Trip to the library

St Pancras panorama

Today Helen and I had planned a trip to London, it was almost scuppered when I remembered BT wanted to get their temporary mast used to hold the aerial that provides the link to the offices up and running while a tree was blocking the signal. The tree was recently cut down so there was not excuse now. They wanted to get on site to make sure the line of site was still good. Any way I phoned Mick who was on site and he agreed to let them in so we were free to go.

The plan was to visit an exhibition that Helen had spotted at the British museum, about the history of the English language. I had never been to the British library so did not know what to expect. We parked up in Berkhamsted and got the 9:40 train to Euston. The british library is just down the road from Euston just before St Pancras station, so we walked..

The building is a modern brick built one, and has a large open area in front, which is probably popular with office workers at lunch time when the weather is warmer. There is security on the door, but they let me through. The exhibition was in darkened rooms, which I found annoying as with my glasses on I had to stand quite far away to see clearly and with them off I had to have my nose up against the glass boxes. I guess the rooms were dark to protect the delicate books.

The books covered the very earliest examples of the English language when the books were written and illuminated by hand often by monks. As you went through the exhibits the language became more up to date. Apart from the beautiful books, what caught my eyes (and ears) was the videos of comedy sketches about posh and common accents, and an interactive map of examples of local accents through the years from the 1800’s to date.

Center point

Whilst we were at the library we had a look round the permanent exhibition which contains more old books as well as some other stuff, for example a birthday card with the words of the Beatles song Hard days night on the back, as written by Lennon when he composed it, and Yesterday by McCartney on another scrap of paper.

After the library we popped into St Pancras for a coffee and to have a look at the building. We had coffee at Paul’s a French style cafe, I had a slice Tarte au Myrtles. Then we went to have a look at the fantastic building. I have recently started taking panorama shots and took the opportunity to take a shot of the glass a steel arched roof. You can see the results in this article.

We then walked towards the centre to visit Foyles, there are some lovely neighbour hoods south of St Pancras, with normal shops and businesses, the sort of place you would want to live if you had to live in London. Once back on the main drag we hopped on a bus and got off at Trafalgar square. There was an Amnesty rally going on in support of the Egyptians.

We walked up towards Charring cross road and stopped off  to have a look round the catering supplies shop Nisbets, if you can’t find what you want there then it does not exist. We bought nothing! Foyles was as usual full of books, we had a look around and I bought a make magazine and Helen got some more murder mystery ones.

Helen is not so keen as me to pack as much as possible into every trip so we headed back  to Euston with a quick stop off at Tottenham Court road. At Euston I god a Thai prawn soup as a late lunch, before we jumped on the train back the the open country side of Buckinghamshire.