Sunday, 3 March 2013

A little bit of London

This weekend was my boyfriend's weekend off (he does shift work and only gets one weekend in every five off). So of course, this meant two things:

1 - I'd be dragging him to do some form of exercise/fitness
2 - We'd be going to experience some form of 'culture'

Friday evening he was at work until 11pm and after a very long and super busy week at work (again!) and a 5am wake up I was fast asleep by the time he got home. My Friday evening on my own consisted of doing my workout DVD, watching some TV and blogging a bit.

So I was looking forward to the next day.

Saturday morning I of course rushed off to my usual spinning class and my man hit the gym floor whilst I was pedalling and sweating away upstairs. We didn't have very long between leaving the gym and having to get on a train into London so it was a bit of a manic rush on finishing my class (as if I wasn't exhausted enough!)

Where we were going this time?

The Museum of London.

On one of our other visits out and about we'd noticed a poster for a rather gory exhibition - Doctors, Dissections & Resurrection Men. My boyfriend - working in the healthy industry and naturally into blood and guts in general - was sure to be a fan I suspected and so I said maybe at one point we could give it a go?

This weekend was that time, I'd already been impressed when the Museum emailed me to let me know that although we'd paid £9 each for our tickets the date we'd picked was now going to be a 'pay what you can' date and we could pay less if we so wished. Simply notifying us and offering that I felt meant they more than deserved the actual asking price - how often are places that honest with consumers?

Again, I feel ashamed saying this, I wasn't even aware the Museum of London was there, nor what it offered. Furthermore, the fact it sits so close to where I work!

I have GOT to get more familiar with our capital, something I'm slowly but surely starting to do.

What we imagined was going to be a 1-2 hour visit in actual fact turned out to be a 4 and a half hours fascinating walk round a great artistic venue. I loved it!

I was nervous about viewing the exhibition we'd planned to see as I am known to get queasy quite easily. However, I actually found the display - containing a mix of video content, artwork, literature, health specimens, medical models, human remains, animal skeletons and historical artefacts - really interesting and insightful. I won't go into too much detail in case anyone reading this wants to go see for themselves (the exhibition is open until April), but it gave a real mix and kept you entertained and interested throughout. The display wasn't as gruesome as I'd originally expected, but had a few things to keep the bloodthirsty amongst you happy.

Again (as with my recent theatre trip) I was met with a pleasant surprise. The Museum had a host of galleries displaying a history of London - all for free. Wow. This again really was so interesting. Split through the different ages - whether it be Roman times, during the Great Fire Of London, during Victorian times, swinging 60s and all the way through to present day the museum had it all.

I was very impressed with the various modes used to showcase the people, events and lifestyles in each era covered - for once QR codes used cleverly! There were things to feel, areas to walk through or sit in, things to listen to, reading material, actual items used during the time in history on show and lots more. I had so many 'favourite' bits, but have to say two things that really stood out were the Victorian experience, the Pleasure Garden and the elevator from Selfridges (we all know how much I love the Mr Selfridge drama on ITV right now).

My boyfriend will vouch for how annoying I was, constant cries of 'Wow' and 'Amazing' from me throughout.

We walked round for over four hours and by the end of it both of us were exhuasted, but really happy after such a fun and informative afternoon. I would definitely recommend the Museum and will be sure to head there again (the Michael Caine exhibition being put together whilst we were there looked really good too!) Even the photos displayed outside were enjoyable to check out on our way out and don't get me started on how emotional the memorial book for July 7th is.

I'd noticed we weren't far from the Barbican Centre and that a free installation the Rain Room was still showing until Monday, so we walked across to go check it out since it was open until 8pm. Unfortunately when we got there the queue was ridiculously long and they'd closed it off so we had to miss out this time. Our Museum of London was definitely more than enough for our Saturday anyway.

Who knows what's going on with me? Trying to do all these new things - and finding new things I love is great fun, but even I was surprised Saturday evening when I agreed to watch one of the many DVDs that my boyfriend got as presents at Christmas. We watched the film Warrior - about a family and ultimate fighting. I agreed to try something different and am surprised to admit I really enjoyed it!

For now I've done my workout DVD today, done a few boring domesticated bits - food shop, tidying up, washing etc and we've been to the cinema to see a scary film (more my taste). Now it's time to relax after a healthy dinner and get ready to tune in to Mr Selfridge and hope that I've done enough this week to lose weight in tomorrow morning's weigh in. Fingers crossed...

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