Saturday, January 28, 2012

National Theatre and Southbank Centre

Saw "Grief" at the National Theatre. Had some very witty dialogues and wonderful acting. Felt as if PG Wodehouse characters had come to life, with Jolly Goods, and old bean. Then listened to some lilting live music in the foyer. It is now my favourite place in London.
Also by the riverside is the Southbank Centre. saw an exhibition- Crazy Coffins- there. an aeroplane, a skateboard, and a sled as well as a guitar were preferred by enthusiasts for burial. I think it's a good idea, linking to a larger concept when you RIP.
The singing lift at the Southbank Center startled me at first, but it is melodius. Browsed a book at the Poetry Library at the Southbank Center, and then braved rush hour on the tube while heading home.

Friday, January 13, 2012

bank of england museum

tried to lift a deceptively small thirteen kilo bar there. also pulled some strings while playing a balloon game. appare tly they were to co trol inflatio  and i was seventy per cent accurate without even trying!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

natural history museum

the dinosaur skeletons were the best part. also like the blue whale model and skeleton exhibit. the interactive displays were interesting. saw some colorful birds, winsome sheep, and giant antlers. dodos, snakes, and termite hills nine metres tall made it seem like a global zoo.

cafe godiva, chislehurst caves, courtauld art gallery

Spent nearly three hours shopping in harrods and never realised the time. cafe godiva was worth the wait. the presentation was as good as the chocolate. the chocolate melted as i drank it, the cupcake was divinely sinful. the simple decor kept the focus on the chocolate. spotligts shone on us as we got a little taste of heaven.

on sunday we went to chislehurst caves. twenty miles of chalk caves built by the druids, romans, and saxons. we got a gas lantern as we entered. our guide pointed out the carvings made by miners. we also saw sculptures made by a new zealand artist, of spiderman, canary wharf, etc.

it was quite spooky! Heard stories about people who tried to spend a nigt here but couldnt. a couple who didi ended up with dislocated shoulders and so on. we also heard echoes our guide made.

world war two saw these caves being used as bunkers. saw models of those too. an hour was quite enough. it was a change from palaces, museums, amd churches though.

courtauld art gallery was also fun. saw fauvist art which is colorful. kandinskys, goyas, renoir, manet, and the rest of the whos who were there. as the paintings were displayed in a house the effect was more intimate.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Tate Modern

Although I saw a Dali, Picassos, Kandinsky and a Monet, overall I did not marvel at the paintings. Early modern art seemed better than current modern art. Reading explanations to make sense of the artworks palled.
Too many exhibits relied on glorifying the everyday. While earlier artists looked to nature for the sublime, modern ones rely on technology for a similar effect. I enjoyed one artist's work - she had used optical waves to create a sense of movement in her paintings.
Finally had scones. No wonder Enid Blyton mentioned them so often in her books- they are yum. Although it would be easier for energetic children to work off these jammy, creamy, buttery concoctions.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

british museum

Enjoyed my visit to the British Museum with my friend Neha yesterday. A mind boggling number of curiosities across civilizations were there. We took audio guides to help us make sense of our surroundings.
We started with the Parthenon: Greek mythology came alive with statues of gods I had only read about. Zeus, Poseidon, and everyone else were present. The craftsmen skill made the horses in the sculptures seem poised in action.
We learnt how these were carved so that those viewi g froma distance could make out thedetails.The Roman and British as well as other European artefacts seemed to be derivatives of the Grecian era.
We also marvelled at the Egyptian exhibits of intricately painted mummys. Indian section was conspicuous by its absence. Guess the West finds Egypt exotic while we find Europe unusual.
After six hours i the museum, with a break for pasta we were ready for hot chocolate and cake with cherry sauce at thr London review bookshop nearby. Thoughts fed, after a spot of browsing we wereready to go.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Wonderful Wimbledon

Yesterday we started early so that we could see St.Paul's Cathedral before Wimbledon. Climbed three hundered odd steps for a not so spectacular view of the surroundings. Enjoyed a close look at the ceiling though. After Westminster it was underwhelming.
Centre Court on Wimbledon was spectacular. Marvelled at the trophies in the museum. No less than the crown jewels. The sun was out and the sky was blue, so photos came out well. Also saw court one, the press interview room, the roll of honour, and the court where the longest match was played. Strawberries and cream was out of season but enjoyed an onion tart, stone baked pizza, and tea with traditinal fruit cake. Saw the original giant crocodile logo on Lacoste's tshirt. Would like to watch a match here.
Hampton Court Palace gardens were beautiful. The palace interiors not so much. 

Monday, January 02, 2012

Windsor Castle and the London Bridge Experience, as well as Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Today we took an hour to reach Windsor Castle. Took the train twice after taking the Tube. It was a proper castle on a hill. A royal dollhouse with an electric vacuum cleaner, gold cutlery and the works served as a preview for the actual royal rooms that we
saw later. Painted ceilings, Rembrandts, royal beds, were all there.
The knighting room was also grand. Tipu Sultan's gold tiger head was very impressive.

The journey back took a couple of hours. The Chamber of Horrors at the London Bridge experience was a little spooky. Kept my head down and held on to the girl in front of me. The big squeeze was the most scary, where the walls closed in. The bumpy lift was fun too. As a vegetarian, the room with meat in it made my skin crawl.

Managed to make it to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. The open air theatre is a loving reconstruction of the original, with wooden benches, painted marble columns on stage, and a balcony which Romeo must have used. There is spacd for the groundlings, the nobles who would hear the play from the balcony, or sit on stage on the balcony to show off. .
rounded the day offwith Turkish food. yum. live music, green decorwith lovely lighting and a live kitchen added to the mood.

London Pass

Yesterday was the first full day of sigtseeing in London thanks to the London Pass. This enables us to see some main sites in London. We took the three day option. Started with Westminster Abbey. High, majestic ceilings, with detailed work, it had a spiritual air about it. Every hour there is a minute's pause for prayer, which makes it even more peaceful.
Most kings and queens - the Henrys, the Edwards, Marys, Elizabeths are buried here. The gold at the altar was stunning. I liked the Poet's Corner best. Browning, Tennyson, Hopkins, Dickens, Eliot, and therest of the gang are buried here too. Made their work seem more real to see their names on the floor I think.
Then we took a cruise to the Tower of London. Saw the Crown Jewels, the Kohinoor. The Tower seemed a little wild, with a Traitor's Gate, a Bloody Tower. It is spread over a vast expanse. Our next stop was the Tower Bridge. We took the lift four floors up for a magical view of the London skyline. The engine room, with detai,s of the machinery which enables the bridge to oen in the middle, was fascinating.
thenhad yummy lasagna and quiche at a nearby cafe we stumbled on.