The other reason I stayed at the flat last night was in order to be fresh and bright for a photo shoot at the Science Museum. This had been planned a couple of months ago by the volunteer co-ordinator in an attempt to update the website with pictures of actual volunteers (currently the site has images of full time staff pretending to be volunteers) and to produce brochures and flyers.
Sally (the co-ordinator) at first organised a date I couldn’t make but this was changed to today and was totally looking forward to it. I mean, I even had a haircut and colour in Queensland last week especially.
First thing though, I woke up at 5am, looked at my watch, groaned and went back to sleep for an hour. 6am saw me up and out of bed, scrabbling for a black coffee (the milk in the fridge had turned to a watery cheese). The excesses of last night had left me feeling somewhat seedy so it was a rather slow start to the day.
Eventually the shop downstairs opened so I could buy some fresh, usable milk, which was a good deal easier to get down. I left the flat at 9am and walked to the ferry.
The ferry is still the best way to start the day. A lovely, leisurely float up the river, beats the packed with humanity, smelly and hot Tube, any day.
I grabbed a latte at Starbucks at South Kensington and then went down to the basement. Everyone was pleased to see me (they’re such a nice bunch of people down there) and I settled into Kevin’s desk as if it was a Friday. I was surprised not to see Kevin because he’s usually in on a Monday but Nick told me he was climbing a mountain in Scotland somewhere for a couple of weeks…as you do.
The photo shoot was scheduled to begin at 11am. I was sitting at the desk, going through my hundreds of emails (I felt like Mirinda) as the clock moved to 10:57. Suddenly the voice we all dread suddenly broke the silence of the basement.
“Please evacuate the Museum by the nearest possible exit.”
And so we all grabbed our coats and walked out into Exhibition Road while the fire brigade sorted out whatever needed sorting out. The museum had been opened for an hour so there were plenty of visitors as well as staff to account for. And then, for half an hour, we stood outside one of the UCL buildings, waiting for the all clear.
Eventually we were allowed back in and I once more sat at Kevin’s desk to finish deleting emails.
After a while I decided I could actually do some work while I was waiting. And I discovered that a MIMSY record was completely wrong, identifying a ship model as a ship that never existed. I love it when I do that. Nick was also delighted.
I emailed Sally to find out what was happening with the photoshoot now she was horribly behind schedule. I didn’t really want to spend the entire day there if she was going to reschedule but she assured me that she’d be down soon.
And so she was. Firstly they went into the file store to photograph Christina sorting out the file boxes (the photographer told us that was difficult to make interesting) and then, finally, they came to me.
There followed almost an hour of sitting still and changing position by millimetres as she snapped away with various lenses and with Nick holding the flash gun. I saw some of the photographs and they look very good but who knows what Sally will use. After ‘doing’ me, they were off to shoot some front-of-house volunteers in the museum and these are the ones that are generally used. We’ll see. Obviously, I shall post more when I find out.
It was then home for me with the promise of my return on Friday.
And the poodles went insane. Generally they jump around and say “hello, we’ve missed you” for about five minutes but today, after a month. they refused to leave me alone for about two hours.
While the garden is not at its best following our trip, a lovely bunch of poppies have emerged from the hot border, considerably brightening everything.
And in the ex-nettle bed, the Cistus bushes are awash with flowers. The white ones are more widespread but I rather like the pink ones.