Monday, June 20, 2011

Things About London

Westminster Abbey: Poet's Corner, searching out Lewis and Dickens under the shadow of Shakespeare, plus Johnson (o rare one) while discovering Darwin. Not to mention the effigies mentioned in the Tower novel, to say nothing of emerging from the Westminster tube station into the looming presence of Big Ben in front of the clearest blue sky.

The British Library: Shakespeare's folios, Chaucer's bound manuscript, a Gutenberg, those gorgeous botanical texts, Beatles songs composed on the backs of envelopes and 2 year old Jude's birthday card. Plus a TARDIS. (Part of the Sci-Fi through the years exhibition. 11 year old – on a break from the “too many boring parts” War and Peace – bought War of the Worlds as his souvenir.) The calf-bound King's Library behind glass in front of which the users used wi-fi. Rudimentary advice to presumably distracted patrons.

The Tower of London: all of the promise of the Tower novel fulfilled. Beefeater Steve who abandoned our tour at the first hint of rain (it passed in seconds, Steve.) Axes and crossbows and cells and poisons and murder and mystery. Evil ravens. Itchy-looking uniforms. A thousand years of history.

As You Like It at the Globe Theatre: Despite aching feet, captivated by standing in the Yard while just-hammy-enough actors emoted their way through a comedy of mixed identities and love at first sight. Sliding homeward across the Millennium Bridge on a Shakespearean high.

The British Museum: has not lost its charm.

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