My Mother’s Voice

Alzheimer’s being the conniving thieving bitch that  it is, my mother wasn’t herself in the final years of her life. The  woman I visited in the Alzheimer’s special care unit was a stranger wearing my mother’s skin but not much else, like the invasion of the body snatchers had taken place, month after month beneath the surface, until one day we looked and the woman we knew was gone, replaced by some alien being. An imposter. Intruder alert. Intruder alert. She died back in 2012. Don’t worry; I won’t be getting maudlin on you.  My real mother–not that stranger in a wheel chair, head nodding on her shoulder–is who I want to think about today.  My real mother —Enid Maude Good nee Hayden, a prim, old-fashioned name, perhaps the only thing about her I didn’t love— was British-born and had a lovely London lilt to her voice her whole life even though she left England in the mid-1950’s. I suppose at thirty, her vocal patterns were already frozen in place.  Sounding like a cross between

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Above Ground on the London Underground-Day 62: From the Tate to the Tate

Westminster Reflections by Sarah Fosse

If it's Friday we must be back in London. Every Friday I take a virtual walking tour ‘above ground’ on the London Underground. Using my Tube guide & my fitbit® device, my goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day roughly following along the Underground route, reporting back here on Fridays with my findings We've just finished following the Central Line, took a detour to the Tate Britain. Next we'll hop on the District Line. Here are the previous days. This is Day 62.

Before we leave the Tate Britain, where we visited the Hockney exhibit last week, make sure you spend some time with the Turners. The museum is known for its large collection and for me, having seen Timothy Spall in the film Mr. Turner, I really would love to see some original pieces up close.

 Tate Boat via Sea Fever Blog

Next, we’re going for a boat ride. I’ve always wanted to go for a ride on the Thames, the Tate Boat makes it simple. We catch a boat from the Tate Britain where we’ve enjoyed a morning with Mssrs Hockney and Turner and now we hop aboard the boat for a trip that takes us past iconic London destinations—Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye delivering us to the door of the Tate Modern. £8 each way. That is what I call a deal.

There’s a fair amount of advice suggesting one does the Tate Britain in the morning, the Tate Modern in the afternoon but for me, that's one museum too many for one day. If, like me, you’ve had your fill of paintings, you can still take the boat which will drop you off right near Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

While pains have been taken to make it look lovely and antique-y, this Globe theatre is the new Globe Theatre, Shakespeare's original having been burned in 1613, rebuilt and then closed again in 1642. This theatre dates to 1997, a riverside reconstruction about 750 sq feet from the Globe’s original location.

Tours of the Globe leave every half hour although your ticket includes a free audio guide—my favorite kind of tour as you get to move at your own pace and hear everything you need to hear without having to keep up with a crowd of people just to hear what the guide is saying. On the other hand, a good guide—in person, with a lively mind and a good personality can make an A experience into an A+.

The Globe is more than a museum, it’s a living breathing tribute to the Bard with an active spate of productions. This month they’re putting on The Taming of the Shrew and in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, beginning in May, both Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night.

Next time, we may take a look next door at the Tate Modern where Elton John—sorry, Sir Elton John—has shared his private collection of modernist photography. Then we’ll cross the Millennium Bridge. I’ve been wanting to do that for ages so I’m happy to save the crossing for next week, when we’ll pick up the path of the District Line. Come along?

The Tate Britain
Milbank, London SW1P 4JU
+44 20 7887 8825

The Tate Modern
Bankside, London SE1 9TG
+44 20 7887 8888

The Globe Theater
21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT
+44 20 7902 1400

Sarah Fosse


  1. I would lotto take a ride on the day. Loved last week's museum visit and always enjoy looking at paintings.

  2. I thought about the Tate to Tate as a way to get us out on the Thames, but that's one too many museums for me, too. We took a boat to Greenwich and that worked nicely for us. I didn't manage a tour of Globe Theater -- I need to add that to the list for next time!


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