Again, television has lied to me..

A funny thing happens when you’ve written something so startling, so “holy crap where did that come from” in your story.

Your brain stops.

Or at least, mine has. For the moment anyway.

I’m sitting here at the Bob Hope Centre, on RAF Mildenhall, desperately wishing that three o’ clock will NOT come so I don’t have to work, and writing. I’m also listening to music that is decidedly not conducive to writing this particular chapter, so this is where part of my problem might reside. Don’t get me wrong, the upsynth club remix of Barbie Girl (Rob Mayth) worked for one part of my story. Not so much for this one. Hence the blog entry.
One; to get my mind away from Blood on the Quarter and hopefully figure out just what it is I’m trying to say as Neville sits in the Cosmopolitan (not the drink, the restaurant residing at number 13 & 15 on Royal Street in New Orleans) staring in shock at his oldest friend’s rather startling revelation, and,
Two; once again, television has lied to me.

Oh, I know, I know; t.v. lies to everyone, you say. Well bugger you, I didn’t think NatGeo, Discovery, AND the History Channel would be in on it too! And, I mean, I knew the movies lied, but not The Mummy!

(All right, so The Mummy is terribly, ridiculously, almost sadly historically inaccurate when it comes to Amenhotep Imhotep (don’t judge me), but it’s still one of my favourite movies, so shaddup.)

It was a blow when Stonehenge wasn’t ginormous. It was emotionally devastating to find out the Rosetta Stone is 1/10 the size I thought it was. That television made it out to be!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I saw the Rosetta Stone yesterday. I’d been excited about the trip all week. Been pestering my mother again and again to go to the British Museum every time we go to London just so I could see it.

(For all of you who haven’t been to the British Museum, it’s not all one big museum as you might think. It’s actually separated into different parts throughout London. The Natural History museum being the one that holds the ancient worlds exhibits, to include the Rosetta Stone and the famous Egyptian Cat statue. The Victoria and Albert Museum holds some of the worlds most famous paintings. The other ones I haven’t been too, yet. I’m getting there, though!)

Being the history geek that I am, I eagerly devoured every bit of the Ancient Egyptian exhibit. It was all I could do to keep myself from sprinting and greedily examining every artefact as if I were the archaeologist that discovered it. Statues of Rameses, a giant carving of a scarab beetle, bowls decorated with images of Hathor, so much so little time to see. In the middle of it all, standing between two thick (ridiculously so) pieces of bullet and shatter (and probably burglar) proof plexi-glass was the Rosetta Stone. The single most important piece of linguistic history, right there in front of me.

It had to be about three feet high.


Tiny carvings set aside, the entirety of the stela (which is what the stone was a part of) has got to be three feet high.

Like Stonehenge, the Rosetta Stone is amazing. Awe-inspiring amazing. More so for me, I suppose. I’ve spent my entire life absolutely fascinated with Ancient Egypt. Seeing the Rosetta Stone (for me) has got to be what it’s like to accept Jesus into life for others. It was the culmination of every hope, every expectation, every childhood dream I ever had about Egypt while watching the above mentioned television channels.

At three feet high, too. S’alot to put on a stone.

Television made it out to be so much bigger, too. I’m pretty certain television adds ten pounds to everything. Every television channel, every movie I’ve ever seen makes the stone out to be at least ten feet tall with thousands of lines of tiny writing. While the height was a lie, the tiny writing is not. I want to know how the ancient peoples did that and still managed to keep their lines straight, and why things like that aren’t happening today.

Next on my list was Westminster Abbey. There again, television has lied. You cannot grasp the beauty and majesty of the Abbey unless you’re there, in the church itself.

Oh. My. God.

Don’t get me wrong, England has some beautiful churches, some absolutely stunning churches.

Westminster Abbey beats all of them.

It started as a Benedictine church and was slowly built up over the years by English monarchs. It went through the Reformation and became a Protestant church with Queen Elisabeth. Queen Mary tried to change it back; and for three years during her reign, Benedictine monks were once again walking its halls. It remains the place where royal marriages (think Prince William and Princess Katherine) and coronations take place.
Henry VII and his wife are buried there, so are Queens Mary and Elisabeth, as is Mary Queen of Scots. Their tombs are beautiful, the decorations sumptuous throughout the whole church.
The most spectacular parts of the churches, are not so much the stained glass or ceilings (omigod, you want an architectural masterpiece, look at the ceilings of English churches), but the sculptures within.

That takes skill, dear readers. Those things are alive. I don’t care what any of you say.

And, Westminster is special. There is a section of the church called “Poet’s Corner”. I about cried when I saw it. Adorning the walls of this particular corner are effigies, stone placards, and paintings of some of England’s most famous writers, composers, and poets.

There is a spot, on the floor for Charles Babbage Dodgson-Lewis Carroll-right there, on the floor right underneath a stone sculpture of William Shakespeare.

(To any of you who might give the movie Anonymous some credit. To hell with you. Shakespeare did write all of his plays.)

Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters are there as well (in memory, their bodies are not buried there). As is Mary Shelley and her husband, Handel, the original Russian Ballet dancers and so many more. It is a literary haven, and one I never knew existed, let alone in a church!

The telly never mentioned that!

£16 and Jeremy Irons serving as my tour guide on one of those audio-tour-guide thingies, later.
(The ones you carry around with you, punch in a number and get an explanation of what you’re looking at. You know the ones I mean, right?) Anyway, a sweep of the church and I left in utter awe and twitching excitement. I’d seen where the greats of the literary world slept and the Rosetta Stone! How much better could my day get? Turns out, not much better, by then we were exhausted and much of London was closing up for the night. Not the city, of course, but you have to understand that London is not one giant place. It actually only comprises a very small part of the capital as we know it today.

So, yes, the moral of the story is; don’t rely on television to give you the full picture. If you can, go see it for yourself. The experience is that much more rewarding.

Damn. Still stuck on the story.


4 thoughts on “Again, television has lied to me..

  1. kellycautillo says:

    Wow, it certainly sounds like you had a fascinating trip! I really need to pop that on my list of places to visit…

    1. rjkeith says:

      It was absolutely brilliant. Words cannot possibly describe the beauty of Westminister, or the sense of gratification and awe I had just looking at the Rosetta Stone. Granted, I’ve wanted to see both since I was little, so I imagine my feelings are a bit more intense. I will tell you that London should be on everyone’s bucket list. Not just the British Museum or the Abbey, but the whole city. There’s so much history here, it’s absolutely mind boggling.

  2. rjkeith says:

    If tickets weren’t do expensive I’d say come visit! But, I will most definitely bring you something back when I come to the states again (whenever that is :D).

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