Thursday, 24 March 2016

Our day out in town.

We made it up to London but I'm not going to tell you why straight away.

It's not really fair - Tuesday I was fit and well and it was a beautiful day but I had to get my car serviced.

By Wednesday it was grey and misty and I was ill again but we had a booking and we had to go.

And as we got there too early, I dragged Robyn into The Sir John Soane museum which is an old favourite of mine;

The museum is an 18th Century mansion designed by Soane himself  who was an eclectic traveller, architect, designer and collector.

His main collection ended up as the beginnings of The British Museum, these leftovers are just his everyday household ornaments;

That was the only photo I got to take - there's a strict no photography rule although it's easy to find officially sanctioned photos on the net!

I got told off, as usual.

Soane designed his house like a rabbit warren to house his huge collection of statues, architectural salvage, archaeological treasures as well as things like a bathroom that you have to squeeze through to get around. It's cramped and confusing but every room and corridor is bathed in light from a time when other people lived in gloomy smoky houses.

There are an array of windows and skylights which cast spotlights on the exhibits.

It's a collection gone crazy and it would also be fair to say, that many (if not all) of the pieces are stolen or the taking of them would (today) amount to vandalism.

I've been many times before and the old 'free and easy' attitude of the place has, sadly, gone. You just can't just walk around unsupervised anymore or revel alone in the sheer confusion of the place like you used to.

While some of the old chaos has gone, luckily some remains;

I loved discovering again the extensive collection of ancient statue feet!

Nowadays there's an attendant in every room and some beloved exhibits have been put into storage or are in closed off areas.

If I'm grumbling it's because some of the charm of the place has gone but I'd still go back if I had a short bit of time to fill.

It's free and to be found on the north side of Lincoln's Inn Fields where we stopped to have our lunch before heading on to The City of London.

On the way we passed 'The Monument', a tower you can climb up - built on Pudding lane to commemorate the outbreak of The Great Fire of London in a bakers shop 350 years ago this year.

Once the tower dominated the skyline, now it's dwarfed by it's neighbours;

I'm scared of heights so I didn't fancy going up.

No, I don't think I could cope with that at all!

When we were done, we caught a bus back to Trafalgar Square - it's a long ride but the '15' has heritage buses - old Routemaster's for the price of an ordinary fare;

I was pretty much worn out by then, so after a coffee I collapsed on the bus to have a rest before we came home.

What did we do?

I think I'll need a day to recover before I tell you!

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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