Posts Tagged ‘British Museum’

Viking flashmob in British Museum

May 4, 2014

An impromptu little play in the British Museum.

Read the tales of the chroniclers, the Vikings raided and raped and pillaged in the north of England.

BP is known for its rape and pillage of the worlds natural resources.

How appropriate then that BP is sponsoring a Viking Exhibition at the British Museum.

But should the British Museum be used to launder dirty money?

BP only account for around 0.5% British Museum funding, but by sponsoring big block buster exhibitions, with their name everywhere, they buy a lot of greewashing, free publicity, and create the illusion they are supporting the arts.

Where is the money to come from?

Try tackling the tax dodgers, there would then not a be an art funding shortfall.

It is not only the British Museum that is seeing a funding cut. Kew Gardens is having to fire some of its scientists due to funding cuts.

A very cold February day in London

February 13, 2012
my garden in the morning

my garden in the morning

a veritable winter wonderland

a veritable winter wonderland

London Eye

London Eye

Hungerford Bridge

Hungerford Bridge

Thames and St Paul's from Hungerford Bridge

Thames and St Paul's from Hungerford Bridge

Friday a day out in London. A very cold day out in London to the British Library, an exhibition on illuminated manuscripts in the afternoon, a concert by The Sixteen in the evening.

It snowed Thursday night. I got up Friday morning to find my garden white with snow, the trees covered in snow.

I went back to bed. No, I have to get up, I have a day in London planned.

I walked to the station. Along came a bus. I hopped on the bus.

The train journey into London a veritable winter wonderland.

We have become used to mild, wet winters for the last decade, that a cold spell arrives comes to us as a shock. This has been an exceptionally long, exceptional cold spell.

It snowed the previous weekend on the Saturday. It has been cold, below zero, since the Monday before the Saturday when it snowed.

As the train approached Waterloo two interesting buildings caught my eye. One, still under construction, a tall pyramid shaped needle, the other looked like the sail of a boat.

The sun was now out, and so although it was very cold, I decided to walk to Covent Garden rather than catch the Tube. In the sun pleasant, out of the sun, very very cold.

I went on a little detour out the back of Waterloo Station. There used to be an excellent second-hand record shop, I thought I would see if I could find it. I did not recognise where I was, decided it would be a wild goose chase and gave up.

I walked over Hungerford Bridge, excellent views looking downstream of St Paul’s on the skyline, through Victoria Embankment Gardens and up into Covent Garden, where I had arranged to meet a friend who I had not seen for twenty years, for lunch in Food For Thought. In the sun it was pleasant, out of the sun very, very cold

Food for Thought was as always excellent.

We then caught the Tube to King’s Cross St Pancras. Emerging into the street it was very, very cold. What was it going to be like tonight? Forecast was well below zero.

We walked the short walk to the British Library which is just past St Pancras Station.

A little wander around the library. Looked at a small collection of books celebrating the life of Charles Dickens. Where was the Reading Room where Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto? We learnt later the Reading Room was in the British Museum. We then tried to enter the exhibition on illuminated manuscripts.

They would not let us in. Said our tickets were only valid for the evening. After some hassle and the intervention and apologies from a more senior member of staff, we were allowed in.

Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination

The exhibition was excellent, but after an hour or so, my head started to spin. We decided to go off and get something to eat and come back in the evening. On leaving we double checked the time and was told doors opened at 7pm.

We walked down Euston Road to Euston Station. A very cold walk. Around the back of Euston Station is a side street with excellent Indian restaurants.

We ate at Chutney’s. The food as always was excellent.

We got back to the British Library around 7-15pm to find people hanging around outside. It was subzero but they would not let anyone in until 7-30pm, the time stated on the tickets.

Once in, a man apologised for all the hassle we had been given and was grateful for raising the issues. He gave me a copy of a CD by The Sixteen as way of apology. I thanked him, said the exhibition was excellent and we were looking forward to The Sixteen.

After-hours access sounds great. It was not. It was very crowded, by now I was very tired and could not remember what I had seen and what I had not seen.

The concert was very informal. People standing, sitting on the floor, on the stairs on the balcony. We were lucky and had seats. The seats were for the elderly and infirm. I felt a bit guilty taking one, until I thought, I have been very poorly with bronchitis and this was the first day I have been out in three weeks.

The concert was excellent. Music of the period inspired by the exhibition, with an accompanying CD, of which I had been given a complimentary copy.

Musical Illuminations

By now I was exhausted.

We went to a pub and relaxed with a much needed drink. Then Tube to Waterloo and trains home.

My train seemed to have got lost. Why was it passing through East Putney? A very slow journey due to bad weather conditions and trains ahead.

My train did not arrive at my station until twenty minutes past midnight. A long walk home in the cold. Luckily there was no wind. My face was starting to burn from the cold.

I arrive arrived home in the early hours of the morning, ten minutes before one o’clock.

Later in the day, I did not get up until midday, I learnt it had been the coldest night of the winter. In Holbeach in Lincolnshire it dropped to minus 15.6 C, the coldest recorded temperature since 1910. During the day, Coningsby in Lincolnshire was the coldest place, the temperature not rising above minus 6 C.

On-line tickets for British Museum exhibition

January 8, 2012
A wedding present for Margaret of Anjou and Henry VI

A wedding present for Margaret of Anjou and Henry VI

The exploits of Alexander the Great

The exploits of Alexander the Great

It should be easy enough, ordering tickets on-line for an exhibition at the British Museum. That is what on-line is all about?


Wrong, very wrong! At least not if you wish to order tickets for the British Museum.

It should be easy enough. Select what you want, type in card details and tickets are paid for and in the post or there to collect.

Oh no. Before you can get that far you have to register personal details with the British Museum.

Then select a password. A very specific password. It has to be alphanumeric, including upper and lower case letters.

Then you have to type in a set of random characters that you can barely see, let alone read. Get anything wrong, you have to start again, including typing in the barely legible characters.


It does not say. Do they think we are going to run off with a few manuscripts or maybe do a runner with a mummy tucked under each arm?

Once you have done this, you then have to verify what has been e-mailed. You do not have to but it is advisable as otherwise you have to go through this entire procedure all over again next time you try to order tickets for an exhibition.

Then you enter card details.

Then how you wish the tickets to be delivered. A pull down menu, default e-mail. The default is the only option! Why the pull down menu if no other choice?

What an I supposed to do, drag along my laptop? Maybe will put on a usb memory stick!

All for a concert with The Sixteen.

One hell of a load of hassle.

It took me an hour or more on a laptop. I’d hate to try on a mobile phone. Do not even try. A friend did the previous day. After trying all afternoon and evening she gave up. It was not she who was at fault, it was an appallingly designed website. Had I not said I would try, I too would have given up. Had it been simply for an exhibition, I would not have bothered.

To add insult to injury British Museum had the gall to ask for a donation!

Autumn 2011, I went to the Sistine Tapestries at the Victoria and Albert. I never had this trouble. The tickets were there for me to collect.

I am always baffled why people think it is easier to buy on-line as it has never been my experience. I find it is far easier to pop in a shop. You can see and handle what you are buying and it is there in your hand to take away.

I wished to buy PaintShop Pro X4. I tried Amazon. There is also PaintShop Pro X4 Ultimate. No explanation the difference. I have never purchased from Amazon. But I am registered. It goes without saying I know not my password. Never mind, click lost password and a new password gets e-mailed to me.

Oh no, that would be far too easy. Type in illegible characters and type in last four digits of credit card. But I have never purchased anything from Amazon!

I went to PC World. Picked up off the shelf what I wanted. Exactly same price as Amazon.

Tickets for British Museum are for early music group The Sixteen, and includes free entry to Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination.

The concert is unseated! To unseat someone is to remove from office. Do they mean we stand? Do they mean seats not allocated? If so, why not say so?

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