Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Homegoing: London

I recently wrote about my homecoming trip to Scotland and the feeling of returning to a place you love. I've completely made up the word Homegoing to try and explain a different kind of homely feeling that I have for London.

Though I've never lived there, so many of the things and people that I love are concentrated in that space that it feels like a significant part of my life. Perhaps it's being British & the sense of pride that sets in when you successfully navigate the underground. Perhaps it's being a student and all of your friends inevitably migrating south. Perhaps it's the fact that its sprawling streets are so packed full of art, architecture and history it seems never-ending.

I'm guessing it's all three.

Stained-glass window from the Sainte-Chapelle at the V&A.



Kensington.

Natural History Museum.

Natural History Museum.

Natural History Museum.

Natural History Museum.

Paul waiting outside the Natural History Museum, in all his British-tweedy glory.

St Paul's.

I'm not really one for photographing paintings, but I do love a good Pollock.

Henry Moore, the master of creepy birthing images.

I know I said I'm not one for photographing paintings, but I do love photographing people looking at paintings.

Cliché London photo.

The Shard!

Tate Modern.

St Paul's.

St Paul's.




Some way, some how, I had never been to the British Museum before. I can think of no other way to describe it than thoroughly overwhelming. Even the outside is an experience in itself, so imposing & awe-some that it's impossible to ignore.

British Museum.

British Museum.

Then you stroll beneath these massive classical orders into this vast, white, space-station. All glass and polish and absolutely wonderful.

British Museum.

But with just a few more steps you're further back in time than it's even possible to fathom. I must admit, Paul & I were incredibly excited to be walking around a place so jam packed with history. All history, every history, anything that we can even begin to comprehend. I kept grabbing his arm saying, how is this even possible!? I think he agreed with the sentiment, but he also had a lot of historic knowledge to keep me entertained.

British Museum.

British Museum.

Obviously, the Parthenon marbles. I can't believe that these had escaped my attention on every previous visit to London. On the day I made an instagram post that said, I have been rendered completely unable to articulate anything other than "oh, shit." Unfortunately, I've still not gotten past that point. Being in the British Museum, particularly the Parthenon Marbles, just overwhelmed my intelligent, articulate, academic faculties. Perhaps I saw so much that I overloaded it; I think it's more likely that when exposed to such beautiful sights and amazing histories, my brain reverts to child-like glee and awe.

Parthenon Marbles, British Museum.

Parthenon Marbles, British Museum.

Parthenon Marbles, British Museum.

Parthenon Marbles, British Museum.

Parthenon Marbles, British Museum.

Parthenon Marbles, British Museum.

Blurry Parthenon Marbles, British Museum.

Parthenon Marbles, British Museum.

British Museum.

British Museum.

British Museum.

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square.

Trafalgar Square.

Trafalgar Square.

Big Ben.

For me, no trip to London is complete without a visit to Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery. It's usually my first point of call, but this time it was my last look before I went home. It's nice to end a trip to London with such a stereotypically British image.

A separate post for my re-visit to Leighton House Museum will be coming shortly.

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