The website of the historical fiction writer.

Weekend in London

This weekend I’ve done a Great Run that was fun in Newham (say it a certain way and it rhymes). Seriously, though, it was a great day and well done to the organisers and volunteers that made it all run smoothly.

The day before I went to some exhibitions around London. The first was the Magna Carter: Law, Liberty, Legacy at the British Library.

This exhibition, marking seven hundred years since King John sealed the Great Charter in 1215, tells the troubles England faced under John’s rule and how the charter shaped political thinking down the centuries. It looks at how it was used to inspire the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights in the USA and Chartism in Britain. It also shows its importance to figures such as Nelson Mandela in his quest for freedom.

There is also an embroidery of the Wikipedia page from the artist Cornelia Parker with contributions from judges and prisoners to artists and aristocrats. Well worth a look.

After Magna Carter I went down to the British Museum (as you might have gathered, I do like going there) and saw some art and artifacts from one of the world’s oldest continuing cultures: the native peoples of Australia and the Torres Strait Islands.

The works that are displayed here are from either the museum’s collections or on loan from Australia. These include boomerangs, hunting hooks and spears, baskets, masks and clothing that show how the land, sea and nature were central to these peoples’ beliefs.

Go and see this before it closes.

When you see a picture, does a tune come to mind? Or maybe a story? The National Gallery has commissioned six musicians or sound artists to put together pieces to accompany a painting each. These pieces in the Soundscapes exhibition range from orchestral pieces, electronic, strings and various sound effects.

Take a look and see what you think.

The final exhibition I saw last weekend was Coral Reefs at the Natural History Museum.

This was a fascinating journey around these living habitats that play host, food and danger to a range of plants, fish and other organisms. It also reinforces the need to protect these marvels from man-made threats and, instead, research further into them.

Go and see it. You might even see Nemo while you’re there!

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