I have been going through Uncle Eric’s stamp album to see if there is anything worth keeping (not a lot) or selling (nothing) and sorting it into different batches to give to some of the postcrossers who mention that they collect used stamps.
In the album were a couple of items not related to stamps. This was one of them (if you click on it the picture should enlarge) –
Presumably it was a handbill from an event he went to see. It gives an idea of the amount of time his and our generations spanned between them when you think that he met a survivor of Balaclava who saw the Charge of the Light Brigade.
Museums on my Wish List
Partner-who-loves-tea believes we should compile a ‘wish-list’ (she won’t call it a bucket list) of things we want to do either this year or some time. I can’t think of many things I particularly want to do - I’m too realistic about money to include some of the more exciting things like have the gutters replaced, the windows double-glazed or buy the original of Francine van Hove’s 'Les dimanches de La Rochelle' (1993) from the private collector who owns it.
Francine van Hove’s 'Les dimanches de La Rochelle'
But I did manage to think of one thing – I want to visit more museums and art galleries.
Among those I would include are Cuckooland in Cheshire (a cuckoo clock museum) simply beacuse it isn't very far away; Barometer World in Okehampton, Devon which is near my daughter's; and The Land of Lost Content, Museum of 20th century life, in Craven Arms, Shropshire.
There seems to be some debate about whether the Land of Lost Content allows photos. I have e-mailed to ask them if they do and whether I visit or not may be dependent upon their reply. One person got permission from a man on the phone only to be told when they got there that they couldn't and that 'the man was my husband and he works for me'. Strange!
National Mustard Museum
Museums I shan’t be too bothered about missing are the Dog Collar Museum in Maidstone, Kent; the National Mustard Museum in Wisconsin; Leila’s Hair Museum (jewellery made from human hair) in Missouri; the International Vinegar Museum in South Dakota; the Guanajuato Mummy Museum (dead bodies not mothercare!) in Mexico; the Shin-Yokohama Ramen (noodle) Museum in Japan; the Sulabh Museum of Toilets in New Delhi; or the European Asparagus Museum in Schrobenhausen, Germany. Does the fact that it is the 'European' Asparagus Museum suggest there is an American or Asian or African one, I wonder? How many Asparagus Museums can one have?
I thought I had already reviewed this book but according to the search engine I don’t seem to have done. Renaissance Italy is not my preferred setting for a novel but the book ‘Galileo’s Dream’ by Kim Stanley Robinson has gone straight on to my top 100 list. It mixes the exploration of a scientific discovery with tremendous characterisation and a real joy in the use of words. It also takes Galileo, and us, well into the future to explore the planets on foot. The quotations from Galileo’s writings are most enlightening while the plot is a science fiction and time travel novel with a difference.
My favourite quotation from the book – out of many – is :-
“We all have seven secret lives. The life of excretion; the world of inappropriate sexual fantasies; our real hopes; our terror of death; our experience of shame; the world of pain; and our dreams. No one else ever knows these lives. Consciousness is solitary. Each person lives in that bubble universe that rests under the skull, alone.”