Our Travel blog
As Ray was at a meeting I had the day to myself so decided to indulge my inner nerd and go to The British Museum. I've had a long held desire to immerse myself in the Egyptian exhibits and see the treasures of Sutton Hoo but I’ve struggled to find someone to go with. I am one of those really annoying people who wants to read every notice and gaze at each exhibit to try and form a picture in my head of what it was like to live in the days gone by represented by the artefacts on display. I have an endless fascination with people and love knowing their stories; their motivations and desires, their understanding of the world around them. A colleague of mine once pointed out fondly that if I don't know a person's story I invent one for them. She's right, and once she pointed it out we'd make great sport of creating narratives for people. Anyway, you can imagine why no one ever wants to accompany me to museums, especially if I get into conversation with one of the attendants. Whole days have been lost while I work my way from attendant to attendant and end up being discreetly nudged towards the exit at closing time to find my long suffering companion having drunk their own body weight in coffee and laden with ill-chosen purchases from the gift shop. Best then to go on my own.
Once inside the museum I purchased a guidebook and a coffee and, armed with sticky notes and highlighters, settled down to plan a mini tour for myself. I spent the morning buried in Ancient Egypt, dipping a toe into Ancient Greece and Assyria. I dabbled in the Enlightenment gallery and was emotionally overwhelmed by stories of birth, death, marriage and hunting rituals and beliefs from around the world in the Living and Dying themed exhibition in the Wellcome Trust Gallery.
I stopped for a late lunch where I was subjected to a heated telephone conversation
the American at the next table was having with his bank back in the States. I couldn't help but listen as the man became more and more irate and frustrated, growing redder in the face with each loudly proclaimed assertion that no, his bank card had not been stolen, the unusual activity carried out in London was because he was using said bank card in London, and the bank stopping his card meant his vacation
was now ruined. I did have every sympathy with his predicament (we've all been on the end of similar conversations I'm sure) but if I heard him yell one more time that he was sitting in the "freaking British Museum" he was going to get an ancient Egyptian amulet shoved where the "freaking" sun don't shine. I finished my lunch quickly and left him to it.
I didn't have much time left before I was due to meet up with Ray, Matt and Louise so I rushed to the Sutton Hoo exhibit and rounded off the day with a Babylonian map of the world from around 700BC and an Assyrian tablet from the 7th Century BC describing how the Assyrian gods sent a flood to destroy mankind. Quite fascinating.
I had a wonderful and enlightening day at the museum and trotted off happily to meet Ray, Matt and Louise in Trafalgar Square for an enjoyable drink, Mexican meal and a much needed catch up.
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