The missus has blogged about last weekend already, but I thought I’d add a few bits myself (and I’ve just done some upgrading on the software that runs this blog, so I want to test it).
It was a fairly fab weekend all round, seeing friends, doing a few touristy bits, etc. but one or two things were especially good.
Saturday morning we went to the British Library to meet friends and visit the Maps exhibition. There were lots of interesting maps there, although unfortunately they only had a reproduction of the famous Hereford Mappa Mundi, not the original.
Just upstairs from that, though, was something even better – the permanent Treasures of the British Library exhibition. This is an amazing display of lots of famous books and documents. Amongst them were a surviving copy of the Magna Carta, drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, original manuscripts of Lewis Carroll, and rough handwritten Beatles lyrics, including those to ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ scribbled on the back of a birthday card sent to John Lennon’s son. The highlight for me was one of the diaries of Scott of the Antarctic, open at the page where he recorded the last words of Captain Oates. Seeing it actually written in Scott’s own hand was immensely powerful and moving.
Both these exhibitions were free, but most people probably don’t realise they’re there. The Treasures exhibition in particular is one that everybody should go and see, highly recommended.
In the afternoon we went to be tourists at HMS Belfast. I went there years ago with my family, but it was interesting to go again and look round it all.
The main point of going to London was to see Penn & Teller, doing their first show in the UK for 16 years. I’ve wanted to see them for a while, so when I heard they were coming over I had to get tickets. It was a brilliant evening, well worth the trip down there. I enjoyed pretty much all of it, but some of my favourite bits just had Teller on his own, such as the Shadows Illusion, or the one with the goldfish. There’s something beautiful about those that sets them apart from the more ‘showbiz’ parts where Penn is doing the talking.
The one thing we didn’t get to see that I would have liked to was the Ray Harryhausen Exhibition at the London Film Museum. That’s on until next June though, so we should have time to go back for it.