Saturday, August 1

Brit Museum

Here we goof beneath the Foster quadrangle next to the Reading Room.

The kids prepared, having been here this year with their school, and Eitan makes a sheet of hieroglyphics for him and Madeleine to check-off during the Egyptian hall. Symbols include the 'key of light,' scarab, serpent and lotus flower. Sonnet and I follow the Shakespeares from obelisk, to sculpture and finally the Rosetta Stone herself while the kids fill up their page with marks. We love the enthusiasm. Eitan then happily drags us to see "ginger" who is a mummy with - weight for it - ginger hair. Me to Madeleine: "Tell me one thing about a mummy." Madeleine: "It has..." Me: "Do NOT say ginger hair." Eitan adds helpfully: "His name begins with 'g.'

Ginger entombed sometime around 2000 B.C. His crypt includes clay pots and other nick nacks confirming the Egyptian belief in the after-life. Of equal interest next door is Cleopatra whose sarcophogus also on display - she was entombed at 17.

We then hussle through thousands of years of history and many civilisations so Madeleine can hit the gift-shop. She has several pounds though not from her allowance, which was pre-spent weeks ago. So she buys a Rosetta Stone magnet.

Me to Madeleine: "Who's on top of Nelson's Column (in Trafalgar Square)?
Madeleine: "How should I know?"
Eitan: "Christopher Columbus?"
Me: "I'll give you one hint - it is not Christopher Columbus."
Eitan: "Is it Nelson?"
Me: "Good grief, thank you."