Saturday, June 18, 2011

Flats and the British Museum

They put coriander in packaged salads here.

I've just spent the last ten minutes going through the bag and picking it all out. Luckily there wasn't that much.

In other news... I have a flat! It's very nice and warm, has two supermarkets within walking distance, a bus stop right outside and is ten minutes walk to the tube station. It is also right next to a McDonalds.

I have not yet had McDonalds.

It is actually sunny, currently, and the sun is coming through my window, which is a nice change from the downpours of the last few days. I went out to get groceries yesterday in a drizzle, and forgot to get an umbrella. That will be on the list for today. I looked for Vogel's, which I know to be available in the UK, but had to make do with generic wholemeal bread. I must go on a search, I think.

I'm also planning how to make my room my own. There's not a lot of stuff you can bring with you when you're only allowed 30kg, but I have big plans for photos and Middle-Eastern Tiffany lamps, when I can be surer of money coming in.

Last week I went to the British Museum, which was amazing. I started at the north end (after studying a map and concluding, wrongly, that was the main entrance) and saw the mummy rooms, which were packed to bursting with mummies and sarcophagi and school children (the last outside the cases, of course). They all began to blend into one another after a while, with the exception of a few Roman-style ones, some very ancient ones, and the animal mummies. I think I need to know more about them to appreciate them properly - or go with a guide who can point out all the differences and meanings behind things.

I wandered for a bit, then entered the Enlightenment gallery. This gallery is done up like an 18th century private library/museum, with glass cases and very old books along the walls. Everything is jumbled up a bit higgledy-piggledy, but this gave it a sort of charm and interest. There are loose themes in the different quarters of the gallery, and statues and display tables set about the room.

I passed through the North American exhibits and back into the grand atrium (which is extremely impressive, with a modern faceted glass roof), looked at a few maps and figured out where the Rosetta stone was: hidden behind a crowd of people in the entrance to the Greek and Roman galleries. By this time it was getting on towards 5pm, so I went straight for the Elgin marbles (from the Parthenon) and admired them. It would have been amazing to see them before people took a dislike to them and started hacking them apart, but they are still beautiful, and poignant because of what they have lost and how far they have travelled.

I think I'd like a Greek statue for my room. A real one.

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