76. Day 13 in England: The British Museum and Lion King!

This day proved to me I’m not crazy about
1. Hot weather
2. Crowds
3. Children

We started our day, more or less (LOL, late risers!), with the British Museum. I know, I know, what does one expect during high tourist season in a world capitol? CROWDS! I think every school group in Europe was at the museum, and most of them (and many adults as well) were a little clueless about personal space and making room for a lady with a white cane. I def. put on my bossy voice a couple of times! But truly, the British Museum is a wonder. We only saw a bit of it, and I was definitely following Christine around as it is her old stomping grounds!

We started with the Egyptian artifacts, as you do. Here is good description of what’s what in the collection.

The Rosetta Stone. Amazing to see it in person. It was not what I was expecting at all, and at first I didn’t know what I was seeing.
Me, and a famous dead guy.
A single Sekhmet.
A set of Sekhmets, lion-headed goddess. Protector and healer! Daughter of Sun Ra!
Limestone false door of Ptahshepses.
King Ramesses II, 1279 BC. The hole was made by Napoleon’s army in their vain attempts to pilfer it. But of course, it got pilfered later by the Brits, and its arrival in England in 1818 inspired Shelley’s great poem “Ozymandias.”
This Colossal Scarab Beetle was maybe my favorite thing from the Egyptian collection. This granite is gorgeous!

Very serious sphynx.
Ugallu getting stabby.
I thought at first “Oh a forest scene, look at those nice trees.” Then I saw the pile of heads.

Okay, so this is really a lot of the Elgin marbles, but by golly, that’s some beautiful artistry. While not many faces survived, the flow of the garments, the amazing capture of motion, everything about this is just astounding.

So I get that the Brits swiped these, at no small expense and effort. But at least here, they are not getting destroyed by wars and climate, and they are free to view, for the world, in a major travel destination. So, yeah, EMPIRE! But then again, Art. Commentary will be sporadic on the following photos.

(I had done a pile of research and inserted links for the rest of this post, but a computer crash before I could save made it all disappear. So here are the pix just to enjoy!)

A little about the Viking chess set that washed up on the shores of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides! Also known as the Lewis Chessmen. When I visited the OH in 2018, I managed to spot a few of the large carved versions throughout Lewis.

LOVE the Berserker!!!
Exasperated Queen, Pop-eyed Bishop
Viking booty
Saxon shield
Napoleon death mask
Lindow Man was not well-liked. See description below.
My friend thought the animals had died of natural causes and then were mummified. She was sadly disabused of this notion.
Dinner at The Crusting Pipe before The Lion King! Delicious.
Me and Christine before the show. Beautiful theatre!
And after. GREAT show! I didn’t like the animated film because I was all “Where’s the African music?” Well, they rethought that for the stage production, and there was loads of African song and dance. SO much creativity!

Apart from getting super crabby as Christine was trying to show me the city (crowds, heat, endless franchise stores eliminating any of the small and atmospheric shops she remembered from living and visiting in prior years), it was a wonderful day.

I love London, but great swaths of it that I saw this day — could have been any large, commodified city in the world. It especially reminded me of what Times Square in NYC has become: bland and generic. But with older buildings.

14 July 2022


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