The last month has been a fun diversion, I’ve rather enjoyed the A-to-Z Challenge. I read a lot of new blogs, added a couple to my bookmarks and exchanged tweets and email with some new and interesting people. However it’s time to get back to other projects that have been a little neglected.
A slightly different tack today, I could have shared x-rays of my head, but decided maybe not this time. I live in Washington, it’s a beautiful state and I am close to both mountains and the sea.
There is no place like the Pacific Northwest in the summer, and if you live here you know that. We live for those three or four months of great weather that makes the grey, leaden skies of the rest of the year bearable.
I think Jeff Wayne’s musical version of the story was my first exposure to the story. A recording that has stood the test of time very well BTW and still worth checking out. I remember dad had the double LP with the wonderful artwork.
After the musical version I remember seeing the 1953 film. This was a great classic science fiction film and followed the general plot of the book. While there were no tripods, there was the terrific Manta Ray shaped Martian war machines.
Eventually I read the book. A lot of it is set around HG Well’s home in Woking and it presents a factual, linear telling of the invasion and aftermath from the point of view of the unnamed narrator. The aliens landed on Horsal Common and fought their way towards London 30 miles away. It’s a very interesting and influential book and Woking celebrates this legacy with a three-legged Martian tripod in the middle of the town center.
I’m not a Roman Catholic, but that never stopped me being absolutely awestruck when walking into St Peters. Millions of others have walked through the same doors, and if anyone of them ever mentioned to you that they though “Cool, now where is the gift shop”, check to see if they have a pulse.
It’s well documented that live sports is like crack to me, there are a few reasons for that. The drama, unpredictability, the chance to see some spectacular, anticipation, the athletics, appreciating the skill involved and so on. Those are all fine things, but top of the list is the shared experience, the atmosphere created by a group of people all emotionally invested in what’s happening on the field of play.
That unity, the us-verses-them mentality makes for a very special atmosphere in the stadium or arena. I’ve been lucky and see some astounding athletes do some incredible things, but it would mean a lot less if it were not for those around me, all of us unified in the moment.Tweet
Even the biggest cities have a feature that tends to became a focus point as the city grew and developed. For London that’s the River Thames.
It’s still maybe the most important thoroughfare for the city. Most of what’s important is close to the Thames. It takes about an hour to walk from stroll from the Houses of Parliament along the South Bank to the Tower of London. While walking along the Thames may not have the romanticism of a stroll along the Seine in Paris, it’s every bit as interesting.
At time I have a rather busy life and while I like that, I am an introvert. I need time alone to reflect, to recharge and quiet time is very important to me. Being in large groups can be fun, I certainly appreciate it, but at the same time they can be draining and I can’t do it all the time.
Some of the best quiet time comes behind the wheel of a car on a quiet road. There are few distractions and I get to concentrate on the the road around me, for whatever reason it works for me.
There in the center of Seattle over looking the waterfront is Pike Place Market, it’s in every tourist itinerary and people who live here shop there too. It’s a rather iconic part of downtown and a fitting symbol for a city I’d miss.Tweet
I’m a sucker for great museums, there are few better ways to kill an afternoon. I have some favorites, both esoteric and mainstream. The Design Museum and National Portrait Gallery in London, Musée d’Orsay in Paris, Udvar-Hazy Center in Washington, the awesome Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Milan and so on.
Clearly it’s not a short list and this week it got a little longer when the Getty Center got added.
A great museum is more than just what’s inside, the setting should enhance the collection. My favorite example is the Tate modern, enter by walking down the ramp into what used to be the turbine hall of the Bankside power station. This is reuse on a huge scale and the industrial setting complements the collection perfectly.