22 January 2020

Alone again today. Our boy went to school and my husband to work.

Instead of spending the time quietly at home, I downloaded an audio tour app on my phone and headed out to traipse around London’s West End theatre district.

It was great fun! Ian McKellen guided me through narrow streets that were steeped in history. I would stop dutifully to look at various buildings, statues and monuments, listening to their past. It was wonderful to feel these old buildings come alive with countless stories. They weren’t just made of bricks and mortar anymore, but of lives, loved and lost.

And then I got hopelessly confused. My poor app sounded quite worried.

“You seem to be lost,” Ian suggested in my ear. “Perhaps now is the time to check the map on the phone before proceeding.”

I doubled back to Covent Garden, ended the tour and came home. Next time, I must encourage my family to download the same app and do the walk with me.

23 January 2020

Home alone with a good book today.

I started Boy Swallows Universe last year, and I am only now half way through. It is beautifully written with heart wrenching moments of joy, fear, and ugliness.

The story is about a young boy and his mute brother growing up in Queensland with a drug addicted, drug dealing mother and de facto father. He desperately loves his family. And they also love him back.

No cardboard cut out two dimensional villains here. This is a tale where monsters can be heroes and where heroes conspire with evil people.

I plan to finish this book soon. I’ve been slow to complete it because I can’t stay in that world for too long. It’s just too sad.

I’ve picked it up and put it down again many times. Ejected myself from those lives when it got too much. I’ve left it sitting on the floor near my side of the bed for weeks, too chicken to read it again. But something always draws me back to those pages.

So here I go again.

24 January 2020

Hello V & A! I love this museum more every time I visit it. The photo today is of one of twenty treasures in the place.

Samson Slaying a Philistine. It’s a sculpture by Giambologna made around 1560 – 1562 and is a depiction of the tale in the Book of Judges:

Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.

16 Then Samson said,

“With a donkey’s jawbone
    I have made donkeys of them.[a]
With a donkey’s jawbone
    I have killed a thousand men.”

Judges 15: 15-16, NIV Bible

It went from Italy to Spain as a diplomatic gift. Then came to England in 1623 when King Philip IV gave it to the Prince of Wales, who later became King Charles I. The Protestant Prince was in Catholic Spain at the time to check out the prospect of a Spanish marriage.

The statue didn’t depict the most romantic of subject matters. It was about God’s appointed Judge, Samson, slaughtering all who opposed God and His people. About revenge and human sinfulness.

It did make me wonder about King Philip IV’s intention behind the “gift”.

25 January 2020

If the ravens leave the tower, the Kingdom will fall.

It was the Lunar New Year today. Instead of celebrating with family and friends over a Korean banquet, we visited the Tower of London.

They say King Charles II was the first to protect the ravens at the Tower after he was warned the palace and kingdom would fall if they left.

We took the Yeoman Warden’s tour and were entertained by stories of botched executions and political intrigue over the centuries.

Got a bit too real for me towards the end though.

26 January 2020

It was Australia Day today.

I missed friends and family we left behind. I missed the park across the road from our home where the grass was more brown than green sometimes. I missed walking familiar streets and acknowledging the Cammeraygal people who were there in our neighbourhood before any of us.

Today’s image was taken on the way back from church to our rented flat. We caught a double decker bus instead of our usual train. Just for something different.

The sermon was about the processes we should follow when we’ve been wronged by another Christian brother or sister.

Too often we sulk or avoid them. Even talk about them behind their backs. But Jesus encouraged us to talk directly to the person who had hurt us. The model should be one of love, courage and forgiveness. The aim of confronting the brother or sister is to restore the relationship.

There were other steps to take depending on the seriousness of the trespass and the person’s unwillingness to listen. But I think the first step would be the hardest, bravest and the most loving.

27 January 2020

This area is fast becoming one of my favourite spots in London. I had no intention of visiting the museums dotted around this place. I just needed to stretch my legs and head out of the house for a bite to eat.

Before I knew it, I was hopping onto a train bound for South Kensington Station. There was a Paul’s Café opposite the exist and I headed in there for lunch.

Thankful for hot soup and a cup of coffee on rainy winter days.

28 January 2020

Visited St Paul’s Cathedral today. What an incredible space! Sky high ceilings, a stunningly decorated dome in the centre, and monuments of celebrated military leaders who died defending the country.

Marble and gold shone in the morning sunlight streaming through large arched windows. Golden candelabras hung from gilded ceilings. Above the huge and heavy wooden entrance doors was a marble book. It was there to highlight the importance of the Word of God in this place of worship.

There was a short moment of prayer when I visited. They prayed for London and the people who worked in this great city, and for those who could not find work.

“Amen,” I whispered.

There were statues of men in almost every corner of the Cathedral floor. Not a single woman could be found. Then I saw the sign to the crypt. It pointed to Florence Nightingale’s memorial.

On my way there I spotted a plaque remembering all those who served in the Korean War. The war my parents and grandparents lived through. The war they said Korea would never recover from.

Wreaths lay below it. One stated:

Fill the land of Morning Calm, all now safe and free from harm. Thanks to every mother’s son, who fought for each and every one; showing that despite the pain, their valiant efforts weren’t in vain.

Korea is the land of my ancestors. It may not be home, but it is my heritage. I was grateful to these nameless British soldiers who served and died to protect it.

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Project 2020 is a weekly roundup of images. It aims to capture moments of joy, pleasure, and thankfulness that are found on any given day. It’s an attempt at remembering the good things and being grateful for them. Thank you for stopping by and I wish you a wonderful day.

4 Comments

  1. My dad fought in the Korean War. We were never allowed to watch MASH as he always felt it was disrespectful to make fun of such a un funny situation. I love the post Agnes, thanks for allowing us into your world 🙂

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