Friday, 22 July 2011

London with MaryFrancis

Hello everyone!

Today was a rather lazy day :) We got up and went to the Imperial War museum. That was surprisingly wonderful. It was extremely fun. We got to see all of the artifacts from WWI and WWII. We also got to go in a replica of WWI trenches and we got to sit in on a replica of the Blitz. It was quite fabulous and I must say that I was plesantly surprised. After we finished at the museum some of us went to the Globe and saw a production of Dr. Faustus. It was amazing :) It was by far one of the best I have ever seen. These past few days have been completely amazing.  The Globe makes me so happy :) being there and watching all those fabulous plays, makes me incredibly happy. 

This entry is quite short and I have a funny feeling that they will get increasingly so as we enter the last leg of our stay here. 


Monday, 18 July 2011

What The Dickens

Dickens House Museum
Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the day of Broadstairs, it was the day of downfalls, it was the period of shoreline serenity, it was the period of tenacious precipitation, it was the Victorian fame, it was the nostalgic disarray, it was the summer of Dickens facts, it was the Fall of significant news..."significant news?"
On the train to Broadstairs...

Beach at Broadstairs below the Dickens House Museum

Victorian Gentleman's Chair
Victorian Lady's Chair
As the title and previous annotation suggest, we strolled upon our merry ways into the Dickens House Museum.  This quaint, old house was once the home of Miss Mary Pearson Strong on whom Charles Dickens based much of the character, Miss Betsey Trotwood, David Copperfield's great aunt, in his novel David Copperfield.  
Charles Dickens came to know Miss Strong very well and visited her cottage on many occasions--according to the bloke in charge of the museum--and like her (Ms. Strong), Dickens wrote all his characters after actual, real-life, regular folks just like you--"If you don't mind my saying so." 
Dickens was also, "The Man", of his day out-writing and out-selling all of his contemporaries. Not only was he a man of words, but also a talented thespian--which according to the museum curator, this was his "true" calling. 
Menagerie of Dickens' writings
The Mahogany Sideboard--Side 1:  Bought by Dickens in  1836
The Mahogany Sideboard--Side 2
Victorian Styled Room 
A Stereoscopic Viewer

Victorian Smoking Hat

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Rochester Castle Proms

"Pomp and Circumstance" in the castle grounds at Rochester
for those who didn't get to do fireworks on the 4th.  This
capped off a big day that included a visit to Broadstairs on the
coast earlier, a train journey through the Kent countryside
and dinner at the Charles Dickens pub where we took over
a second story room overlooking stormy Viking Bay
and debated whether lamb shank  was animal on animal crime. 
Liz kept us on schedule throughout ... sometimes you've got
to be cruel to be kind.

Friday, 15 July 2011

London town

The Gang at the British (I stole it from another part of the world) Museum

 Things are looking up on the London Underground--Mind the Gap
 Waterloo Station looking towards the London Eye
Inside the massive entrance to the Tate (Chris--"I could paint that") Modern

'Ello Gov'na!

'Ello from your foggy London-town travelers!

All is well in the UK, especially now that we've recovered from our jet lag.
From the very start of this venture, it has been entertaining. After the tiresome 6 hour flight over the Altantic (aka across the pond) and our ill-proportioned navigation through the Underground (the subway), Dr. Mulry found it quite quaint to whisk us away on the journey which we now all refer to as the 'Death March' through the inner bowels of London. We visited many of the well-known attractions in the city including Big Ben, the buildings of Parliament, The London Eye, and The Millennium Bridge to name a few (photos will be posted in later blogs, along with commentary).

Today, we went to the British Library which is home to many of the literary masterpieces that we have been studying throughout our English careers at Schreiner, including poems by Jane Austen, the Gutenburg Bible,  and the Canterbury Tales (keep in mind that these are all the orignal manuscripts). Other documents include a letter from Charles Darwin that inspired The Origin of Species, The Magna Carta, notebooks from Leonardo Da Vinci, the original sheet music written by Beethoven, and even a Beatles exhibit which showed their original song constructions (some were even written on the back of envelopes and birthday cards). Unfortunately, we could not spend our entire vacation within those walls because almost every English major that passed through that threshold wanted to kneel and weep before its glory.

More fun is to follow, along with photos of our adventures and shenanigans. Stay tuned! We're off to have a spot of tea...with the Queen...okay, not with the Queen.

Ashley and Ethan