King George III bought...
King George III bought Buckingham House in 1761 for his wife Queen Charlotte to use as a comfortable family home close to St James's Palace. Buckingham House became known as the Queen's House, and 14 of George III's 15 children were born there. In 1762 work began on remodelling the house to the King's requirements.George IV, on his accession in 1820, decided to reconstruct the house. Queen Victoria was the first sovereign to take up residence in July 1837.The present Forecourt of the Palace, where Changing the Guard takes place, was formed in 1911, as part of the Victoria Memorial scheme. The gates and railings were also completed in 1911. Walking along Westminister Embankment, at dusk,watching the city lights reflecting on the River Thames.
London Transport Museum
One of my favorite things was that there were endless choices of things to see and do ... limited only by your time and stamina.
For example, one afternoon we decided to put off a "must see" visit to V & A museum to the next day, and just walk around the Covent Garden area. We wanted to go into the theater museum in the area, but it was closed that day, so we ended up going into the London Transport Museum.
It ended up being fascinating, with old street cars (horse drawn and electric), buses, tube cars on display, telling the history of transportation in London from the 1800s. There were touch screens, interpretive panels, etc. One section about how they dug out the underground (very dangerous work) was very interesting.
(more info on-line www.ltmuseum.co.uk) Anyway, I really miss the feeling that wherever you turn is something worth seeing and doing. London's a great place for a travelor.
The Franks Casket
When it came to light in the nineteenth century, this magnificent rectangular casket was being used as a family workbox at Auzon, France. Some time during its mysterious history it was dismantled and one end panel was separated from the rest of the box. This piece was bequeathed to the Bargello in Florence and is represented here by a cast. The remaining panels were presented to the British Museum by one of its greatest benefactors, Sir Augustus Franks, hence the name. It is also known as the Auzon casket.
The box is made of whale's bone, richly carved on the sides and lid in high relief with a range of scenes with accompanying text in both the runic and Roman alphabets and in both Old English and Latin. Silver fittings attached to the casket, a handle, locks and hinges were removed at some time in its history leaving scars which mark their original positions. The non-decorated part of the lid almost certainly replaces a carved piece, and part of the plain base is also missing.
The front is divided into two scenes: the left is derived from the Germanic legend of Weland the Smith, while the right depicts the Adoration of the Magi, when the three wise men visited the newborn Christ, labelled 'mægi' in runes.
The left-hand end shows the founders of Rome identified in the accompanying text as Romulus and Remus, from the legend of twin brothers brought up by a wolf. The back shows the capture of Jerusalem in AD 70 by the Roman Emperor Titus. This scene has an inscription in mixed languages and scripts.
The right-hand end, here a cast, is difficult to interpret, but recalls a lost Germanic legend with a text partly in encoded runes. This appears to describe a person called Hos sitting upon the 'sorrow-mound'. The decorated panel in the lid shows another Germanic story about a hero named Ægili who is shown defending a fortification from armed raiders. Surprisingly, the main runic inscription on the front does not refer to the scene it surrounds. It is a riddle in Old English relating to the origin of the casket. It can be translated as 'The fish beat up the seas on to the mountainous cliff; the King of terror became sad when he swam onto the shingle.' This is then answered with the solution 'Whale's bone.' It tells us that the casket was made from the bone of a beached whale.
The style of the carving and dialect of the inscriptions, show that the casket was made in northern England, probably in a monastery and possibly for a learned patron. Made at a time when Christianity had not long been established in England, it reflects a strong interest in how the pagan Germanic past might relate to Christ's message, and to the histories of Rome and Jerusalem. How and when the casket arrived in France is unknown, although by the thirteenth century it seems to have been at the important shrine of St Julian at Brioude in the Auvergne.
Christmas Day Swimming Race
Every Xmas morning the members of the Serpentine Swimming Club compete for the Peter Pan Cup in the Serpentine ( big lake in Hyde Park). They're all lunatics and kick off's at 9 A.M , bring brandy and tea cos it's gonna be cold.
Pack warm for trip during December to March
Other than carrying sweaters,jackets and warm inners, also carry gloves, caps that cover ears so it can keep out the chilly wind. Ensure you take warms clothings that you can wear in layers, and take it off and put on back as and when weather changes. Also carry a strong umbrella or a good raincoat. wear good covered shoes, something that won't get easily wet in the rain. high length boots are a good choice for women. Good moisutrizer and something for fever and cold