Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Pounding The Streets And Being Educated

I wrote earlier that I thought that I would spend some time today doing something for me. I planned to visit one of London's museums and I thought that I would go somewhere that I had never been before. My post left cb wondering where I had decided to go, because cunningly I had not said where I had in mind just in case I decided on somewhere else before I got there.

I had decided to pay a visit to the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons. It is a small museum filled with anatomical specimens and surgical instruments that have been used over the last few hundred years. Many of the preserved specimens are from the animal kingdom, but there are also a significant number of human ones so that it is possible to see for oneself what some of the afflictions that we humans suffer can do to the body. Some of the earliest specimens are incredible not least because of the difficulty that there must have been in obtaining them and preserving them.

There is the skeleton of a giant as well as one of an incredibly small fully grown woman; there are all sorts of tumours in just about any part of the body that you can name; there is a wonderful collection of various sorts of stones that develop in the human body (some of them of such size that it makes your eyes water just to look at them); and there is a collection of surgical instruments that make you wonder how anyone managed to survive surgery at all.

It may be a small museum, but for someone who studied the history of medicine (including surgery) as part of their degree, I was absolutely fascinated.

After looking at all that I wanted to in the museum I left the Royal College of Surgeons and walked back towards the Strand. I then decided to make my way towards Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery where I decided that I would pass some time sitting looking at two of my favourite paintings. I sat looking at two paintings by Turner and could not help but marvel at the skill of this artist and at what he could bring to life on a canvas. I have written about these paintings before and I can spend hours looking at them because of the sheer pleasure that they bring me.

I then decided that it would be best to leave. One of the problems is that London is a tourist destination all year round, and at the moment London is filled with visiting schoolchildren from all over Europe. While I appreciate that many of them may not see such a collection of art in their home towns, it can spoil one's quiet contemplation of a favourite picture when surrounded by 30 or more youngsters being lectured about the paintings on view in a language that you don't understand.

So now I am home again. I feel so much better than I did yesterday, and I have spent some time being educated and in viewing paintings that stir my heart; and I did it for no cost other than the bus fare. I enjoyed my day out and I am now going to plan where I shall visit on my next outing of this sort.


alhi said...

I've been to the Hunterian Museum. It is absolutely incredible. I went specifically to see an exhibition on the history of hip replacements and found it really informative. No one, including my GP, could believe I had gone so far to see it! But I loved every minute of it and would actually love to see it again. You should keep an eye on their website as they often have little exhibitions. So glad you had a good day, I've been marking:(

Anonymous said...

What a great adventure; and so educational too; I must give it a try when I'm next in Town. I hope the exercise you've undertaken enables you to sleep well tonight. No doubt we will find out tomorrow. Well done for finding it in yourself to actually do something for you and for taking control of your own emotions. Until tomorrow.....................


There and Back said...

I am so glad you enjoyed your day.

cb said...

Thanks for sharing that. The reason I was so curious was because I love hanging around random museums when I have free time and haven't ever been to that one before but it sounds like it's worth a look! This is exactly what I love most about London and what I missed most about it when I was away!

Lily said...

That sounds like a great day. I may have to poach your idea and go and visit it myself.