Wednesday, June 11, 2008

London, day six

Hot and humid despite cloud cover and occasional drizzling rain. Miserable weather, too cool for just a t-shirt but so muggy that I sweat like a pig. I'm not sorry to have left this weather behind, not that summers in Stuttgart are that much more comfortable. Debating whether to shower again or just go out dirty this evening; tending to "dirty."

Walked around town by myself today, bought five books and spent a few hours in the British Museum's marvellous Greek collection. The Parthenon Marbles (formerly the Duveen Elgin Marbles) are thought-provoking in a way that was never intended because never envisaged. On the one hand, they are clearly the relics of a magnificent work of art, one of the masterpieces of human creativity; on the other hand, what one actually sees is a handful of garbage: scraps and shards and broken pieces. I remember reading somewhere that the ancient Greeks would have been appalled by our reverence for the Venus de Milo (and by extension these remnants), because they abhorred incompleteness and imperfection and decay. Nonetheless, it's a wonderful sight, and the Duveen gallery is a quite exquisite work of architecture; I encourage any visitors to London to see the marbles (admission is free, by the way).

Dinner this evening with Oscar and BB from my trip in March. My parents are still out in the countryside with my father's cousin; we will meet on Thursday evening, then split up again Friday morning early.

We all went yesterday to the village where AH had his post office, to speak with "the girls" (his former staff, the new owners, who took over the shop) and see the tree and bench placed in the local park in his memory. A kind of closure was had, I think, which is good. My father did not get AH's wartime flight logs, of course, but he did at least get the book of condolence that was set out in the post office and signed by pretty well the whole community after AH died; and the girls gave my parents a box of silver plate items that were found in his attic. I'd never seen any of these things before, and I was often in his apartment while Pat was alive and they were still entertaining. Will any of us ever use these things? probably no more than AH and Pat did. Anyway. I have a teapot and cream-and-sugar set, and am wondering how to get them through customs — and more seriously, how to get them to Germany at all. Other things will go to Sis, and our parents have a second teapot and other stuff. The cash value is next to nothing, I would guess, being after all silver plate not sterling, but it is a kind of reminder.

The question of AH's expenses, and with it the settlement of his will, has finally been laid to rest. Between the sale of the goodwill and stock to "the girls," and calling in some debts that AH never got around to billing, the estate has finished up with a clean "black zero," i.e. nothing left to disburse, but no debts either. Given the way things looked at first sight, this has to be counted a good outcome. (The girls were scathing about NJ's handling of the settlement, by the way, so perhaps Dad's cousin was right. Ach, who knows, and who cares, and what would it matter? It's over.) Vale, AH.

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Blogger Dale said...


June 11, 2008 at 8:19:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Zhoen said...

Mail it to yourself?

Get to really know someone, share and inheritance with them.

June 11, 2008 at 9:19:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Things taken care of. London in June weather, I will still take my dry 109f sunny days.

June 12, 2008 at 7:02:00 p.m. GMT+2  

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