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Historic Palaces do not welcome pyromaniacs

Page history last edited by teatime 13 years, 5 months ago

     Those who go to a different time zone run the risk of jet-lag.  Jet-lag, especially at first, may lead the sufferer to do clumsy and/or stupid things.  For example, you may neglect to look both ways when crossing the road.  In a country that drives the exact opposite of the US, this could end with you in the hospital contemplating the fact that being run over by a UK lorry hurts more being run over by a US truck because a normal avenue speed in London is a Californian freeway speed.  That is not a good way to distinguish yourself because you can do that just as well when not jet-lagged.  My Dad had a go at this with the lift.  In Pepperdine's London House the lift does not always come all the way up.  If you are just an 1/8 a centimeter below the mark, the doors do not open.  Thus, there is a key that opens the door manually.  What my Dad did is ride the lift with the key that opens it.  So, naturally the lift jammed.  It also became apparent that the reserve key had not been returned to its usual place, and no one knew where it was.  Unfortunately, Dad wasn't jet-lagged when he did this.  So, the Jet-lagged award goes to me.  I learned the folly of handling flaming items in a beautiful, historic, Chapel Royal; particularly when in a building stuffed full of both flamable objects, weapons and patriotic Britons.


     Before I recount this mishap, I must say this:  If you go to London, you must go to Hampton Court Palace.  It's an amazing place.  If you're lucky, you might show up on a day when the kitchens are being worked in as they would have in the Tudor times.  You may even get to turn a spit or help out.  There may also be tournaments and shows in various places.  Also, Hampton Court is home to the Great Vine, the largest and the oldest grape vine as found by the Guinness World Records, and the Maze.  The Maze is one of the most famous mazes in the world, and quite worth exploring.   


     Chapel Royal is delicately lovely.  The ceiling is a blue that recalls the sky, yet richer and deeper.  It washes over your sight like the sea, though firm, solid.  Solid, in the same way that a sculpture is, strong, immobile, a wave frozen in one instant.  The foam of this frozen sea is gold, formed in delicate scallops and rain drops as it recalls the splendor in its history.  The woodwork is similar, but their solidness is that of a tree in its prime, strong and unmoving.  Light and dark wood weaves together to form a backdrop of simplicity and cleverness.  Smooth pillars reach up to their tops, carved in the style of the Roman columns.  Here, above, over there, carvings of children look out and smile, ageless and wise.  They watch the visitors, in bright many colored garb, turning and looking in wonder about them.  They smile, though they are motionless, and though they are comparatively plain.  The carved children know very well that the people below will age and die, while they continue unchanging.  The polished woodwork is a very dark brown, even and intense.  Like the rest of the Chapel it is old, aged to perfection.


In the left front corner, there is a stand with candles on it.  The top has holders for the candles, the side a donation box and the interior with candles.  The candles are only a fourth of an inch high, white, with red trim.  The idea is to make a donation, take a candle, say a prayer, light the candle, and place the candle in a holder.  Several of the visitors there before me had done this.  My younger brother had, in fact, just done it.  There is even a sign talking about the tradition, with helpful hints.  Then along came me.  I made a donation, chose a candle, read the notice, said a quick prayer and went to light my candle.  This is where things went wrong.  You light the candle by touching the wick to another candle.  In my defence, I was, as I said, jet-lagged, nauseous, in a state of informative bliss.  What I cannot deny is that while trying to light my uncooperative candle on fire, I stuck my hand in the flame.  It hurt.


     This was not a serious thing in itself.  I jerked away, no harm done physically.  But that reflex jerk set the now-lit candle into its holder slightly unbalanced.  The tray the candles sit on is tilted on an angle that means if you do not place a candle exactly and expertly, it slides forward until it flips over and falls.  There is in the chapel, many items that a chemist would call flammable.  My mind automatically proceded to group them.  Lots of expensive, thick rugs. Check.  Historic church robes on guides in chapel. Check.  Families with young children decked out in Tudor cloaks. Check.  Beautiful woodwork. Double Check.  Tudor paints and lacquers. Check.  I won't bore you with the whole list, but you get the idea.  It was not necessary to work out how many of the visitors would object to a Historic palace being set alight.  However, surely there couldn't be that many weapons in a chapel... 


     This was the moment I remembered the room above where various instruments such as daggers and guns hung in sweet, decorative patterns.  I glanced about for either something to smother the conflageration-to-be or the backpack containing several waters.  This was when I noticed something very important.  One of the people who set up the candles had had enough foresight to remove the carpet directly beneath the candle stand, and also the section directly in front.  This promted me to again meddle with the order of the candle sequence.  I said a fervent prayer, picked up the candle, lit it cautiously, and placed it ever so delicately, ever so carefully, ever so warily onto a holder.  Then, figuring I couldn't trample the proper tradition much more anyway I stared at it for a few minutes until the line of people wanting to light a candle began to overflow into the main part of the chapel.  I figured it was probably best to leave before anything else could happen...   





Comments (8)

Mokona Go said

at 9:39 pm on Sep 3, 2010


Volkes_Wagon said

at 10:35 pm on Sep 4, 2010

lol what is this splurge page of failness? XD i like!!!

Volkes_Wagon said

at 10:35 pm on Sep 4, 2010

and...what's a pyromaniac?

Sweeten101 said

at 12:55 pm on Sep 5, 2010

good job rae rae... *sarcasm*

Volkes_Wagon said

at 3:43 pm on Sep 5, 2010

hold on...this isn't, like...*real*...is it...?

Mokona Go said

at 8:26 am on Sep 6, 2010

poor rach. How bad was it? second degree? third?

teatime said

at 6:41 am on Sep 16, 2010

No, it was superficial. But it startled me.

Mokona Go said

at 8:52 am on Sep 18, 2010

oh. the last to paragraphs, you sounded like the doctor.

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