Monday, October 21, 2013
Holmes' sweet home.
It's actually incredible how many places from my imagination are real in London. This little nook, for instance. I'd been looking forward to coming here for a while, and I stepped off the tube last Wednesday morning, with my Sherlock Holmes anthology tucked safely in my backpack. It was raining, and I was a little bewildered about what direction I was supposed to be walking when I emerged from the underground, but after a few minutes of trial and error, I saw that dapper gentleman in the second picture and figured I was in the right place. He directed me inside the shop to get my ticket, and then after a few minutes of standing in the queue, I walked up the famous staircase and into the room where it all happened (or "happened." It was a source of great enjoyment for me, reading the reviews online from people who clearly thought Holmes and Watson were real people.)
I've kept the pictures in order from my walk through the house, and they start in the parlor and move upward through several flights of stairs, from Holmes' bedroom, to Watson's, then Mrs. Hudson's, and several miscellaneous living spaces that contained relics from various stories.
After seeing the doorway and the address on the outside, there were a few gems from this experience. While I'd love to say that I kept my cool and casually strolled through the museum as an interested, but mentally stable admirer, I'll tell the truth that there was plenty of smiling and muttering to myself going on as I walked through. Before I even got inside, I decided that in general, this is probably an acceptable place to go with children, or maybe a significant other or friends, so you can turn to each other and giggle at yourselves to show you're not actually crazed fans. Going by yourself and loving it is more or less signing the death warrant for any guise of normality you may have had before. And I'm one hundred percent guilty of that. Because, you guys, this is a cool place if you're really into Sherlock Holmes, but it's also kind of a hokey whole in the wall: cue the wax figurines and gimmicky deerstalkers for sale in the shop. Regardless, there was some attention to detail that made my cheesy grin come out in full force. In Sherlock's bedroom, the curators had a candle burning and a slight dent in the pillow on the bed, as if the man himself might walk in at any moment. There was a copy of Watson's journal, opened to a page he had been working on, and a letter from Holmes, that seemed like it had been written quickly. Holmes' violin was laying on a coffee table, and on the top floor, there was a binder full of letters from believing children, soliciting for detective advice. That might have been my favorite part of the whole experience.
Thanks to some other touristy girls, I have a few pictures of myself in the house, although they're blurry as I didn't really have time to explain how to use my beast of a camera. And then I made sure to take a couple selfies of myself geeking out, just to document the reality of the situation for posterity.