Waterloo Bridge wasn’t something I had planned for, it was something that just happened. After seeing the British museum and resting my legs while eating dinner, I walked toward the river Thames. I was planning to walk along the riverside until I reached Big Ben, but it’s hard to see a bridge with beautiful sights and not cross it! So the Waterloo bridge was the first bridge I crossed in Europe.
There is something about water that fills your heart when you’re near it. Lakes, rivers, oceans! Perhaps it’s that undeniable healing quality that nature holds. Sometimes it makes me wonder why I’m living a life so detached from it. I feel as though I should be living closer to nature. These days I travel four hours daily, two hours on the bus and two hours in the Korean underground. Meeting deadlines and expectations, being ‘on demand’ to every phone call and text message, jostled about in a busy crowd of commuters; it’s all very draining. Our modern lives trudge on while our souls grow weak and ill. It’s no wonder ‘healing’ is the rage now a days. Everybody is seemingly searching for a healing experience. I stood there, leaning against the side of the bridge looking out onto the river and feeling the wind blowing in my face. I was still in a dazed state of wonder. I was actually in London, in Europe! I had seen the river flying in on the plane and I’d seen it from the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral, but it was the first time seeing it up close. I wanted to take a photo of the other side, but there was a road in the middle of the bridge so I decided to continue on to the other side.
This building caught my eye when I reached the other side of the bridge. The nice thing about carrying around a camera is that you can snap a shot of something you want to look into later on. I thought this building had an interesting architectural look and was also interested in the history behind this hospital for children and women. Through a little Googling I found some information about the architectural style:
The current Lombardic Renaissance-style hospital dates from a rebuilding of 1903-5. It features a Doulton-ware porch from the local ceramic manufactory, and the three-tiered terracotta loggia bears characterful lettering announcing the title and purpose of the institution (english-heritage.org.uk).
Up to this point I had rather good feelings toward this interesting looking hospital I had stumbled upon. Then I found this article and was mortified by the treatment they gave to depressed women and girls. Apparently they were drugged and shut up in a dark room where they sometimes were awake in the dark, unable to move by themselves or speak out to ask for help. It must have been terrible for the victims to lose control over their minds and bodies, I can’t even begin to imagine what they must have gone through. I sincerely hope they were able to find some solace in life after having gone through such inhumane treatment.