Monday, March 30, 2015

Visiting Richard III

Back from Leicester, and our friend David has taken off for Stansted Airport and the next leg of his trip through Europe. He's visiting Switzerland and Italy before returning to London next weekend.

Leicester was interesting, though I must say I don't really share in all the excitement over Richard III. I think it's amazing that they found his body after all this time, and seeing the new Visitor's Center -- which explains his life and death, the background of the Wars of the Roses, the location and excavation of his grave and exhibits the grave itself -- was fascinating. But would I have brought my own white roses to leave at his statue in the public square outside the cathedral?


Plenty of other people feel differently, though. Some visitors wrote him notes and left mementos. Legions of enthusiasts feel that he has been wronged by history, portrayed unjustly as an evil, scheming hunchback by the likes of Shakespeare, who had their own reasons for supporting his foes, the Tudors. The exhibits ask us to reconsider these portrayals.

David spent about a half-hour longer in the Visitor's Center than I did, so while he browsed I went wandering in town and found some interesting buildings and other subjects for photography. I'll share those with you over the next few days. Leicester has some beautiful architecture and seems like a pretty prosperous town.

We came back on the late-afternoon train and got home around 6:45 p.m. Yesterday we changed to British Summer Time (our equivalent of Daylight Saving Time), but I didn't even really notice. Thank goodness for phones that reset themselves!

And now, I have a ton of laundry and housecleaning to do, and I've got to get out and finish these last NW9 streets before tomorrow!

(Top photo: A ladybug on a very ornamental fence surrounding a war memorial in Leicester.)


  1. Interesting to see the roses. I wonder at people sometimes! Iwatched the programme about the whole thing the other day. The best part was the reconstruction. It was eery to see the painting come to life and showed how good that artist was. (Ignorant of the artist but it was that famous painting of him) I lived in Leicester for ten years. I went to college there. I loved it and was sad to leave but Andy had work in London so we ended up here. Did you see a building called The Turkey Cafe? That used to be one of my favourites. In the post below-I would have taken the rug!

  2. I've been on a jag of listening to Phillipa Gregory books and she goes into long, long fictionalized accounts of all of this. Not that I can keep all the lines straight in my head. But. It IS amazing that they found his body.

  3. Hi steve. Just saying I'm here, reading.

  4. perhaps it would be more meaningful for you if you were, in fact, British. it strikes me as being similar to the piles of teddy bears and flowers that certain tragedies in the US seem to accumulate, which I also don't understand.

  5. I love the photo of the statue with all the roses. That sort of sums it up nicely.

  6. Ah, ladybugs! Right now in my house they are everywhere! This is a great photo, albeit a bit creepy.
    Love it.