Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Show me the Culture.
My love of museums is definitely on the up, well hanging out anywhere where things are older than me is always a good thing for making you feel young in my book. And so it was, my handsome (gay) Boy Racer and I sped off in his sports car to the re-vamped Ashmolean in Oxford. What a joy. As described on The Culture Show, it really is a gem, a sort of potted V & A meets Tate Britain with bells on. We spent several free, joyful hours sucking up art and antiquities and it is very apparent just how much women featured amongst the treasures on show: goddesses, queens and leaders of life. It is also fascinating to see how advanced other civilisations were while here in Blighty we were still struggling to get out of the swamp. There are beautiful examples of carefully crafted home wares and intricately designed coins way back in the BCs and then there's a crude bit of metal that looks like it's been hammered out by a 5 year old, hundreds of years later in Britain. We were definitely the special needs country of the ancient world, no wonder the Romans had such a long run, they must have taken one look and thought 'we're having that'..... In amongst the Greek pottery we noticed an interesting caption. Their love of homoerotic imagery is of course well documented and on one dish a bearded gentleman appears to handling a younger man's genitalia, to his apparent pleasure. The label read, 'A paedophile and his victim'...... which seemed a bit judgemental. Is this a new museum directive I wonder?
After filling up on culture we retired to a near by pub, The Eagle & Child, where we were assured by the plaque on the wall that C. S. Lewis, J. R. Tolkien and the gang were regulars, although this may be true of all the pubs in Oxford. The menu featured a 'platter of pies' which Boy Racer and I decided should not go un-sampled. It was brilliant: various mini homemade pies accompanied by some of the best roast potatoes I've ever had, worth the price of the petrol alone.
Latest bit of age decay: memory. I used to be famed for my elephantine memory, the Bill Wyman of my friends, I was the keeper of the knowledge, able to inform them of the times, dates and places of loves lost and found, victories won and embarrassing mistakes made. However, for some time now I have found my conversations peppered with 'you know, what's his name, in that show, the one with the other one,' and my friends do know, and they can't remember the elusive names either. However, it's getting worse. Although I can still recall, verbatim, a conversation I had at a party in 1982, this weekend I discovered myself horribly double booked. Expected at two different theatres on opposite sides of town, friends eagerly waiting. In an attempt to salvage the debacle and not let anyone down I mismanaged spectacularly and succeeded letting only myself down. So now the diary has become a enormous note book in which everything must be written down. And will be as soon as I can remember where I put it.
Top tip (as told to me by my 71 year old yoga teacher): When confronted by a very loud commuter, bellowing into his mobile "I'm on the train", she lent over and in her sexiest voice announced to the listener, "Don't believe a word of it" ..... that shut him up.