Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Monday = Museum Day

Monday's destinations were entirely on page 35 of my Mapguide (the one I thought I'd lost, but found wedged between my mattress and headboard at home). First stop was Somerset House, where I'd intended to see Night Paintings by Paul Benney, in the Deadhouse below the fountain court. After looking at the first four or five paintings, I came to a tape barrier. Turning around, I saw another tape barrier back by where I'd come in. I asked, and was told that they'd had a water leak in the lightwells and needed to close the rest of the exhibition, probably until the weekend. This was disappointing -- not so much because I was dying to see the rest of the paintings, which I'm sure were interesting, but because there are a bunch of 17th century tombs down in the Deadhouse that I'd wanted to see. With rain coming tomorrow and lasting the rest of the week, I don't think they'll be reopening any time soon. While I was at Somerset House, I also checked out the Nelson staircase and two small exhibitions (British illustration and Vidal Sassoon). 
Next, the London Transport Museum, which I'd never visited before. Amidst the absolute din and chaos of screaming, running school children, I followed the history of London transport (boats, buses and trains) from the mid-19th century to the present. When I reached the final level, at last I was able to go to the exhibition I'd really come to see -- Mind the Map, about graphic design, maps and posters for the Underground. It was blissfully quiet in the exhibition rooms, as I was the only person there. It was well worth enduring the cacophony of kiddies to reach the exhibition, and the rest of the museum was pretty good as well, even for non-trainspotters like me. 

I grabbed a quick lunch at Tesco Metro and ate in the churchyard of St Paul's Covent Garden. Then, on to the British Museum for Shakespeare: Staging the World, a fascinating array of paintings, printed material, and artefacts related to Shakespeare's times and to the subjects of his plays. This exhibition was crowded with pensioners, who are quieter the school kiddies, but due to their failing eyesight (and the general dimness of the lighting), they tend to stand about 6 inches in front of every piece. It's amazing that some of the things they had on display have survived all this time, particularly the tapestries and clothing. 
It was 4:30 when I left the BM, and I figured it was best to get out of central London before the rush hour, so I hopped the No. 7 to Paddington Station and then the No. 36 back to Maida Hill. 

Today, I'm off to Fulham Palace, then bits of Chelsea, and ultimately to the Guess Where London (Flickr group) meet-up at a pub in the City. I'll be wearing my best walking shoes (blister update: it's much better now). 

13,747 steps (5.42 miles)
£13.50 admission to the Transport Museum
£2.15 lunch (egg and cress on brown bread and a beverage)
£1.89 pint of yogurt from the supermarket since Roger's supply was running low
(Used R's BM membership card to get into the Shakespeare exhibition free)


  1. Anonymous8:22 AM

    Good to see you are enjoying another trip across the pond. Come and visit next summer at Lake Michigan...not as many museums but long walks on the beach may fulfill your walking need. Connie

  2. Glad you were not trapped in museum by plastic tape barriers, making you, nightmarishly, a sort of permanent installation piece.

    What, no pint other than pint of yogurt this day? Saving up for pub meet-up, no doubt......