Scarab Beetle

We booked a taxi to take us to the coach in good time for our annual trip to London. Normally, we drive and leave the car outside the local supermarket but on this occasion the trip coincided with an annual bonfire event and the place would be teeming with people. The journey to London ran smoothly; we didn’t even get caught up in traffic for the Lord Mayor’s Show which was taking place that day.

Once in London, we headed towards the British Museum to visit the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery. I noticed a few things that I don’t remember seeing before, including an enormous scarab beetle:

This is one of the largest representations of scarab beetles to survive. It also ranks among the last great statues of any pharaonic deity. The scarab represented Khephri, the form assumed by the sun-god at dawn. The Egyptians noticed that scarabs hatch from buried dung balls as if by self-creation. The sun-god was also believed to be self-creating, renewing his powers each night before his rebirth at daybreak. Each sunrise was a repetition of the god’s first appearance at the dawn of time as the creator at Atum.

The statue is made of quartz diorite, a stone not normally used in Egyptian sculpture. Three ancient quarries have been identified, deep in the Eastern Desert. Their exploitation is archaeologically confirmed for the Roman Period, but the subject and workmanship of this piece suggest that it was made a bit earlier under the Ptolemies.*

London Transport

After our brief visit to the museum we made our way to the nearby Spaghetti House for lunch before going on our way to the Churchill Cabinet War Rooms for the afternoon. By this time, the weather had turned rather inclement so we were glad to get inside. The Cabinet War Rooms, hidden in an underground bunker beneath the streets of Westminster, protected the staff and secrets at the heart of Britain’s government during the Second World War as Churchill and his inner circle plotted the defeat of Germany. I have been before and it was just as good as I remembered although on this occasion it was a lot busier than on my previous visit.

We had time to spare before it was time to return to board the coach so we spent some time in Foyles bookshop. I found the floor listings quite confusing and one of the sections I was interested in didn’t even have a number next to it. I think they are still organizing the shelves after the relocation from the next door building. After we had browsed around in the bookshop we made our way back to the coach pick up location in Park Lane. The coach arrived on time and we ate sandwiches that we had purchased earlier in the day as we settled down for the journey home.

The journey was good until we reached Birmingham where we encountered severe cross winds. The bus swayed from side to side quite alarmingly. I was muttering quietly that the driver should slow down as I feared the bus was likely to tip over due to the violence of the swaying. At this point one of the ladies thought it would be a good idea to stand up in the aisle and show mobile phone photographs to the people in the seat behind!! The bus did slow down for a while only to speed up again causing the bus to sway from side to side again though not quite so alarmingly as it had done previously. Shortly afterwards there was a loud bang, not unlike the sound of gunshot followed by a ricocheting noise then silence. The tyre had blown which led to the driver slowing right down and crawling all the way to the M54 coming off at junction 1 to park in a safe place so that the damage could be assessed.

It would be two hours before a tyre company could come and replace the tyre but luckily the coach company was able to find a driver that could bring a relief coach to rescue us. At least we weren’t stuck on the coach for four hours as we had been on a previous trip. The new coach arrived and we arrived at our destination an hour later than scheduled which caused a problem booking a taxi due to it being peak time but it all worked out in the end.

As we had got on the coach that morning we were told that this would possibly be the last trip (after 35 years). If this proves to be the case we certainly went out with a bang!!!

*From an information board next to the scarab beetle.

6 Comments CherryPie on Nov 16th 2015

6 Responses to “London 2015”

  1. JD says:

    Didn’t you have problems with the coach last year also?
    Is this turning into a ‘what will go wrong this year’ type of annual trip? :)

  2. Amfortas says:

    What a busy lady !! :)

  3. Ha ha… I exchanged my Tesco Clubcard points just some weeks ago.
    Guess what? I got Spaghetti House, the Cabinet War Rooms too :)
    Tesco got this 4x point boost deal, which is really good.
    Ha ha.. Every little helps indeed!