Wednesday, 15 July 2009

What Janine Did in London #1

Okay, so I live in England, but that doesn't mean I live in London. In fact it's years since I've been to the capital for anything other than a fleeting visit, and I haven't been an actual tourist since I was 10 years old. So given Mr Ashbless' *ahem* "enhanced leisure opportunity" we decided to go and Do London.

On Tuesday we went down to the O2 complex and met this gentleman here and all his friends at the Body Worlds Exhibition:

I've wanted to see Gunther von Hagens' plastinated cadavers for ages. I never thought I would! It's a startling and fascinating and crazy experience - but rather less grisly than I was expecting, because they just do not look like the real thing, more like elaborate wax sculptures. You're not allowed to take photos so I got these off the Net. I loved the blood-vessel exhibits: whole bodies made of a red cloud of lacy capillaries.

And there was a sex angle too ... though only open to adults because plastinated corpses in wild poses is apparently okay but plastinated corpses in the reverse cowgirl position is disturbing.

On Wednesday we went into the city centre. We saw the London Eye (from below only).

And Horseguards' Parade:

And Nelson's Column. (Altogether now: "Nelson's Column - Pah! It is Nelson's Willy!" Or am I showing my age?)
Then we went to the British Museum and looked for more willies ... I mean, antique sculpture.

To be continued....


Nikki Magennis said...

Your holidays always sound like the best fun, Janine!

I saw the bodyworks a few years ago, and it was a very odd experience. I'm really so not squeamish, but at the last minute (due to some protest, I think) the exhibition had got moved from a proper venue to the art school bar, in the back where the pool tables are.

It was full of smoke and students having afternoon pints and music and loud chatter. the usual scuzzy student bar. And then there were these two naked, posed, skin-stripped figures, next to a folding table covered in keyrings and T-shirts and coasters with images of the figures.

And I really felt so very sick. I had to leave immediately. I couldn't help thinking of the people who'd donated their bodies and what they'd think of people pointing and laughing and selling keyrings ...

In short, I loved the idea, but the slap-dash mercenary execution really turned my stomach.

Looking forward to the British Museum!

Janine Ashbless said...

Oh dear...
Well the exhibition at the O2 is very far from slapdash or irreverent. There's a huge emphasis on health - "your body is an elaborate and extraordinary mechanism so don't ruin it by smoking or sitting in the sun" etc. The lighting is low, and practically nobody raised their voice above a whisper as they walked round. It had a an almost churchy atmosphere, if you can imagine a scientific religion.

Cora Zane said...

All these neat places! Now I want to go prod hubby and tell him to take me somewhere interesting. ^_^

Emerald said...

I saw the Bodies exhibit in Las Vegas a couple years ago — it looks much like the same thing to which you linked (maybe named differently depending on location?). I don't remember in which hotel it was, but it was much more like you described, Janine, than what you described, Nikki. Goodness, I can imagine your being horrified, Nikki.

I experienced it much the way you described, Janine. Fascinating, eye-opening, much less squeamishness-inducing than I had (somewhat apprehensively) anticipated. Of course, given things you've said before, Janine, I'm guess I probably felt considerably more apprehensive about possible squeamishness than you did. ;)

Lovely picture, that first one! I have not been to London, but my parents visited several years ago and it has since seemed to be one of my mom's favorite places.