Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Getting fit and a Glass- oholic’s treat!

We have now been based on the Maritime Campus for a week and settled into our teams with a phone and computer each –quite a change from the disruption of the previous week.  It is a good feeling to be more settled and able to get to know our team more.

The phones have rung steadily with a variety of enquiries and enquirers and just when I start feeling much more competent and knowledgeable than I did at the beginning of last week, a particularly awkward question comes up to really keep me on my toes! Remco had the best question yesterday though.  His last caller of the day asked whether we “had any courses for thick people?” Very unusually for Remco, he was left speechless - for at least five seconds!
Still no news about my stolen scooter but I am getting used to riding my bicycle from home in Hither Green.  I am determined to be much fitter by the end of Clearing and it’s becoming rather infectious.  When I first started here I had a bit of a lonely walk up the stairs to the fourth floor as most people went up the lift but now there are a few of us.  I am determined to be riding all the way up the hill through Greenwich Park by the end of Clearing! The first week I only got to the first park bench and last night I made it half way up. I have also decided to go for a walk at lunchtime to refresh my brain after sitting at the computer all morning.  Yesterday I visited the Maritime museum just over the road from us.  I don’t know why I haven’t done it before; it is so interesting.  I only had half an hour so, being a glass-oholic, I headed straight up the stairs to the Baltic Exchange Stained glass panels.

.... Wow!!!  The original Baltic Exchange stood on the site of the present day Gherkin and the stained glass work was commissioned to commemorate the sixty two employees killed in the First World War. An IRA bomb exploded next to it in 1992 and the building was damaged beyond repair and was demolished.  Only 45 of the 240 stained glass panels survived intact and it took ten years to repair and restored them before installing it into the Maritime Museum.   There is a huge half dome consisting of stained glass panels three metres high and four flat panels on the wall opposite.  It was wonderful to be able to get really close to examine the exquisite glass paintwork and leading techniques.  The colours are glorious – deep rich reds and purples, glorious blues and glowing golds. Even the repairs on some of the broken panels have been done beautifully and only add to the charm of this work of art. No photo can do it justice – you have to be there!

More about the glass can be found at:
What an amazing experience – it beats sitting in the student cafe for an hour!  I am aiming to do the whole museum in bite size chunks of lunchtime half hours, followed by Queen Anne’s house next to it.  The other wonderful thing is it is all free – how good is that?

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