London was filled with both joys and disapointments, which I suppose one can only expect to find outside of good old Yorkshire...As grandad constantly drills "If its 'artside Yorkshire it 'int worth goin'"...London especially, being full of "Soft Shandy Supping Southerners"
In fairness, it wasnt all bad, I fell head over heels for the British Museum, the Natural History Museum and for the most part, the Huntarian Gallery...topping off the good times I bawled like a complete girl through the final scenes of "War Horse" by the National Theatre Company, thoroughly embarassed enough to be forced to console myself with possibly the most expensively piss poor pint Iv ever had in my life.
London isnt the best place when your a poor starving waif of an art student, and especially when you have tendancies to be a tight fisted git, London is a financially draining farce...another farce of the emotionally draining kind was the tube at rush hour. I didnt realise rush hour applied to pedestrians and I also didnt realise that people on the tube have developed their own walk, not dissimilar to the Icelandic Horse, which has developed its own 5th gait - a sort of fast, high stepping walk that travels at the speed of a good canter...of course not everyone has seen the Icelandic horse and for those who havent, tube people arent really that graceful, and perhaps are more easily applied to the way in which pigeons will increase their waddle rate when they realise theres a bike/toddler/any moving object looming up behind them...thats the way southerners walk. Slow down, calm it and stop getting your knickers in a twist you daft bastards...
I also now understand escalators have an ettique. left is for standing, right is for running up the stairs like you did at home when you were five and were convinced if you went slowly, the monsters hidden in the hanging coats would catch you...or was it the other way around? I dont care. Its stupid, and for my next visit im going to deliberately walk with a slow dragging limp everywhere.
The Huntarian Gallery pissed me off. Granted the curiosities they have are fantastic and well worth anyones time...I did miss a fairly big section out when I realised it was inhabited by dissected frogs (my ranidaphobia extends to even the dead ones), but the intricate internal workings of the countless other animals and foetuses there motivated me to stay (something I actually havent managed to do before, knowing that theres frogs/toads there)...HOWEVER, (Prior to my expedition to London) I had researched into the current exhibitions, and being the morbid, little person that I am, had got myself thoroughly excited about a particular section entitled “EXTINCT”…”fantastic specimens”, “remains of prehistoric giants”, “a lost world of cabinets of curiosity” and “The immense megalodon shark” claims the leaflet. All very exciting prospects, however, as someone who’s main subject matter at this time, revolves around equine matter, the real lure point, was the “remains of the majestic Quagga”. With visions of doing primary sketches, making notes and spending time absorbing every little detail about this extinct creature, its safe to say I can only describe Extinct as not only a complete and utter Anticlimax but a bare-faced lie.
Wandering the corridors and staircases in earnest, like a child on Christmas Eve, desperate for a glimpse of the fat man in the red suit…or in my case, desperate for a glimpse of the extinct subspecies of plains zebra known as Equus Quagga Quagga, After much searching without luck, I resolved to asking for directions. At this point I was led down the isles of floor to roof gruesome curiosities…human foetuses, some almost fully developed, some so badly deformed they’re barely recognizable as human at all…almost like a build up, we passed the isles I had already scoured and poured over, to one I must have somehow missed…Pointing cheerfully at a shelf, the attendant announces the “Extinct Exhibition” -The Jaws of a small black tip reef shark…a DVD case for “mega shark”, a few bone fragments of the extinct Tasmanian tiger, and, to top it all off (the real piss in the cornflakes) a poorly painted A4 picture of a Quagga. I might be a mere first year art student, but I am fairly sure, that a single A4 picture…and a poorly painted, crude picture, of something that bore more relation to a badly disabled donkey, doesn’t quite constitute grounds for claiming you have actual remains of an extinct beast…correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m also of the belief, that a DVD of a film, so poor it was described in a review by The Sunday Times as “Unwatchable, almost unreviewable, this stupid monster movie makes the Bela Lugosi swan song Plan 9 from Outer Space look like a masterpiece” doesn’t quite live up to declaring “specimens of the immense megalodon shark” are there waiting for you…And stop me mid rant if I’m wrong, but even as impressive as the jaws of a Black tip reef shark are in their own right, when the exhibition (if a single shelf can be called an exhibition?) claims to have relics of a prehistoric shark that averaged 20metres in length and had over ten times the bite force of the great white shark…disappointment tends to overpower your ability to be grateful for what’s in front of you.
Perhaps if I had gone to the exhibition purely to satisfy my inquisitiveness over all things grisly, I could have looked past the letdown, and have thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the museum more...and as much as I had awed over the thousands of macabre sights on offer in the other sections; from the skeleton of the 7.7ft Irish giant, to the fairly offensive sheep intestine condom…At the end of the day, I had gone to the Huntarian Museum with the promise of a Quagga, and a Quagga there was none.