Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!

Got up this morning to French toast and warm currant bread from our lovely hostess.

We got into our street clothes and tooled down to the Tube station, catching the Tube to South Kensington.

The third time appears to be the charm...

...because at long last...

...we got into the Natural History Museum.

There we looked at many displays about the earth and minerals and other geo-science stuff.

We went through the Hall of Birds (a whole case featured extinct specimens, including a couple of dodos, passenger pigeons and a Carolina parakeet).

Also saw some dinosaur skeletons.

The atrium of the building is stunningly beautiful, with many Art Nouveau-style paintings of various cultivated trees and shrubs on the ceiling, along with their Latin names. One was Theobroma cacao. Yes, that means the Natural History Museum has chocolate on its ceiling.

Chuck says hi.

We didn't have time to see the whole thing (a common refrain for today, as you'll shortly see), so we went back out to find something for lunch.

Near the Tube station we found and noshed on a sausage roll (meh, 'sokay)...

...then went into a little French cheese shop...

...where we picked up a baguette sandwich (without doubt the best I ever had).

Feeling sustained thereby, we went over to the V&A...

...and looked only at their medieval/Renaissance collection...

...a tiny sliver of the whole museum.

I wish I could show you more.

But I think I've already exhausted your patience with many of these entries, so I won't.

"You may call me Murray!"

They had a number of "please touch" exhibits that were interesting, including a replica brass of which one could make rubbings (so I made one).

!!! Illuminated hymnal !!! You have no idea how I was geeking out over this one.

I'd like to go back and spend more time at the V&A.

It was getting later and we wanted to have dinner before the next session of Conference started. We found an Italian restaurant literally right around the corner from the Tube station which had come recommended, but which we found a little lacking (OK food, indifferent service at best).

As I was looking out the window, I happened to notice that at the top of the building opposite, a tree was trying valiantly to grow out of the building's rain gutter. Go little tree go!

Around five o'clock we returned to the Hyde Park Chapel, changed into our Sunday clothes and caught the Sunday morning session of General Conference. (It's always a little odd to hear people referring to "this beautiful morning" when it's late in the afternoon.)

Interesting aside: I've seen a number of beautiful churches this trip, and although every one was far more beautifully appointed than the simply-decorated Hyde Park Chapel, when I went inside I instantly felt at home. Though the people were strangers to us, they were warm and friendly and happy to see us. They acted like brothers and sisters to us and to each other.

We returned late to Ealing, where a relatively genial drunk accosted us on the street and started to chat us up. I couldn't help but giggle a bit after he'd left. Caught the bus back to our homestay, went inside and collapsed on the bed.

A thoroughly lovely, if atypical, Easter Sunday.

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