I have absolutely no idea if there were any moth visitors last night however I found yet another Small Magpie (or the same one) and another Pug this morning as I pumped myself full of caffeine.
This is because I got up early and headed to London, spent the day tramping around one moderately interesting to disappointing museum after another then sat down to the Barnardo’s Young Supporters Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in the evening.
The plain fact is museums can’t cater for people like me under pressure as they are to satisfy a whole raft of politician inspired, civil servant drafted criteria. So today museums are all clean bright enticing colours and interactivity to go but they’ve lost something in the process of installing this infotainment veneer.
For example the insect exhibit at the NHM fascinates and enthralls five year olds and perhaps informs some particularly dumb adults, but the rest of us are left with only the design qualities of the exhibits and the technology behind the interactivity to marvel at and be still contemplating as they leave.
I want to support these museums but I want something more from them in return than just the knowledge that they’re doing good and valuable work in the vast spaces not open to the general public.
The 28 million piece insect collection is being rehoused in the soon-to-be open Darwin Centre which the NHM is pushing on its website. Feeling somewhat disgruntled after yesterday’s visit – the first in twelve months, I’m left with the impression that I’ll be no better off when the Darwin Centre is open than I am today. I feel disgruntled that all the money being poured into the NHM is pushing it out of my reach.
On the one hand - the pandering speculative exhibits. The dinosaur galleries’ great flourish is an animatronic T Rex that is not pure speculation but something like that. It goes down well with children who love the frisson and with tourists. Very impressive in its way though I might find it I’m still wary of it in a museum. And I’m not very interested in it.
On the other hand the fusty exhibits so characteristic of museums of my childhood; case after glass case and no bells or whistles. Now they’re stored in parts of the museum not accessible to members of the general public but only visiting PhD candidates, by appointment and after payment of a faculty fee. They’re no longer interested in me, you see.
I’m disgruntled, mostly that the experience left me feeling deflated. I bought myself a moth book as compensation.
Then there was the concert which was the main purpose of giving up a day’s work … The Barnardo’s Young Supporters Concert raises funds for that charity and features a massed choir of primary school age children.
It isn’t quite as ghastly as it sounds and their performance is leavened by a variety of other young performers. I suppose if I had not been before I might just have taken the concert for what it was but a new conductor, a new accompanist and a new compere all mitigated against the night building on last year’s excellence.
Still, the children had a wonderful night – for most and quite possibly all it will be the only time they’ll ever perform on such an prestigious stage and so in return for helping raise money towards such a worthy cause they’ve received a memory to hold onto for a lifetime. Any quibbles on my part are of no consequence and should be disregarded.
The gardens don’t look after themselves, so although I didn’t need to water (it had rained, quite heavily) I pottered about doing odd jobs, disturbing moths that disappeared before I could bring my camera into action and generally getting very little accomplished apart from a couple of loads of washing and running the hoover over the downstairs.
Must do better tomorrow.