After Augustus defeated Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the battle of Actium in 31BCE, he took possession of Egypt, made it a Roman province, and had a number of statues like this one made of himself and placed throughout the land. These were later looted and carried off by the Kushites and others. Years later this one was excavated in the Sudan in an age where power had shifted so that all roads led to London rather than Rome, hence its presence in the British Museum, and hense its journey to the London being called 'archaeology' rather than 'looting.'
This is the British Museum Reading Room (formerly the British Library). On the very desks in this room many budding writers have studied, formulated their ideas and scribbled away. Most have faded into history to be remembered only by these walls, but a few who worked here developed ideas that captured the imagination of the world, these include Charles Dickens, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Vladimir Lenin, W.B. Yeats, Virginia Woolf, Mahatma Gandhi, George Bernard Shaw, Thomas Hardy, Thackeray, Oscar Wilde, T. S. Eliot, H. G. Wells, and the list goes on.
Opened in January 1759, the British Museum is the oldest museum in the world and one of the largest. Unlike the Royal Ontario Museum entry is free! For a while the British Museum charged admission, but recently they decided that this was a mistake. After making entry free their admissions went up by 66% and once again the building became public space - open to all!
Hylands House, built in 1730, stands secluded in 574 acres of private parkland. In World War II this was the home of RAF pilot Jock Hanbury and it was also the secret headquarters of the Special Air Service (SAS). Jock never survived the war, nor did many of the SAS soldiers who looked from these windows as they played billiards between missions.
This is the 'nave' in all Saints church. In Romanesque and Gothic architecture a 'nave' is the central part of the building and the term has the same Latin root as the word 'navy.' Notice how the rafters look like the inside of an old ship's hull - I wonder if this is why they chose the word 'nave.'
Although the original church is about 500 years old the building fell into disrepair and was rebuilt in the mid-1800s. I suspect, therefore, that this door is not the original. Interesting that although there is nobody around the door is open, anyone can walk in. You will know from an earlier post I made from Toronto that I consider this openness important.
The English countryside is sprinkled with old churches. For someone interested in history they are all well worth exploring! This particular church, 'All Saints,' dates back about 500 years. Let's see if we can go inside.
Of course within an hour of arriving in England I am already taking pictures! This is the famous clock tower that is a part of the English Parliament buildings. Often the clock tower is called 'Big Ben' but strictly speaking it is St Stephen's Tower. 'Big Ben' refers to the largest bell inside.
On this date in 2006 I moved my blog to a bluehost site and used pixelpost for the images, and I first used the name "mykodachrome" for the blog. I then transferred and backdated posts from my previous photoblog sites. Of course, since then, I have moved the entire blog and images over to blogger and that is where you are now. Oh and as for the image - I took this shot in the UK in the 1980s when I really did use mykodachrome.
Another shot from last night's drive through London. This is Westminster Abbey, even this time of night there are tourists outside taking photos and I guess that even though I was born here, technically speaking, I am now a tourist too. A shrine was erected here 1400 years ago and the Abbey was built about 1000 years ago. This part of the Abbey, the Western Entrance, is relatively a modern addition dating back about 300 years. The building is important in English history; all the English Monarchs have been crowned here since 1066 and most of them are buried here.
This is a typical street scene in North Hamilton. Much of Hamilton's wealth comes from the docks, industry and steel plants that surround these streets. Ever wondered why the places that help create a city's wealth are often surrounded by poor neighbourhoods?
It seems odd to me that an 'open' sign is needed here because when I was a child in England churches were always open. But times have changed, although some churches have open doors, most don't. Worse still, when some unlock their doors they charge people to go in! For instance St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abby in London, England, charge the equivalent of about $20.00 (Canadian) to go in! I find locked doors and charges objectionable because they seen to violate what these places claim to stand for. A church is supposed to be a place of sanctuary or refuge - they can hardly be that when the doors are locked or they charge people to get in. But back to this Toronto church - after seeing the sign I went in and found refuge from the city for a white - I sat and quietly reflected. Thank you to whoever opened these doors and put out the sign.
Odd how extremes of wealth and poverty coexist; this person sleeps in the shadow of the buildings in yesterdays picture. We have the wealth to cover our buildings in gold and the capability to build them so high that they touch the sky, yet we don't have the money to solve poverty nor the capability to end homelessness. Or maybe we do and it is just that we lack the will.
Toronto streets may not be paved with gold, but the buildings are covered in it - the building on the left has gold plated windows - real gold! I took this picture because the building next to it was reflecting light in ways that made it look silver. These buildings are an the heart of Toronto's financial district and so reflecting silver and gold are in keeping with their character.