Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Having a break

There's a lot going on in my life at the moment - work, family, stuff - and anyone reading this will know that my posting has been erratic (quantity and quality) for several months now. Rather than limp along in this way, I'm going to take a few weeks away from blogging to re-focus, re-calibrate, and re-think.

Will I be back?

In the immortal words of Kenny Dalglish: "Maybe's aye; maybe's no!"

I will commit to one more entry (before the end of October) - to let you know the outcome of my ponderings.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

London Bridge is falling down

While in London we visited Tower Bridge (built to ease the pressure on London Bridge – hence the title for this entry).

I wasn’t as convinced about doing it as the rest of my family for two reasons. Firstly, it seemed to be a bit tourist-y, but then again, we were tourists! More pertinently, my limited head for heights has become almost non-existent in my middle age, so the prospect of climbing 43 metres above the Thames wasn’t altogether appealing. But the lure of the view carried the argument, and we went for it.

There is a reasonably good exhibition about how the bridge was constructed, as well as a chance to walk around some of the original engine rooms that were used to raise the bridge. But the best bit is the high bit – crossing the walkways between the two towers. Again, there’s interesting information provided, but the views are stunning, especially on a nice summer’s day.

As an aside, they say that you can judge the prosperity of a city by the number of cranes in the skyline. Recession, what recession?

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


"Hope is never light years away"

A phrase that leapt out from Athlete's new album - Black Swan.
The track is called "The Unknown".

Public art and education

We’re really fortunate in this country to have a rich cultural heritage, which is readily accessible, and frequently free! While in London we visited the National Gallery. It has a massive collection spanning the 13th to 20th centuries.

Apparently it gets very busy when it rain… well it is on Trafalgar Square, and it is free. While I loved the Monet (several versions of the lily pond), the highlight for me was the 10-minute talk. Monday to Friday at 4 p.m. one of the staff gives a wee talk about one of the paintings. It’s free education – and it’s interactive. You stand in a group around the painting, then there’s the talk, then you can ask questions.

I went to hear about Caravaggio’s Emmaus. The talk was very informative and... did I mention that it was free? Seriously, if you’re in London it’s worth finding out what the talk is about - even if it's rubbish it'll only take 10 minutes; and if it's good you'll remember it for a long time.