Friday, February 27, 2009

Ah sweet home

Travel is great whether it's to a new place or going back someplace I have loved so long like London. A (wo)man who is tired of London is tired of life, said Samuel Johnson. So far in my life that hasn't yet happened and by the middle of the trip I was remembering and/or discovering so many things I loved to see and do.

I was reminded me of how very long ago my first London trip was - 1965! so different, and yet so much the same. Prices were in shillings and pence and if I recall correctly, the pound was at $5. However, with prices so so low, it was a paradise of bargains. The country was only 10 or so years past rationing, and there were still many areas in the City where you could see WWII bomb damage. I saw firsthand the lovely little London Pride flowers that bloomed up in the rubble. Who could have envisioned places like Canary Wharf!?! That was dockland when I first visited and not too enticing.

On my last day in London, I was determined to hit one or two places with or without dh. We both made it to the Oxfam shop where we unloaded a few books and a few clothes. Then a walk up Earls' Court Rd to Kensington High Street and Waterstones . DH had heard of a book he wanted to buy for my granddaughter's birthday, and phew! they had one copy left. Hopped on a bus, nearly exhausting my Oyster Card, and headed down to Oxford Street and on up to the Wallace Collection for the Treasures of the Black Death exhibit. I'd never been to the Wallace and since we'd had lunch in a pub before hand, we only had a tea and coffee in the beautiful restaurant. One caveat...the Wallace is very much like the Barnes in Philadelphia. Eye indigestion after a point for me.

I was a bit sneaky and took this pic of the armor you can try on. Lord, it's heavy!

It was after tea that dh decided he was 'stick a fork in him done' and he headed back to our hotel. I forged on and just managed a quick visit to the British Museum 44 years after my prior visit. Yes - 44 years ago. My xh and I went when we met in London the year before we married and one exhibit I wanted to see again was/were the Elgin Marbles. Ah..I couldn't find them on the list of exhibits and the museum was closing soon!!! Then I got it. They had been given a more politically correct name - The Parthenon Marbles. It doesn't sound so much like plunder that way, does it?

And then finally - the Rosetta Stone. It's about 4' high and impressive as ever. I bought myself a t-shirt with the stone on it. Probably not too many of those in Annapolis - ;)

I could finally say this trip to London was complete and I could get down to packing.

Now the laundry is done, the house is getting clean, my swaps are being mailed, and we're off to hear Dvorak at the BSO tonight. Life is getting back to normal, and that feels really nice. Life at home - ah...

btw, all photos were taken with my Iphone.

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