Snow Day

March 2, 2009 at 11:28 pm | Posted in General, photos, Random | Leave a comment
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About a month (and a season) late here are a few photos from London’s big snow day. It seemed appropriate to post now that reports into the transport collapse have been finalised. I wish I could have made it into the city to photograph some of the major sites but being a child again and playing in the snow was a lot of fun. I can’t wait till the next big snow fall or even venturing a bit further afield and going skiing or somesuch.

Snow Day 02-02-09 (2) Snow Day 02-02-09 (28) Snow Day 02-02-09 (17) Snow Day 02-02-09 (24) Snow Day 02-02-09 (4)

More photos at Flickr!

Gordon Museum

March 2, 2009 at 10:56 pm | Posted in General, London, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | Leave a comment
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After my recent excursion to the Hunterian Museum I was advised that I should check out the Gordon Museum. It’s located at the Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals, University London near London Bridge. The Gordon is a hospital museum spread out over two floors and four rooms each with about half a dozen rows along the edge and brimming with specimen jars of human anatomy.

Most of the specimens have been included due to an abnormality such as an enlarged kidney or heart as a result of disease etc. There are other items like the specimens highlighting the extensive paths in the lungs.

Each specimen has a number that can be looked up in one of the adjacent folders, it will have a brief summary of the item (as well as the problem with it) and how it came into the collection. The man who cut off his own penis after a moment of religious zealousness was just a tad squeamish!

One of the rooms deals with forensics and I’m sure is incredibly interesting but unfortunately it was closed when we visited.

The Gordon Museum is a private museum and you’ll generally need to be a student (or be friends with one) in order to access it. Please check their website to see what your options are.

If you have an interest in medicine and liked the specimens at the Hunterian then you’ll find the Gordon just as compelling.

Lastly and most importantly a big thank you to “Miss S”  for getting me into the Gordon Museum – well worth it!

Wallace Collection

March 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm | Posted in General, London, museum, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | 5 Comments
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At the Wallace Collection you’ll find a rich array of antiques ranging in weapons to art and objects d’arte. It’s a beautiful building (currently being refurbished) with a roof enclosing the central courtyard and its restaurant (I saw a few people having high tea!).

Wallace Collection (2) Wallace Collection (3)

Most of the rooms including the lush Great Hall have artwork on the walls and numerous smaller pieces in display cases scattered around. Many of the cupboards are also fine period examples in their own right. The other parts of the collection are devoted to middle ages’ armor, weapons and cavalry. In effect the Wallace Collection offers a little for those who love art and those who might find military paraphernalia a bit more enticing.

While I was visiting they had a temporary exhibit covering  a collection of treasure hidden (predominantly coins and brooches) during the Black Death.

I observed a very in-depth tour in progress while I was wandering around. The guide was discussing in great detail the paneling and urban legends behind a particular French chest of drawers. Perhaps a bit too intensive for me but I’m sure many people will enjoy it. An audio guide is available however I only noticed a handful of numbers around the collection.

I would have liked some information about the history of the collection and while there are no display boards the staff were more than happy to provide a verbal summary.

I particularly enjoyed this free museum in the middle of London (near Bond Street Tube) as it has a strong and diverse collection.

Geffrye Museum

March 2, 2009 at 9:19 pm | Posted in General, London, museum, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | 2 Comments
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The Geffrye Museum (in Shoreditch) was a former almshouse for elderly residents and now converted into a museum.The museum focuses on the changing face of the British middles classes from the 1600s to today. The Geffrye explores this theme by looking at the living rooms of these periods. These feature authentic re-creations or antique wall fittings, furniture and an array of other objects used by the people of the time.

Geffrye Museum (2) Geffrye Museum (5)

Before each room there’s a description of the changes that have faced society and its influence on the architecture and design. Part of these summaries include a touch and feel component looking at topics like fabrics and woods.

The Geffrye also includes a restaurant with traditional and modern English food, walking past it smelt quite nice but I didn’t have time to try it out.

The museum also features a small gallery space for community exhibits, when I visited it featured conversations with several residents discussing what influenced their home decorating.

Lastly, the museum has a large grass garden in the front and a herb garden at the back. I couldn’t access it but presumably it’ll re-open when they’re in bloom and hopefully aromatic as well!

As a side note the residents and the functions of the rest home were relocated due to the increasing levels of industry surrounding the house at the turn of the 20th century.

The museum is free, which is a plus, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it unless you have an interest in home design.

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