Wednesday, 28 April 2010

HIM, Victoria.

Queen Victoria has got to be deeply impressed upon my sub-conscious, as the statue above is the first thing I see every day when I look out of the window, as I have for the last 20 years or so. I can see it now as I write this.

It must be more so for Her Indoors, who has lived here for many years longer than I have. Her daughter, who was raised in this house, looked out of the window one day aged about 4 (she is now in her 40s), and - referring to the Orb in Queen Vic's hand - said, "Mummy, who is that lady bringing in the pot of tea?"

It isn't as overpowering as you might think though, as Queen Victoria was not the utter kill-joy that popular myth depicts. She was vehemently ant-racist, and kept a secret diary written in Arabic. After the death of her beloved Albert, she formed very strong friendships with Indian nationals and, of course, Scottish equerries.

She visited Bath once only, and legend has it that she never came back after overhearing a small boy remark on the thickness of her ankles when she alighted from the train in the station. That did not stop the local council demolishing half of a perfectly good Georgian street in order to build a municipal gallery in her honour, however. I live in the surviving half and - thanks to the demolition in 1900 - we have no immediate neighbors looking into our windows, if you discount Victoria herself.

The other invaluable function that the Portland stone Victoria serves is to distract the tourists. When the open-topped tour busses pass by, the guides draw attention to the statue, and away from us, but quite often an intelligent child will ignore the guide and give me a little wave from a distance of about 20 feet.

The inscription in bronze says "HIM Victoria", and provides the guide with an excellent opportunity to confuse foreigners. Maybe that is why Peter Sellers was always saying - in his role as a country Indian - "Queen Victoria, very good man!" Of course, it stands for Her Imperial Majesty.

What is the view from your window, which you are forced to look at every day? I would be interested to know, and I would be interested to know how it forms your everyday life and attitudes. Show us a picture, please.


  1. I always say that if you live in town; live right bang in the middle. And if you live in the country; be amongst fields, cows, and nothingness. It wouldn't be much use me posting our view; it's just fields and trees. But maybe I will anyway!

  2. I can see how this would be the perfect place for you to live, with all the stone and statues. And how strange, but cool, to have Victoria staring at you every day!

    You don't want to see my boring suburban street, but maybe later I will take a shot of the window shade I painted to look like an Italian landscape .

  3. Stone is what I see - our stony landscape, great boulders in the ground, and traditional stone walls. And whenever I've moved away from here, the land has seemed too lush and too green until I came home again.

    You're fortunate to have Victoria - I imagine that you stare at her and she stares back; impasse.

  4. Actually, she looks away from me Mise - like the current Royal Family. Hearts of stone.

  5. Welcome, Serge, and welcome Milton - you pussy.

  6. Oh, and welcome Rate My Look. I'll do that when you expose yourself.

  7. Only Amy and Cro have responded to my request to look out of their window. It's at times like these that you know who your true friends are - and wish you had a hit-counter...

  8. What? I did too. I carefully looked out my window, told you what I saw, and my efforts went UNAPPRECIATED. UNACKNOWLEDGED.

  9. Did you, Mise? Oh yes, so you did. I was rather hoping for a photo on your own blog, but I did respond to your efforts, by responding to your comment. (You didn't put up a picture that I didn't notice, did you?)