Halloween … bloody towers, crowded gutters, barracked bridges, torture trains, grim greasy humid humors … as in ancient bodily fluids …
The good, the not bad and the not too ugly about trips to London town … who’d had thought every man and his child would be London bound - yes, it was half-term, but ...?
|I was standing on a bench, the River Thames is behind me -|
in the distance you can see the spread of poppies, and
one of the cascades bursting up from the moat
I had to stand all the way up to town … honestly – that’s a bit much … the train was packed, they’d lost some rolling stock – beggars belief … but beggars can’t afford trains – or belief!
I was going to go last Saturday – good thing I didn’t ... these Gentlemen Warders of the Tower said the populace hadn’t curtailed itself then and it was populatedly packed! They, I believe, mentioned 18,000 visitors …
|Dragon cannon, ubiquitous raven, Jewel tower|
Dragons threw forth their fiery breath … wearily bringing those humors to misty life … which spread ghoulishly out and over the fortified walls into the City that never sleeps …
|Damp, misty, ghoulish day ... the moat, the peoples, and|
over the River Thames the Shard, all but lost in the mist
I had a ticket for Tuesday – but there were signalling problems outside London … so I gave that visit up and went to see the pier with its burnt shell (more anon) and on home!
So on Wednesday stand we did … all in good humour (the other sort) … we nattered or packed ourselves like pickled, oily sardines to let the next station load on!
One little lad was on his way to see Arsenal Football Club (the Gunners) … but for some reason had his Chelsea football shirt on … he wasn’t worried … so all will be well: bless his cotton socks!!
|Here I've left the Tower and am outside|
to see the waterfall cascade of poppies from
one of the Tower windows: crowds in background
Everyone poured out at Victoria Station with most going where I was headed … the Tower and the Turners at the Tate. Grisly, damp, misty day … but the Tower beckoned … crumbs!!!
People … People … People … the populace had risen against the Tower of London … the only thing between the milling mass and the White Tower were nearly one million ceramic poppies … cascading from the Tower walls, bleedingly creeping along the moat … crimsonly oozing in from the River Thames …
|You can vaguely see this in the first picture ...|
I moved to the moat's edge - the Shard is behind me over
the River Thames; people walking into the Tower; beyond
outside the Tower ... people everywhere
Everyone was queueing for everything … tickets, food, entrances, then once inside each tower or exhibition … phones of all sizes skyward held … focussing across the rivers of blood red poppies …
I’d been, seen and conquered the tribes visiting the fortress, palace, prison and 2,000 years later one of the foremost of our historical sites … tradition points to Julius Caesar as the founder of the earlier defence on the reaches of the Thames.
Then – to cap it all for that part of the journey … Tower Hill tube station was closed to leaving passengers … a worker with a megaphone was exhorting all and sundry to cross busy roads, to go this way for that, that way for this … follow the yellow-brick road for the tube to escape the City.
|The bloody sea - reaching its tentacles|
inside the Treason Gate - the River Thames
landing point is just behind me
No yellow-brick road … but onwards as ever towards a bus, or a tube … then shooting down south to see the Late Turner Exhibition once again …
|The Slave Ship by Turner (1840)|
based on the Zong Massacre in 1781
… but also to see the sublime Olafur Eliasson: Turner Colour Experiments … Eliasson that artist whomade glass books, I previously posted about …
|Three of the Seven Colour Experiments exhibited - all based|
on one of Turner's paintings:
(1842) Peace: Burial at Sea (R)
(c 1840-5) A Wreck with Fishing Boats (C)
(c1835-40) Breaker's on a Flat Beach (L)
On trailing upwards to see Olafur Eliasson’s works at the Tate … I found many more of Turner’s paintings … many, many more! … and so need to go back – now I’m a member I can explore …
These seven studies bear Eliasson’s imprint … his circles … but they have been painted in oil on canvas … they are quite extraordinary.
I shall have to post again on a few of these thoughts … the Turners, Elisasson’s works, Remembrance Day is coming up … the reasons for these hundreds and thousands rouge ceramic poppies … I wasn’t sure at first – but they do make a show …
… and I’m glad I braved the dragon, the treason gate, torture trains or towers, Turner’s steam powered train, the underground workings … my creative mind always wondering …
Then earlier this week I had “A Little Halloween Card” from Lenny … just makes my day and week … also knowing that Linda, in the Nursing Centre, would have had one too – she did … it’s her birthday today …
She is confined to bed, and her room … and has been for years … sometimes life isn’t fair … but she now has visitors and a wonderful young friend who send her cards …
What did I mention about communication … it’s essential … sometimes we can’t be there … but we can email or write … and snail mail; if you’re ill or distressed those small moments can just make that difference …
Well that was my Halloween week … and yes it was a year ago I smashed my face – thankfully I was spared a dreadful accident and managed just to make my face look like I’d painted it for Halloween! Amused a few people …
Lots of stories to follow … not sure about the mystery variety pro tem … but one day p’rhaps …
(NB: I know the poppies represent the Service personnel lost in the First World War ... so my post may not reflect the reverence that some will consider due ... I have just used the amazing creation to evoke the horrors of conflict of 2,000 plus years ... in a way suitable for Halloween - apologies if I've offended anyone.)
We might break the heat records today as the warmest Halloween since someone wrote the temperature down - they are predicting 20 deg ... and 21 deg C will bust the record. In fact it's reached 23 deg C ... but next week frost is coming ... i.e. the cold.
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