The last time I went to the British Museum with the Weasels, it was to see the Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition. At the time, I complained that it was too crowded, making it very difficult to appreciate the whole thing. Today we returned and saw the Vikings. It was a whole lot worse.
Before meeting up at the Ship Tavern, I had to take a suitcase full of clothes to the flat then rendezvous with Dawn at Waterloo. It was then a simple bus ride up to Holborn. We were first there, vigorously welcomed by the Irish barman.
John and Lindy turned up in time for a pint, slowly followed by the rest of us. We were a sizeable group though, perhaps, not more sizeable than breakfast.
That’s the second shift of diners. In the first shift, my pork belly sarnie went down very nicely. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Dawn’s sausage roll…which was horrid.
The tickets for the exhibition are timed. I think this is to keep numbers manageable. If that’s the case, it doesn’t work. We joined a queue which slowly shuffled around the glass cases. Actually, I didn’t shuffle but popped in and out, peering over shoulders, peeking between people. This, of course, means I didn’t get to see everything (unlike Bev and Jon) but I saw enough. Clearly the reviews have brought a lot of people in.
The thing is that when these exhibitions are reviewed, they are done so in isolation, with no-one but the press in attendance. They rave and generally say how brilliant it all is, as they drift around the almost empty space. Seriously, the reviewers should visit once it’s open to the masses. It’s a shame but I’m afraid it was a waste of time as far as I was concerned.
I realise it was a Saturday and at lunch time and the weather was good but, even so. It’s so much better going in the week. Or, my preferred option, going to the countries and seeing the exhibits there.
Anyway, enough moaning. The bits I saw were fantastic, especially the giant long boat. It was discovered somewhere in Scandinavia (such a shame they don’t sell £5 guidebooks, because then I could say where) and the remaining timbers have been ‘fused’ with a metal superstructure. This allows the casual museum goer to appreciate just how big these things were.
The bones from the mass burial of Vikings were pretty amazing too. I have to admit that I turned off completely when I reached the bit where the Vikings decided to become Christians. They left behind Odin, Thor and the wonderful Valkyries, having pillaged golden statues of saints from monasteries. Boring!
And I wasn’t alone. That was also when Dawn gave up on them and joined me and Anthea outside the gift shop. We were then joined by Lex and Bex. Eventually we went and waited for the others outside in the (occasional) sun.
Having waited long enough for Bev to see and read every single thing in the exhibition, we ended up heading for a pub in Covent Garden for a pick-me-up pint before ending up at the usual Coal Hole.
Okay, so I didn’t enjoy the exhibition but I certainly enjoyed spending the day with the Weasels.