Saturday, 23 March 2013

Ocean and Earth Day

I recommend, if you have children whose brains have been sucked out and replaced by fish, that you escort them annually down to the University of Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, for their Ocean and Earth Day. Here you may let the happy fry go free. Your fishy offspring can stretch their gills, flip their salty fins, and be off to explore the undercurrents of the deepest, darkest oceans.

Consequently, I do not see Shark, Tiger and Squirrel all day long.

Well, that is not strictly true. A packet of chocolate biscuits is on offer about tea time, bait to drag them out of the place. It works, dark chocolate luring them back like wandering fish seduced by a particularly tasty meal, but I suspect only because the place shuts up shop: Shark was thrown out of the tour round the aquarium, so there was nowhere else to go. In the first chocolate-biscuit-end-of-day assessment, I hear only universal grumbling that the fun ends at 4pm, and not at a proper time, like never.

I agree. Time is my only complaint. I think the Ocean and Earth day should go on at least until supper, because I had to listen to the ins and outs of the early-day closure injustice for another six hours.

It is a simple problem of logistics. A fishy-minded visitor cannot attend to everything between 10.30am and 4pm. Is that not a ridiculously short time to seduce us with your fishy wares? If you listen to the lectures about bubbles, rocks, diving and biology, then attempt to struggle round the stalls, pilot a submarine, do the quiz, watch the videos, make the ammonites, scoff lunch, see the ships, read the careers boards, ask questions of the engineers, no wonder there is not time to visit the aquarium.

I chose wisely. The lectures. On the basis that I could rest my arse for a good couple of hours, and adopt the face of one who has a scholarly approach to fish, while secretly hoping my brood return to me in an exhausted state clutching hand-made plaster ammonites and novelty fridge magnets.

Despite the complaints about time, our endless enemy, I can only thank the staff at the University of Southampton once again for allowing we fish-loving public to trample all over their nice clean Oceanography centre, leaving only footprints (plus a trail of trash and fingermarks on the door frame where they had to prise off Shark) and taking with us, only photographs.*

Shark, giving me that eye-rolling manoeuvre. 
I suppose I said something foolish, betraying my ignorance about tentacles.

* I jolly well hope so, anyway. But if I were you, Southampton Geology Staff, I would do an inventory of your rocks.

1 comment:

Irene said...

There's always a lot of grumbling abut, isn't there?