Memorials, museums and memories

London – it’s a very strange place to me. There are some amazing things, there are some bizarre things, there are anachronisms and there is just so much that you can choose to do.

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The Albert Memorial

On Thursday morning Mr Snail and I decided to have a stroll up to Hyde Park, through Kensington Gardens, past the Royal Albert Hall and the Albert memorial to the Serpentine. The parks were full of people walking dogs, cycling, rollerskiing, visiting the cafes, playing with their kids in the playgrounds, and generally having a good time outdoors. There was much to see, from wildfowl, to The Household Cavalry out and about with their horses (one troop complete with plumes and shiny metal breastplates) and we spent a happy couple of hours wandering around just enjoying being there. There’s no charge for entry into the parks and they add some welcome green amongst all those buildings.

 

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In the courtyard at the V&A

The previous day, Mummy Snail and I spent the day at the V&A and Mr Snail went to The Science Museum. We did visit a special exhibition for which there was a fee, but general entry to both these museums costs nothing (likewise The Natural History Museum and The British Museum) and they are huge. Such a variety of exhibits in each of them, and such amazing architecture. We don’t visit London very often, but we do try to go to at least one museum when we do, and we are never disappointed with what we get to see. In fact, the main purpose of our trip this week as to see the exhibition at the V&A, although we also fitted in afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason plus a West End Show.

And as we packed to come home on Friday morning, we realised that we hadn’t bought a single ‘thing’ to bring home – we had spent money (food, taxis, theatre tickets, hotel), but Mr Snail and I had not bought any ‘stuff’. Instead, we brought home memories. We seem to do this naturally now – we don’t look for gifts or souvenirs, apart from the occasional picture to go on the wall, and not even that this time. Life is about so much more than things, and I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to spend time like this with my mum… may we have many more such trips… in fact that there’s another exhibition that we have our eyes on starting in December…

 

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20 Comments

  1. Hello! I agree. There is so much fun to be had when we’re not buying loads of ‘stuff’. We went to London a few weeks ago, but we went to museums, libraries, went on walks, and just enjoyed the culture and history. It’s memories that act as souvenirs instead.

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  2. I am totally with you on this. What was the V&A exhibition?

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  3. Ooh, that exhibition looks like fun. I end up in London a few times a year but always for work, and I rarely get chance to nip to a museum. Maybe it’s time for a weekend away…

    (apologies if you get this twice, I’m having trouble commenting on your blog and trying to work out what’s going wrong!)

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  4. Not spears, dear Snail, lances! Spears are hunting implements, lances are for fighting on horses, and pikes are for fighting on foot. And now that I’ve got that piece of trivia out of the way, thank you for reminding me of of many of the good things about London, when most of the time I can only remember the noise, the crowds, the pollution and the way people are jammed up against each other so much… I lived there and loved it for 20 years, but then the lure of Australia was too great, and now I’ve got used to a very different way of life 🙂

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  5. So glad you had such a lovely time, and I totally envy you the trip to the V&A, a place, to my shame, that I’ve never had a chance to go to. I bet it was wonderful 🙂
    From what you said, it sounds as if London has a much better weather system than we do here at home? I’m so glad you were able to have that nice walk 🙂

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  6. Sounds like a perfect time. I loved the Serpentine and the Horse Guards.

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  7. Prcious memories are the best souveneers.

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  8. Laurie Graves

     /  March 6, 2017

    Wonderful post! Yes, memories are the best souvenirs.

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  9. I could easily get addicted to London. Mr. Husband and I are going again in a few weeks and this time we’re aiming to do only free stuff. As for souvenirs, ours are usually food related: tea, biscuits. They disappear after a while, but it’s nice to be able to relive some memories even after we get home.

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  10. Oh London!! I made it across a few years back, and absolutely loved it!! (Except for my purse getting stolen–oh well.) But we absolutely loved it, and the museums we made it to were fantastic!! Fortnum and Mason’s–on my list if I ever make it back. The teenage boy I was travelling in would not have enjoyed it. (Or he might have–he started stoking up for his teenage growth spurt that summer and nearly bankrupted me on food that trip. I seem to remember touring bake shops and tea rooms as much as museums.)

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