Today seemed to get off to a slow start. I’ve been going pretty intensely I must say. This morning was the first class day so, I didn’t leave until almost noon . We had originally thought we would go the the National Portrait Gallery but, since the Tour de France was coming to London (by Buckingham Palace) we thought it might be a good idea to avoid that area. Instead we went to the British Museum. Of course, that did not disappoint.
The entire group decided to go along so we walked up instead taking the tube. On the way, we passed a beautiful group of Georgian row houses. A number of them had a large blue dot plaque on the front. Christina pointed out those were a sign in London indicating a famous or well known person had lived there and the sign told who. We got to the museum (on the way picking up lunch). Christina and I sat on the steps and had lunch before going in to the museum.
Once inside you enter the breathtaking Great Court. We spent a relatively short time today-about three hours so, I will return before my time is up. Today I finally got to see the Rosetta Stone ( couldn’t really get close enough to get a picture). I was really surprised the thickness of the stone. I should not have been surprised I guess but, I am frequently surprised by the real thing. The pictures rarely give you a real sense of the object. Perhaps when I return.
We moved up to the Greek and Roman section. The Greek statues are perhaps my favorite – well the Greek pottery as well. Unfortunately, it is all behind glass and therefore difficult to photograph (well, not unfortunately I’m sure). The controversial Elgin marbles are of course stunning. The Roman statuary not so much. I mean, I like them but they hardly compare to the Greeks. Not nearly as elegant. Of course, the Roman jewelry is gorgeous.
My next favorite thing is the Assyrian bas reliefs and statutes. I’m not certain why but I have always been attracted to these works. I find a certain beauty in their power. I know, I know they were warriors and tended to run over others but, the stone work is amazing (see below). The Greek everyday life section has a number of wonderful surprises including Terra cotta body parts. I photographed that for Alecia along with other medicine related items. The catheters look very painful.
We wandered around for just a while longer and decided to go to the cafe for dessert. Good choice. I had an orange lemon posset which is a thick custard. Christina had a salted caramel tart. We took our time and enjoyed these with tea and coffee.
We took a quick spin around the medieval section and headed back home. Christina wanted to take me through Covent Garden since I haven’t been through there yet. It was fun. As we were exiting the area she saw shoe store with a brand she likes and asked if I minded stopping. I said, “Of course not, do they have men’s shoes?” Long story short, she didn’t buy, I did. Big surprise. Alecia – you’ll love ’em. The salesgirl was very kind getting several pair for me till we got the right size. When I was checking out she asked where we were from in the US. I told her Kentucky waiting for the punchline about KFC. But, she came back with, “Oh yes, George Clooney.”
After a nice dinner of salmon, rice and endamame we headed down to the West End for the play. Tonight was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. This production was, in a word, spectacular. The acting was superb particularly the actor playing Christopher and the actor playing his mother. The entire ensemble was brilliant but those two more so. Given the nature of the book (apparently – I haven’t read it but plan to) the production is abstract. The design boggles the mind. The set alone working closely with the video designer and lighting designer is a tour de force assault on your senses. The direction is top notch with a last minute manipulation that drew audible gasps from the audience. Amazing and then an encore of sorts that was delightful. I believe this production has been filmed to play next fall in the cinema through Fathom Events. If it does, GO SEE IT.
That’s it. Good night.