Treasure in the River…

Just spent one of those happy days where you’re pleased to be living in the big city… We went into town for lunch at the Photographers Gallery looking at photos of the Rif in Tangiers… Went over the LGC for my Block Printing Colour fix (new favourite paints) and somehow a box of Caran D’ache pencils threw themselves my way too…

Walked up to the British Museum and saw some Kennington Stone carvers chipping away on the front steps… Inside we wandered amongst the exhibits in the Enlightenment Gallery – objects arranged in the way people would have catergorised them in the 18th century, many of them bearing C18 labels, or set upon C18 mounts.. The whole room feels like a kind of cabinet of curiosities or an amazing collection in an eccentric uncle’s library. In fact the room is called the King’s Library, where the books of King George III – that he left to the museum after his death 1820 – were housed before being sent to the British Library.

Also, if you get the chance, check out Room 2 where selected objects from Japan, Iran and Britain are on display while their permanent galleries are being refurbished. Amazing Bronze age finds from the River Thames (a 350 – 100 BC bronze shield inlaid with glass at Battersea Bridge, 150 – 50 BC bronze horned helmet found near Waterloo Bridge, a 1 AD Roman helmet near Kew and the bronze head of the Emperor Hadrian – 2 AD – from near London Bridge!).

There were also weird neolithic stone balls, hundreds of which keep showing up in Scotland, their carving reminded me of sculptures by Peter Randall Page.. Oh, and they have their ‘hands on’ volunteers in there too – I held an axe head from Norfolk carved *6000* years ago! (luckily you hold objects in both hands over a padded table – phew!)

In the BM shop I got suckered by the Peter Jackson illustrations and bought a book about London Bridge – it has those little diagrams that show cut-aways of buildings with people in the attic, climbing stairs etc that I love…

Walked up to Lamb’s Conduit Street, one of my most favourite streets in London. Up until the Starbucks opened at the bottom end of it :( , every single shop or business along it is independently owned. Visited Persephone Books – another one to add to this list – and then to the Lamb for a quick half before heading back to Brixton.

:)

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