Friday, 7 December 2012

Won over once again

Ipswich! You have won me over! Your winsome market day, your lovely fruit & veg stalls, your v. trad. horse chestnut seller and your delightful pizza woman!

And Ipswich Museum! Not on Museum Street! Isn't it fantastic? Okay, don't go by the local council's website. They obviously don't do it justice. But I can say, Go along! It is superb.

Their moth-eaten stoat, Great Auk egg, and fake woolly mammoth, renowned all over East Anglia (well, across Ipswich town centre) are, since 1881, housed together in one of these beautiful old Victorian constructions, made to patterns across this land, and designed as public service buildings, exhibition spaces, lit & phils, museum houses, lecture halls, and a place where you can properly hang flags of the Empire. 

Here in Ipswich Museum you can experience it all, including a walk-round upper gallery with metal railings to stop you falling over onto the mammoth, plus lines of glass and wood exhibition cases, old fireplaces, domed ceilings, real doors and skirting boards, a big central hall, an indifferent attendant shuffling towards us, having been disturbed on his pursuit of spinning a pencil end round his finger, it has everything.

Don't take these buildings for granted. Look after them. That is one of my dying wishes - along with please can my children not hate each other, and please sort out public transport - as I'd like to die imagining these stuffed Auk mausoleums will be used in this same archaic way for a thousand years or more. These exhibition palaces are their own living reenactments of dusty history, created by the concerned professional classes for the moral improvement and scholarly instruction of the working ignorants. Well, that's us today. Changed, from knuckle-dragging boneheads to improved citizens! Thank you Ipswich!

 Ipswich? Can't find anything wrong with it. I even fell in love with the dummy. 
(Maybe something is wrong with my hormones.)

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