Today Dee and I went to London to look for some specific items. We went to Camden Market looking for Tibetan Singing Bowls: we found some but decided not to get them as they seemed a little pricy. The market itself was buzzing, but not overly busy.
We then travelled south of the river and met up with my brother at Samye Dzong, which as well as having two Buddhist shrines also has tea rooms and a shop. We found and bought a singing bowl there, spent a couple of hours chatting over tea and spent a bit of time in Mindful Meditation.
A bus ride from there brought us to Denmark Street, near Tottenham Court Road. It’s also known as Tin Pan Alley and is renowned as the place to go for musical instruments. Even though it was late in the day, several shops were still open. You know you’re in the right spot of place when you can talk about a brand of bass they don’t have (but know of), ask what strings are best for the style of music you’re going to play and then spend the next 10-15 minutes hearing about the relative merits of the various options. As for the basses they did have – I could have spent a fortune!
Unfortunately, due to commercial pressures I’ve heard that much of the street is to be torn down so new modern buildings can out built instead. Music shops which have been there for decades will doubtless have to close and find somewhere else. I for one think it’s brilliant having so much variety and choice in the same stretch of 100 yards or so. If they do have to move, I hope the proprietors club together and open up in the same premises, a bit like a big department store perhaps. That would be awesome and would continue to bewitch us punters I’m sure.
Except it’s not so secret now, is it? 🙂 Today we had a trip to London to see an exhibition at the Wellcome Collection. They have a number of really interesting shows on over the course of a year, along with a great shop! We’ve been to see several exhibitions over the last year, it’s free entry and for the first time we actually had to queue to get in. There was only a 10-15 minute wait as the queue moved quite quickly.
The theme for this show is based in a series of murals from a private meditation chamber in the Lukhang Temple in Lhasa, which was used by a number of Dalai Lamas, and which was originally built by the 6th Dalai Lama back in the 17th century. It was fascinating to read so much of the history, and to find that the monastic way of life didn’t suit everyone!
I have to say that I struggled with some of the exhibits which featured skull drums, bone trumpets and bone ornaments, but it was interesting nonetheless. I’d hoped for more on meditation as I’m currently doing a course on that, and felt that that aspect was perhaps rushed a little (kind of ironic when you think about it), but on the whole it was a great way to spend the afternoon. Masala chai and book buying in the shop followed. Can’t wait to see what else they put on in the year ahead.
I was very tempted to share an image showing the coldest morning of the year so far, as evidenced by the -4.5 degrees on the car dashboard, but decided to share this instead. It’s the view into the garden with frost lacing the windowpanes. It made for a lovely morning watching the birds come down to feed: I think I need to put some peanuts and suet balls out for them tomorrow.
If there are any of you reading this from outside the UK, round where I live it doesn’t get much colder, and we tend not to have much snow, so this is quite an event!