Last Friday I was in Temple walking through Fleet Street and come upon St. Dunstan in the West. So I thought I would head inside for a look. It’s an impressive church in the heart of the city but sadly it also felt very neglected.
There was an eerie feel to the place, the pollution from all the passing traffic outside had soaked its way deep into the church. This effect darkened the place which would of been a lot brighter if had been looked after.
The bench cushions looked well used and could do with replacing, so I sat at the back on a bench that didn’t have one looking across hoping for someone to rescue this place. They are trying to raise millions to repair the church tower, I can’t spare that much, but I did donate a few quid in the collection box on the way out.
Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4HT
This is another museum that you can visit for free, walk in and view the exhibits. The first main exhibit on the ground level is about becoming a soldier. It obviously wasn’t clear enough on which side to start as a few people were going the wrong way around. You’re supposed to go from the right round to the left! As for this exhibit, I really wasn’t that impressed, you should be able to understand the whole concept if your school gave you a decent history lesson.
A few pictures, some weapons on display, descriptions of the different items, what a person in the army should carry. Then jumping into the devastation of war and the medical history needed to help the troops. For the vast subject that could be displayed it seemed to lack any flow and felt disjointed. That’s not to say they packed a lot in to it, but that can be too much.
The lower level was just drops in a vast ocean of different cultures. It felt more along the lines, ‘Look what we plundered!’
The top floor also felt jam-packed with signs, posters, memorabilia one side. Some stories and a collection of weapons and armour on the other. There was an interactive display for the battle of waterloo which didn’t feel that interactive!
The temporary exhibit War Paint: Brushes with conflict was far more interesting and had my attention span the longest. Even today we still have artists in the field of war, painting scenes which you can stand in front of for a good few minutes and make you think. The collection of artworks on display here offer more to the mind than the rest of the museum.
For the curious you might find something you like which will grab your attention, if you’re into war art or are an artist then maybe the temporary exhibit will take your fancy. But I don’t think this museum will work for everyone.
This last photo of the giant metal rat was created by Anna Redwood when she was invited out to Afghanistan by the 7th Armoured Brigade in 2014. The rat symbolises the desert rats who served in North Africa in WW2 and still today in Afghanistan.
I see the mountain (La Concha translates to The Shell) from the apartment every year I go to Spain, rising high in the background with a superimposed look, but it’s very real.
I was driven over to a place which is also a national park meeting a friend of my brothers called Alex.
Straight out of the car park we began our walk down the road to an olive grove, through a woodland and up through a few rocks to our first sign-post. I was already feeling it then! I am clearly not as fit as I should be.
At the same time I was running the Nike fitness app on my phone so I could record my stats going up. This was annoying for me because she kept saying “workout paused!” And “resuming workout!”.
Up we went and I was making sure I had careful footing as there seemed to be a lot of loose rock. I hear Alex up ahead, “Come on this is easy” my reply was “maybe to you but this is alien terrain to me!”.
We stopped for a break half way up.
We carried on to the top, passing three points which were a bit more challenging hence they added chains to the mountain side to assist you. At the top I turned off my Nike app recording 6.5KM it said I had climbed an elevation of 546 metres and had only burned 368 calories. I don’t know how accurate the app was but I turned it off at that point. Knowing I had to walk back the way we came meant that’s doubling the stats!! A fair bit easier but it was still hard work.
I’ve just been down to Euston to visit the Wellcome Collection and see their new exhibit titled Bedlam: the asylum and beyond. (till 15th January 2017)
I was expecting something more macabre but instead I found a strange collection of art and what I would say footnotes of the subject. There didn’t seem any depth to the exhibit, instead as you walk around the first installation you see some poor girl’s arm sticking out from underneath. This was followed by some explanation of what they were trying to say however I zoned out and my thoughts didn’t really focus too well on what was there.
A few paintings, prints, art and books. It seemed to be a very small part of the subject matter and a very small collection. All I can remember is that Bedlem derives from Bethlem Royal Hospital, and the name Bethlem from Bethlehem, Israel.
It’s not a subject I’ve ever really been interested in and unless you have interests in the subject matter I wouldn’t recommend a visit.
13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3BP
How many people have heard of Sir John Soane or know who he is? An architect born in the 16th century the son of a brick layer established himself as one of the greats of British architecture. He went on to collect many paintings, various pieces of architecture, different types of curious objects and even managed to acquire the sarcophagus of Seti I when the British Museum couldn’t afford it.
The museum is his old London home next to a nice little park in Holburn. It’s free to visit and I would recommend it is well worth it.