Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
From everlasting even to everlasting.
Sometimes I think the wider internet, the one they say changes all the time, has passed by my sphere. Things change in that sphere once every month, or every two weeks if somebody feels ambitious; checking anything on a daily basis, even my email, really only excercises me in futility. At least those muscles remain fit and ready to spring into action at any time, day or night.
I learned today that the average home here costs £2.4 million, but the Sainsbury family purchased the most expensive one for £15 million. The sixth-richest man in England, one Lord Cadogan, owns about 100 acres hereabouts. Presumably that contributes to his wealth a bit. Mozart, at the age of 8, wrote his first symphony here in Chelsea. Oscar Wilde lived here with his wife and children before being convicted of sodomy and serving a sentence of two years hard labor. Margaret Thatcher lived near here, and at least two other Prime Ministers have as well. Queen Elizabeth I lived in a manor house, since demolished, near the Thames here in Chelsea. Chelsea buns, apparently a popular confection, were sold from the 1600s to the 1800s in one store here. John Singer Sargent painted an actress in his home in Chelsea; I saw that painting at the Tate yesterday. Saxons settled this area in the 8th Century AD after the Romans left. Hans Sloane, for whom many streets and other things are named hereabouts, kept a fantastic collection of ephemera (30,000 medals and pendants, for example) that helped start the British Museum when he died. The oldest building in the area is just across Kings Road from IES and was built in the 1500s, serving as the first nursery for mentally disabled children. The Chelsea Physic Garden was founded in the 1600s and provided the original cotton seeds for much of the early cotton farming in the US: good for sanitation (people changed cotton underwear more often than the earlier wool underwear) but bad for Africans. The Royal Hospital Chelsea serves as a retirement home for 350 British Army pensioners, thus far all male. It is not for sick people, only old people who served for at least 20 years in the Army. Julia Roberts owned a house here. The Royal Army Museum has the original bloody gloves of a surgeon who cut off a famous man’s leg during the Napoleonic War. It also sports what they claim is the skeleton of Napoleon’s horse.
That, in a nutshell, is Chelsea according to the London Walks.