Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Open House London

Last weekend was Open House in London, meaning that hundreds of buildings across the capital swung their doors open to members of the public.

I found the two days incredibly confusing and frustrating - "No, sorry, the Gherkin isn't part of Open House, even though people said it was" and "No, you can't climb to the top of Tower 42 because you had to pre-book."

So I paid £3 to access the online events guide - a pdf file which is very, very long.
This I resorted to after typing the names of buildings I quite fancied visiting into the Open House website's 'search' page - only to come up with nothing.

There was very little distinction in the guide between the primary school extension in Dagenham and the Bank of England, apart from the 'Q' warning sign.

Off then instead to Highgate Cemetery, permanent residence of Michael Faraday and Karl Marx.

The most striking grave, I thought, was that of Alexander Litvinenko - a simple, wooden frame with a small photograph acting as the headstone.

Our guide explained to that it was "good for the soul to ponder your own mortality". Hopefully mine won't involve polonium-210.

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