London calling!

22nd May   

Seize the day.  This is what I am trying to do.  It is all too easy to become bogged down in day to day life and worry about the house, or is that my excuse so I can crochet?!?!   I keep seeing signs that say the children will not remember you for a clean house but for the time you spent playing with them.  We have had our fair share of illness this year and for the times when our household has been healthy, we are trying to make the most of it and have some fun.

So with a spare day and half, London called and off we trooped.  I just love the British museum and I have written about it before here, but to me the beauty of such places is that it is best to pop in and just see a small section, who can take  in so much in one day as a whole museum?  I find too that the children enjoy it more if you only see a section and then do not bore them stiff by spending all day there!

This time I decided to re visit the Greeks and Assyrians and I learnt a thing or two, that I am going to implement in my own home.

A winged spirit carrying a magical cone
and bucket by the side of an entrance 900BC
About 900BC, wow, I cannot even begin to imagine how far back that is (!), the Assyrians thought of doors and gateways as key locations which good or evil influences could enter a house.  So the actual building of entrances to buildings were always accompanied by a ceremony, loving this idea, any excuse for a party.  We are toying with adding a patio in the back garden and I am definitely going to have a good spirit party to begin the proceedings, it may not be an entrance, but hey, we spend a lot of time in the garden, I would like it to be filled with good spirit and feeling. But onto what I really wanted to share with you...  they also made sure that by the side of entrances there were colossal figures of stone which by their appearance would ward off evil and guard those entering the abode.  I love this idea so much.  A cousin of mine has a beautiful log cabin in the mountains and on a beam inside he has carved the magical sentence, "In this house we are friends and live and laugh together."  Realistically I think the neighbours would have a fit if I added two huge winged magical spirits to each side of my front door, not least because it would be pretentious, but would be so very out of place in our village.  But it got me thinking that I dress up the front door for Christmas and tentatively a little at Easter, but why not make it more welcoming the rest of the year.  So my mission over the coming weeks will be to have the customary hanging basket, which is at present looking very sorry for itself and spruce up the front of the house, I want to welcome in good feeling and happiness to all who choose to share their time with us in our home.  Thank you Assyrians for reminding me to do just that.

Lord Elgin...  I am of very mixed opinions when it comes to what he did.  For those of you who do not know, he removed many items from the Parthenon, Greece in 1806 and shipped them back to the UK where they are now displayed at the British museum, they are priceless and an important part of Greek history, yet they are here in the UK.  It was only round 1975 that Greece decided to try and begin to preserve the Parthenon itself and with air pollution, many of the facades, columns and sculptures have been irrevocably damaged and so Elgin in taking these precious pieces has actually preserved Greek history for all to see.  Interestingly he had no initial intention for removing anything, but wanted only to document what was there, but on discovering several sections and pieces missing and learning that those marbles that had fallen had been taken by the Turkish and melted for the lime they contained he felt he needed to remove and preserve, always with the intention of them going to the British museum.  He sold them to the British government for far less then it cost him to ship them over.  He even refused Napoleon's very generous and high offer to acquire them!     If you are interested futher wiki has a great write up on it all:

This monument is the largest of its kind, named Nereid, after the daughters of the sea god, Nereus. 
Imagine being buried in such a tomb, I myself am all for a cardboard box, wonder
what the nobles would have thought of that!

One of four female columns from the Erechtheum at the Parthenon, all the
other three are beyond recognition and have now been removed by the Greeks
and replaced with good quality replicas.

The four great Greek philosophers, Sokrates, Antishenes, Chrysippos and Epikouros

Aphrodite or Venus?  Greek or Roman?

From the British museum it is a pleasant stroll to Covent Garden and should you like a curry, we can strongly recommend the Punjab at the corner of Neal Street and Shaftesbury Avenue.  It is
reputed to be the oldest Indian restaurant in London. We have been visiting here
for some years and are never disappointed.

Wondering around London and you see all sorts of sights and sounds,
I didn't dare enter this shop, but what fun!

Strolling back for a lunch time stop I walked through Russell Square park and stumbled upon an an historical bike and dress conventions.  Both men and women were turned out in historically correct dress and the number of penny farthings seen was unbelievable.  This is what I love about London, there is such an eclectic mix of things to see and do, never a dull moment!

We had a spot of picnic lunch on the roof top and dozed in the dappled
shade from the sun.  A lazy afternoon.

As dusk hit, we took a river boat along the Thames to visit some friends and with the heat of the day cooling and the colours in the sky, it felt heavenly.

The following day was warmer still and even Canary Wharf and
the docklands looked amazing in the sunshine.

Wherever there is a subway, there is some graffiti, this one better than most.

Making the way back home, was arduous and a two hour journey turned into over four hours, but I enjoyed the people watching along the way and at nearly 6 in the evening Clapham common was still full of happy people soaking up the last of the days rays.

But there is nothing like home is there, despite the fact that there were chores to do,
it was made all the more easier with a bit of evening sunshine.

Hope you all have a fantastic week x


  1. I think that you are so right to take time to smell the roses as the saying goes. You will remember this lovely day for a long time, if you had spent the day dusting you would have been hard pressed to remember it at all a week later! xx

    1. I swing like apendulum about the balance of chores and fun. wih i could be more often fun based, but I find it hard to let go, but am learning to seize the moment more. Actually if you saw the house now, you would thinki had done nothing other than 'seize' the moment. Bomb and dust site alert!!! ;)

  2. Wow, I really admire your ability to seize the day. And I agree on the wonderfulness of the British Museum - I have happy memories of browsing the ancient Egyptian collection as a child. You're giving your children similarly precious memories.
    And I know that Greek friends of mine feel VERY strongly about the Elgin marbles. There's a conspicuous space where they should be in the revamped Parthenon Museum in Athens.

    (By the way, I've been having trouble posting on your blog again. Not sure whether the problem is at my end or yours. Could easily be the fault of my creaky old technology.)

    1. I hope we are giving the children some great memories, that is the whole point. but as with any blog, one tends to blog the good bits and not the days when I am pulling my hair out at the children, in life in general and it all seems to go pear shaped. The reality of life is a little less rosy than these pages sometimes, but we do indeed try and sezie the day and the moment.

      As to the Greek issue, it is such a terribly difficult one. Yes we saved them, but perhaps time to give them back, we have been good custodians, but perhaps they should be back home...

      As to posting on the blog, thank you for persevering, do not know what to do about this, maybe come over to word press!!?!?!?1

    2. Agree about the presenting-the-rosy-bits issue, but I think our blogs are a bit of happy escapism for both writers and readers, and that's OK. :-)

    3. You are right, it is total escapism for me at least and hopefully for thoae that read. I cherish the minutes I can find to read other blogs x


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