Close Only Counts in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

The good news is that my sheets still have the lingering scent of goodness. Better news is that the batteries I bought were on sale two-for-one. The best news? I just realized that all of the water bottles are square here. Yep, square water bottles. And I have batteries, and the linens are pleasant to my olfactory senses.

But the batteries do me no good if I forget my camera. Yes, ladies and gents, I forgot my camera on the walk around London for today. We went to all sorts of cool places, and I forgot my camera. The silver lining is that we will go to these places again. I was able to stroll around a bit in the National Gallery today. There are a lot of originals of famous paintings there. Unfortunately, I seem to not be the art-loving type, for I became bored while walking through the gallery.

Oftentimes I wonder what is different about seeing these paintings in person versus on a computer screen. Some pieces are bigger than they could ever be portrayed on a computer, television, or projected screen. Other pieces are much smaller than we would like, compared to the magnified versions on the internet. At art galleries one can see a depth to the painting, sometimes realizing the different layers and textures of the paint. The differences between Sir John Everett Millais’ “Ophelia” on a projected screen and “Ophelia” on the internet is pretty much size. At least, I personally didn’t gather much difference between the two.

I do confess, however, that my search to find that Ophelia example led me to one painting that I cannot find on the internet that is as good as the one in the galleries. The painting is called “A Huguenot, on St. Bartholomew’s Day, Refusing to Shield Himself from Danger by Wearing a Roman Catholic Badge,” and was painted by the same man who did Ophelia: Sir John Everett Millais. The internet version does not capture me like the actual painting did in the gallery. I don’t know if it’s something I can explain, either. So I accept that my commentary on art and galleries is rather limited, and I will no longer make them (judgmental commentaries, that is).

It’s cool to be around all of these buildings that are older than the United States. Time to eat more crow: the buildings are a lot more breath-taking in person than on paper/internet. Photographs of Big Ben can be viewed on a table, below eye level, above eye level, really close up, or really far away. They all show a large clock tower (p.s. Big Ben is actually only the bell inside; the tower is called the Elizabeth Tower. However, today everyone understands Big Ben to be the whole tower, and the distinction probably doesn’t matter much and may never come up again. Now you know.), but what they can’t really depict is the glinting gold detail around the clock and near the top of the tower. It can’t give you the tilting-your-head-as-far-back-as-you-can-to-see-the-beautiful-monument effect. It can’t ring on the hour like the clock tower does.

So maybe real life is much better than the pictures or the internet. They do say that close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Copied images are close, but since they are neither horseshoes nor hand grenades, they don’t really count. Maybe I should go back to those pieces of art in the galleries.

London is magnificent.

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