Thursday, January 21, 2010

Raining cats and dogs....


It is!!  Is is crazy weather out there!  I took Paige to her Math tutor's (every Tuesday and Thursday)and got caught in a torrential downpour - pouring rain, wind, hail, lightning everywhere.  Scary stuff.  AND I had to drive in it to pick Clay up from school.  I do NOT like driving in weather like that...about 3 feet of visibility.  Yikes.  Ugh.  Hence, the title of this blog post....which reminds me that I learned what that saying means on one of our trips to London.  Everytime we go, we have to go to the Tower...and everytime we go to the Tower, the Yeoman Warders always have some little trivia thing to share.  On one visit we learned that in the middle ages the houses had thatched roofs, and the cats, dogs, and other critters would climb up to the roof (rafters) where it was warmer.  Sometimes when it rained the thatched roof would cave in -'s raining cats and dogs!

Here is another one of the Yeoman Warder trivia lessons...Westminster Abbey is dedicated to St. Peter.  When they began building St. Paul's Cathedral, they would take money from Westminster Abbey to pay for the building.'ve heard the expression, "robbing Peter to pay Paul?"

And the final one (for today)...on another visit we went to the Imperial War Museum, which is housed in what used to be the Bedlam Mental Asylum.  Ergo, "this place is bedlam!!"

Wasn't that fun?  I just love learning things like that.  Which might explain why I love London so much.

Here is some more information on "Bedlam"

Bethlem Royal Hospital, 1843 (neg. MH3478)
Bethlem Royal Hospital, 1843

The building which accommodates the Imperial War Museum London was formerly the central portion of Bethlem Royal Hospital, or Bedlam, as it was commonly known. Designed by James Lewis, it was completed in 1815. Sidney Smith’s dome was added in 1846 and contained the chapel. The east and west wings were demolished in the early 1930s to make room for the park which now surrounds the Museum.
Bethlem Royal Hospital dates back to 1247, when Simon Fitz-Mary, a wealthy alderman and sheriff of London, founded the Priory of St Mary of Bethlehem on the site which is now part of Liverpool Street Station. In the fourteenth century the priory began to specialise in the care of the insane. In 1547 Henry VIII granted the hospital to the City of London.

Corridor of Bethlem Royal Hospital (neg. BED10)
Corridor of Bethlem Royal Hospital
Bethlem was moved to a new building in Moorfields in 1676. Until 1770 there were no restrictions on visitors, and the lunatics, who were often manacled or chained to the walls, were a public attraction.
The hospital was housed in the present building from 1815 to 1930, when it was transferred to Eden Park near Beckenham, Kent.
Patients included Mary Nicholson who tried to assassinate George III in 1786; Jonathan Martin, committed in 1829 after setting fire to York Minster; the painters Richard Dadd and Louis Wain, famous for his cartoons of cats; Antonia White, author of Frost in May and Beyond the Glass; and the architect A W N Pugin who designed the Houses of Parliament and St George’s Roman Catholic Cathedral opposite the Museum.
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