France and England: Part 10

That morning, we had about 45 minutes to kill so we decided to spend our time at the British Museum. This time, I suggested that we check out the back part of the museum. I realized that I had never spent much time there and really didn’t know what was there. What treasures I found there! There’s this giant hall that is split between Indian art and Chinese art. At one end, there are pieces from an Indian temple that approaches the grandeur of the Greek temples at the other side of the building. Such beautiful carvings into stone. In the Chinese side of the room, there were these amazing sculptures of immortals. Very cool. I also found a hall of Jade nearby, which decent examples of jade pieces over a period of centuries.

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The Indian Temple at the British Museum

After our brief time at the British Museum, we went back to the Middle Temple for a tour of Temple Church. Again, we were astonished by the beauty of the place. In the older part of the church, there are these effigies of famous Templar knights. On the walls surrounding the effigies, there are these incredible grotesques sculptures. A few are having their ear nibbled on by a rat.

 

 

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Temple Church Grotesque Detail

Afterwards, we headed off to the Victoria & Albert. I used to be rather indifferent to the V&A but I’ve grown much more fond of it in recent years. I don’t know if it’s because I love design a lot more or because they’ve done such a good job reframing the museum. I suspect it’s a bit of both. We spent a wonderful time wandering through the galleries from the Italian terra cotta sculptures to the Ironwork section. I found this crazy sculpture piece that seems to be composed of crushed brass instruments. It’s cool but also very sad. Poor instruments!

 

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The Crushed Instruments at the V&A

Then we took a brief look at the Science Museum nearby. Scott had never been. There was a most excellent exhibition on Churchill and his scientists. It talked about the science that went on around World War II. I loved hearing more about how they figured out the rationing for WWII. The rationing in the first WWI didn’t work so well; people were malnourished. So for the second time around, they had to be more careful. The scientists figured out what worked by experimenting on themselves. They’d try different combinations of foods and then do physically exhausting things like hiking to see how far they could push it before it was too much. Fascinating stuff! They also had a room for Ada B. Lovelace with two of Charles Babbage’s “computers.” That was pretty neat.

 

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Babbage’s Analytical Engine

Before we left South Kensington area, we made a detour to  the Albert Memorial. The things we do for love. My husband loved it; I’m not exactly a fan.  It’s a little much for me.

We headed back once again to the Middle Temple for a nice evening of wine and cheese. We got to try on Barrister robes for fun.

We then headed off to see a play called Mr. Foote’s Other Leg. Unfortunately, it was fairly awful. It varied between being very dull and uncomfortable. And then there would be random occurrences of Benjamin Franklin.  Strange! Oh well. Can’t win them all.
That’s all for now!

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