I actually got all of this stuff to the airport by public transportation, via a no-stairs route: Jubilee line from London Bridge to Green Park; Piccadilly line to Heathrow! Roughly 90 minutes, door to door.
The Covent Garden neighborhood was all decked out in flags this evening: this weekend is the “central weekend” of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, celebrating the 60th year of her reign. We’re sorry we’ll miss it! Read more about the Queen and the Jubilee here.
Oregon license plate on the wall of hidden-gem pub “The Rake” (sans traditional shingle, alas!), specializing in local and Belgian brews.
Today’s adventure was to Greenwich to see the exhibit “Royal River: Power, Pageantry, and the Thames” at the National Maritime Museum — fabulous! At one of the museum’s entrances we saw this wonderful ship in a bottle, which turns out to be a brand new museum acquisition. It’s “Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle” by London artist Yinka Shonibare MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire); read more about Shonibare and the campaign to give this artwork a permanent home here. Who’s Nelson you might ask? Admiral Lord Nelson (1758-1805) is a British national hero for his leadership in the Napoleonic Wars, most particularly in the decisive battle at Cape Trafalgar, in which he also lost his life (upon which his body was preserved in brandy for the trip back to London, where he was given a state funeral, movingly documented in the “Royal River” exhibit). Read more about Nelson here.
Today we went to The Geffrye Museum of the Home, whose website describes as follow (we’ll join in with making the first sentence true!):
The Geffrye Museum is one of London’s best-loved museums. It shows the changing style of the English domestic interior in a series of period rooms from 1600 to the present day.
My personal favorite among the many charming interiors was this example of a late-nineteenth parlor; just to the right of this shot was a small upright piano. The room’s charm is maybe a little hard to pick up on without seeing the whole thing, but to bring at least this much into sharper focus I’ll add a slightly more close up view (below) of the curtain fabric, a bright, large-patterned floral print, which really added color and surprise to the otherwise quite formal space.
All the rooms illustrate middle class English dwellings, so it’s a little ironic that the museum is housed in an eighteenth-century almshouse; that said, this almshouse definitely suggests an enlightened view of giving aid to the poor!
A virtual tour of the museum is available here.
Leslie and I went for a spectacular long ramble through Hampstead Heath today; as you can see, the sun has come out here!