Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What Time Is It?

It's been a crazy couple of days.

Yesterday, we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum, which as ousted the New York Museum of Art as my favorite museum in the world. Crazy. I can't even begin to explain the vast diversity of the collection, as well as the topics covered. But I can say that they have 6.5 million items on display.

In keeping with the preemie part of this blog, I was browsing in the bookstore and I ran across a book of Victorian era photographs. Weird stuff, people running, actors, etc., when I came across the "dead child" pictures. The Victorians used to photograph their children after they died, for a variety of reasons which seem morbid today. I found a picture of a preemie with dark hair, laid out on a bed in a christening gown. Of course he looked like Max to me, whether he did in reality, or not.

There were tears on my eyes when I closed the book. The pictures really upset me, like looking at an alternative timeline, when one little thing didn't go the way they did, and we lost our boy. But then, the universe straightened me out. I was standing in the checkout line when a tiny little baby started screaming his head off...I mean, this kid had some LUNGS! Big, loud, powerful cries. I started laughing as the tears started rolling down my cheek, because that was my boy. Not lying in an unearthly bed, an object to be mourned, but a squirmy, ornery child who has big healthy cries, powerful lungs, and an opinion as big as the ocean. And all was better in the world.

Today was Greenwich and watching Duet for One. Greenwich is better than Bath, but it's still touristy. We couldn't get a picture of us on the Prime Meridian, because there were tourists stretched as far as the eye could see to get their picture taken with that thing. So we went down the hill and looked at the Queen's house, and the Naval college. Here is the painted hall in the Naval College. Every architechtual detail in that room is painted on a flat surface. It's astounding.

The King's Chapel is right across the plaza, and it has an amazing organ loft. The ceiling is another one of those great British ceilings, with sun bursts and the like. After being awed by that, we went beach combing on the shores of the Thames, as it was low tide. I found several pieces of pottery that were obviously very old. In addition, I found several clay pipe fragments, including an intact bowl. Back in the day (about 300-400 years ago) they would sell tobacco to be smoked in what was a disposable white clay pipe. When the smoker was finished, they would throw the pipe into the Thames. The beaches are littered with them, (if you look closely), but an intact bowl is quite a find.

From there we took a boat ride back down to Westminster Station, and if you ever go to London, and think its not worth the 8 pounds, convince yourself its wrong, and take the tour. The Thames was such a commercial zone, all of London is based on it being there, and what better way to see London, than on its most important resource, the Thames. Besides, you'll get some kick-ass pictures of the Tower Bridge.

The evening was spent watching Duet for One. I really enjoyed this piece. The acting was top-notch and the story was gripping. Two actors, one in a wheel-chair, and my attention was held for 2 and a half hours. The sets and lighting were enviable, and at the end of it, I'm disappointed that it won't make it to the States, but we'll see. Stranger things have happened (Hello, Jerry Springer, The Opera?!?!)

Well, I've rambled on for a while now. So much to tell, so little time.

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