(If you want to know why this blog is called redwheelbarrow and why that prompts me to look for the little things in life that bring me joy, check out this post).
Let's see what's through the round window in the redwheelbarrow today shall we?
It's a cardboard model of the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster!
As per usual there are loads of reasons why I love this and why seeing it makes me happy:
- I made it (well, from a kit). I LOVE assembling things. Got some flat pack furniture you want putting together, I'm your woman! Got an airfix model, you can't fathom out, give it here! The whole 'putting the pieces out in order, following instructions, making things with my hands' - it's one of the things I enjoy most in my life (ok, that might be an overstatement, when I think about other things I enjoy...)
- I love architecture. I think I probably enjoy architecture more than I love art. I could waffle on about it for hours. This is why I get so gobsmacked when I visit places like Rome, New York, Washington DC, Pisa, Orvieto, Florence etc etc. And I love the Houses of Parliament Palace of Westminster by Sir Charles Barry and Pugin (and Highclere Castle, St. Chad's Cathedral in Birmingham etc etc....I'll get my coat...)
- I'm a huge pedant (to my shame) and I love politely correcting people who call the clock tower rather than the bell it houses, Big Ben.
- The model is part of my 'Great Britain' side of our family room, along with a model red telephone box and a red double decker bus. Creating two glitter flags and having 2 clocks so I can see what time it is here and back home were some of the attempts I made to negate the overpowering brownness of the world's brownest house when we first moved in.
- Not only does looking at the beautiful model of the clock tower not only remind me of my homeland...it also reminds me of the place where I spent my childhood, Stockton-on-Tees, as the original Big Ben bell was cast there (however, it cracked so they had to make a new one...shoddy Teesside workmanship, fancy something from 'Cleveland' being a failure (yes, I'm looking at you Boro, time to step up your game, you're ruining my nerves).
By the way, Dan Cruickshank once did a fantastic programme, I think for BBC 2, on the Palace of Westminster and you can find it in bits on youtube...it's well worth a watch. Here's the bit about the clock tower: