A visit to the British Museum and an old friend

A retro-blog by Pat the Chooks

To continue the tale of the trip to London: after the course finished on Friday afternoon we had a few hours to kill until we caught the sleeper back to Scotland. My colleague went off to the hell on wheels that was Hamley’s toy shop to try and find the latest must-have ghastly toy for little girls and I went off to the British Museum to catch up with an old school friend who now works there. We hadn’t seen each other for perhaps twenty years, but the renewal of the friendship was immediate and rewarding. It’s great when you see that life has been good to people and they are doing the things they love and looking good for it.
He was busy in meetings for a while before he could meet up with me, so I spent a while wandering around some of the galleries before they closed and then spending time enjoying the atmosphere of the Great Court.

The Great Court of the British Museum at Night Posted by Picasa
This is an amazing space which, although it is always bustling with people and goings-on, has a feeling of tranquillity which is tangible. The acoustic is the most impressive feature to my mind, with a very long reverberation time that catches and blends and transforms the myriad languages and conversations into one susurration that washes around and over one without intruding into one’s own thoughts. It is this acoustic which means that, although people are all around you, their conversations and words are quickly lost in the reverberant mix, creating an unexpected sense of solitude in the crowd.


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