We had to leave our cute cabin on July 5th. None of us wanted to leave.
The last shot of Cape Breton wild flowers as we left the park.
We landed in Lunenburg where we’re staying with Tim’s parents. But I was only there for a day before I left for the IVSA conference in London.
Gratuitous shot of grumpy dogs.
Gratuitous shot of very un-grumpy cat. So, London. It was hot (how is it possible that the underground can be like 20 degrees hotter than it is outside?), but awesome. I decided I’d airbnb it, and ended up, SO WEIRDLY, staying with someone I’d never met, who turned out to be my third cousin, from the same teeny tiny town in the north of Scotland (population, 191). I had spent an entire summer playing with her first cousin and my second cousin when I was 9 and, even more weirdly, I had told Tim about her (the second cousin) just before I left (she was the only other person I’d ever met named Kirsty). Anyway, I ended up talking to a long lost auntie on the phone, and it felt very bizarre to be in a city of 7 million with someone from Achiltibuie who I’d almost met when I was a kid.
Things I love about London:
1. The crowds, the bustle, the liveliness of it all.
2. The dogs there are cuter than dogs I have ever seen anywhere else (Lucy excepted, of course). And none of them ever seems to need a leash. And they all seem to be named after kings or posh people.
3. It is always easy to buy good cheese.
Things I hate about London:
1. Black snot
2. I always seem to have a bad encounter with a pigeon
3. The crowds, the bustle, the intensity of it all
The conference was a sociology one at Goldsmiths. I heard a few good papers, and made as many jokes as possible about committing sociology (which no one got). My paper was on surveillance, satellites and astrology – I’m not sure how the sociologists felt about that, but it went over well with the Goldsmiths crowd! I met up with some friends of mine, which was fabulous, and then decided to go to Margate to see about a walrus.
Specifically, I went to Margate to see an exhibition called Curiosity at the Turner Contemporary. Margate (this will make sense to the Londoners) is sort of like the people on the number 2 Dundas bus took off 90% of their clothes and went to the beach. And there isn’t a whole lot of beach, so it is immensely crowded. Anyway, it was an experience, and the exhibition was pretty amazing.
Remember these Nina Katchadourian photos (Flemish paintings using airline toilet seat covers) that made the rounds last year? The whole series was there … super funny.
Here’s the walrus. It was actually a gift from Canada in the 19th century. The taxidermist had never seen a walrus, so he didn’t realize that they have wrinkles – now it’s more like a walrus balloon.
I spent most of the rest of the trip going to galleries and museums, so if that bores you, you should probably skip the rest of this post. There are some cool things though – like a jar of moles, and an anaconda skeleton.
Interactive wallpaper from the MFA show at Goldsmiths. I pretty much agreed with this review, but my favourite work in the show was also one that fits Prolapsarian’s critique. I liked Juju You’s tin foil, napkin and paper plate museum display. There were very few other works that caught my attention though, it seemed altogether overly precious and predictable at the same time.
St. Paul’s and Millennium Bridge from the Tate.
This doesn’t show the 300 person line-up waiting to get their photos taken.
Petrie Museum. Exciting for me because it was established by Amelia Edwards, who was definitely the inspiration for the Amelia Peabody character. Those novels were my PhD candy!
The museum is moving, which I guess isn’t surprising given that it spills out into the stairwell. But I hope they don’t change the crowded cases – I love that stuff.
Which brings me to the Grant Zoological Museum, my new favourite place.
Super awesome display cabinets. Check.
Creepy things in jars. Check (this is a jar of 19th century moles, if you’re wondering).
Giant anaconda skeletons. Check.
Examples of how terrifying nature really is. Check. OMG!
Great displays (this is the microscope slide collection)
Sense of humour – pickled things in the cabinet on the right
pickled things in the cabinet on the left
and these dudes watching over everything from above.
On my final day I visited with my grandad (99 years young), and then made my way to Heathrow where I had a typical Heathrow experience … delayed 3 hours, nightmare security line up etc. etc.
And now we’re in Lunenburg for most of the summer. Sooooo pretty.