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Museum Day

#BEDM Day 18, topic Museum Day – who even knew?  That’s one of the great things about these blogging challenges, I learn so many new things.

As anyone who has read my blog before – surely there must be someone? – I attended a poetry writing day at the Ashmolean a while ago.  It was a good day, wandering around the museum looking for inspiration.  At the time I promised myself that I’d do it again; needless to say I haven’t yet but now I’m reminded about it I will try to visit again soon.

My first museum experience was at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.  I remember being taken there and enjoying looking at all the exhibits.  I loved the costumes, the mock up rooms (I remember a cobblers shop & a nursery) and the mummies.  My mum didn’t like the mummy gallery and would try to steer us away from it but both my sister and me loved the painted sarcophagi and the idea that there were dead bodies wrapped up in them! Pair of little ghouls we were.

But the stuffed animals, well those were my favourite.  All those creatures, dead for ages and arranged in glass cases with painted backgrounds.  There were tiny creatures – voles, mice, bats – who I felt really sorry for; big cats – the tiger was a favourite of mine; and the animals that frightened me a bit (OK a lot!) – the polar bear with its bared teeth and pink tongue, a variety of snakes and cases of spiders and beetles, which I find fascinating now (more so the beetles if I’m honest!)

As a family we’ve enjoyed Morwhellham Quay in Devon.  This is a living museum where you can see what life was like in previous centuries when Morwhellham Quay was a thriving port.  There’s a great waterwheel, it’s really peaceful and you can take a carriage ride.  When my son was young he enjoyed going there and looking at all the things from ‘the olden days’; there were demonstrations when we went there and you could watch people enacting former professions – baking (which he seemed to think was exotic even though I baked weekly!) and a chemist shop where they told us all about the potentially lethal things that were prescribed in days gone by.

Now he’s all grown up we don’t tend to ‘do’ museums as a family but I still enjoy a wander round them.  If  I’m ever in a new town or visiting London I always head for a museum.  It’s a wonderful way to wile away a few hours – and they often have a great shop to sooth my retail muscles!

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