With two major goals of my bucket-list finally checked off, I found myself already overwhelmed. “Full!” I thought to myself. “My brain is FULL of cool inspiration and art and concepts! I need to digest a bit.” So on Saturday, we took a break from being history tourists to just kick back a bit, wander around SoHo, and enjoy some relaxation while on vacation. (I know… what a concept!)
After sleeping in, we had a nice brekkie and then decided to just wander about. What a cool area SoHo is! Theaters left and right, wonderful restaurants, pubs galore, and book stores. As fate would have it, we were right on Charring Cross Road, which has been known for book stores for hundreds of years. There, my hubby introduced me to Foyles book store (a VERY dangerous place for me), along with several antiquarian book stores. Between pubbing, shopping, drinking at lunch, shopping, drinking at dinner and hitting a couple of gay bars after; I have to admit that the rest of the day is just a wee bit fuzzy. But that’s fine. That’s what vacation is all about, right?
When Sunday morning rolled around, I took full advantage of Paul heading off to church to sleep in. He, of course, went off to St. Paul’s for services while I snoozed. And my mission (gulp!) was to figure out how to join him in his area so we could hit our next target – the Museum of London.
Because the British Museum was so close, and I had not managed to see all that I wanted, I spent a couple of hours there in the morning to have tea, and see some of the ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian items. But because I was still a bit unsure how to navigate the tube, I decided to hike it to the Museum of London. And truthfully, I am so glad I did. Somehow, that is what made it sink in. “I’m here!! I’m really HERE!” Wandering around London, I saw so many cool things around each corner and in each crevice. To really explore a new place, I just don’t think you can get it in a subway or a bus or a car. You have to be on foot and WALK! And you have to discover places that you didn’t know about. For instance, as I was on foot, I discovered an old gothic church. I was pressed for time… but I just HAD to go check it out. It boasted some beautiful architecture, old banners that were so old as to be nearly thread-bare see-through; and a very roughly-shaped cross marking the mass grave of members of a legion who died in WWI. Everywhere I looked, history, respect, tribute, and a story-waiting-to-be-told. By the time I reached the Museum of London, I was just beaming. The air was chilly, and it had begun to drizzle. But I didn’t care one bit. I was just so happy to be there.
When I met my honey at the museum, he was in “Giles Proper” pose – sitting on a bench, reading. I met him with a smile and a peck on the cheek before heading into the museum. Unlike the British Museum, which focused mostly on fine art treasures from all over, the Museum of London really focused more on the everyday aspects of the locale from pre-historic times on. Going through the museum, I saw items from pre-history all the way through Victorian. I love being able to see the objects that serve as a basis for so many things that we do in the SCA. For instance, while looking at some of the ceramics, I laughed when I saw a green Tudor(ish) era jug of a tall man holding his belly. Why did I laugh? Because I like mine better. (Thank you, Mashime!!!!! I love that jug!) While I enjoyed visiting the museum, I was rather surprised that I went through it as quickly as I did. It didn’t have quite as many items as I would have expected on display, given the research that comes out of that facility. But like always, it was really awesome to see items that I had previously researched, such as the Spitalton Roman woman’s grave. I had seen the special about the discovery ages ago. But to see the cast lead sarcophagus, the grave goods, and the reconstructed face in person was surreal. Also, looking through the magnifying glass to see the little flecks of gold fiber proved to me just how far archeology has come in terms of detail and reconstruction.
Once in the book store, I made a beeline directly to the Museum of London publications to see which ones I did not have. I grabbed the missing ones from the series and then went a bit slack jawed as I saw a casting book that I had never seen.
“It’s a HUGE book! But it’s pricey.” I thought. Twice, I walked away from it, until my hubby noticed my hesitation. I showed him the book and told him my concern. “Joe,” he said in a deadpan and logical tone. “We are finally in England. Now is NOT the time to be cheap.”
That settled it! I bought the book, and I am thrilled to no end that I did! Why? Because I have PROJECTS TO MAKE!!!!! SQUEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!