at Commentary Magazine, How Art Became Irrelevant. Both are definitely worth a read if you're interested in the subject.
| Dotted line marks old Prime Meridian. |
Solid white line marks the revised Prime Meridian.
Greenwich to see the new Prime Meridian Line as it has moved 330 ft (101 metres) to the east. The usual crowd of people was there lined up to be photographed straddling the old line where (we thought) East met West. Then we walked over to the approximate new place where, using modern GPS technology, researchers have determined 0° longitude actually runs. According to London's Daily Mail, "it now cuts across Greenwich Park near a bin". Also we saw several deer and lots of crows, seagulls, magpies, squirrels, the lovely green wild parakeets, a grassy mound that's supposedly covering Roman ruins and walked the tunnel under the Thames.
|Minerva contemplating the crows|
in Greenwich Park
|Swami and Rembrandt |
at Kenwood House
Walked Hampstead Heath and visited Kenwood English Heritage House, a 17th-century country manor where we saw, among other paintings, a self-portrait by Rembrandt and works by Hals, Turner and Vermeer. Swami especially liked the Rembrandt and the Hals.
Winchester Cathedral Of course, the cathedral is ancient and grand. Here we took the tour. Our guide, one of several volunteers, was wonderful. She delighted us all with fascinating, quirky details about the history of the cathedral. The whole town of Winchester is built on a peat bog so, over the centuries, the massive cathedral was slowly sinking into the ground. In the early 1900s, it was in danger of collapse so a deep-sea diver by the name of William Walker was hired to do the repairs. Walker's job was to go down below the cathedral's base and find solid ground. At that point, bags of concrete were lowered down to him and, every day for six years, he worked in the total and utter dark far below ground, building a foundation. One hundred years later, Winchester Cathedral still sits firm on the foundation he built and the head from his diver's suit, a photo and plaque telling the story hold a place of honor within.
|Swami and Minerva enjoying a sunbeam|
at Almshouse of Noble Poverty
Cambridge - King's College Chapel and Fitzwilliam Museum
|King Henry VIII|
King's College Chapel was built by a succession of kings but Henry VIII finished it in 1515 and, for me, his presence overshadowed the rest. That's probably because I have fairly limited knowledge of English history. In any case, it is an amazing place though it seems more a tribute to kingly glory than heavenly. Ok, a massive Ruben's masterpiece hangs over the alter but the alter itself is otherwise quite plain. And I wonder if anyone has ever counted all the swords, crowns and other royal symbols chiseled into the towering walls, pillars and ceiling.
|"At the Cafe" Degas - 1876|
The Fitizwilliam was nice but only a few pieces really stood out. "At the Cafe" was my favorite but, when it comes to Degas, I'm easy.
|Me, Lee and Swami|
on the Tames at Limehouse
|Frank and the walkie talkie|
I'm trying to finish this while sitting at St. Pancras International. We're leaving England now and headed to Ghent, Belgium, where we'll be for the next week. Ok. M. Lee, Swami and Minerva are here with me but this morning I feel a bit the way my grandfather must have felt on his seven voyages around the world, alone and far far away.