Sunday, July 10, 2011


After breakfast, we had a little rest, and then walked along Fleet Street.

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Then, we went to the Tate Modern, which was my primary goal for our time in London, having never previously seen it (though I'd managed many other sites, on previous visits). I missed the large-scale Ai Wei Wei installation of millions of ceramic sunflower seeds in the exposition hall, but I did see the smaller pile later. We also went to the Joan MirĂ³ exhibit, which I really enjoyed - I've always been a fan of his work. They had an excellent and thorough collection of his paintings. I would have also liked to see more of his sculptures, but I appreciate that they included many prints (lithos and screenprints).

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Ai Wei Wei sunflower seeds

Then we walked along the river, past the Globe theatre.

The Globe Theatre
Henry VII, Act 4, Scene 2
Henry VII, Act 4, Scene 2

"Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues we write in water." (Henry VII, Act 4, Scene 2)

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We had a nice dinner on a patio by the riverside and then crossed over London Bridge.

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London Tower gate

I tried to step slightly into the gate to take this photo. Though the Tower was closed, the gate was ajar. I got barked at by a police officer. I apologized and said I was just trying to get a photo and wouldn't enter. He said, "I just saved your life there. One step further and they would have got you." RJH joked that I was always causing trouble and the officer said something about at least leaving a pretty corpse.

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Yes, the World Heritage Site Summer 2011 tour continues.

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I am a big fan of Robert Hooke. Any of the work that I do, as a scientist, apart from the electricity and magnetism, still relies on Hooke's early work. He was a fascinating character. In fact, I found myself attempting to navigate based on my memories of his - and Christopher Wren's biographies, as the two of them really shaped the face of the city after the terrible fire of 1666. The plaque by The Monument commemorates him as Curator of Experiments for the Royal Society, Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, Surveyor of the City of London, Horologist, Astronomer, Microscopist, Biologist, Physiologist, Architect, Natural Philosopher and England's Leonardo.

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In the morning, after breakfast, we headed to Waterloo Station on the Tube, to take the train to Southampton.

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