Wednesday, 18 April 2012


I take Shark, Squirrel, Tiger, and my recalcitrant bottom* to the British Museum.

Mostly goes okay. Apart from a tiff between me and Shark, about the best way to get into Mesopotamia.

I considered it sorted when she stomped off in one direction and I ran up the stairs to get in the gallery ahead of her, so I won.

(See? See what classy arguments you can have with an educated child? We come to blows over access to Sumer.)

Sulky feeling from the vanquished hung around a bit through the following Egyptians, Greeks and Romans (I told her I was doing it in standard narrative order), but thankfully it had largely disappeared by the time the guard chucked us out the galleries. (5.20pm prompt. Annoying.)

But you can have pictures. (Not taken by me. Part of any negotiated peace treaty is that I don't enjoy possession of the camera.)

We are given superb help from Neil MacGregor who may not have Teacher as a job title, but who is a brilliant educator. In fact I am so won over by him that he can now count another Friend of the British Museum, despite the bottom incident.

If you like, you can do some education along with us, choose your objects to discover, then decide which society you'd like to live in: Mespotamia, Egypt, Greek, or Roman?

Shark chose Greeks on the basis of the maritime connection, therefore bound to be sailing and fish. Tiger chose Romans, possibly because of a decent bathtime. Squirrel pondered on the Egyptians, what with make up and hairdos, but I reminded her they sucked out your brain and removed your organs to get you in the afterlife, when really you ended up being gawped at by coach parties.

Me, I choose Babylon, albeit with a confusing moon-based calendar. The weather was sure to be good, dinner on the table, and clearly a literate society where you could expect a written receipt for your temple chicken.

* It's not that I bear grudges, but I had an argument already involving my bottom at the British Museum. And they started it.

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