Coats and hats are in my mind again, so familiar and evocative, whilst my last visit to the Museum of London featured a Cumberbatch overcoat and an iconic deerstalker, this time I have come to see a little blue duffle coat and a little red hat. Whilst Sherlock is instantly recognisable with a pipe and a magnifying glass, I only need a battered suitcase and a small marmalade sandwich to be taken back to my childhood. Continue reading
I won’t forget the day I volunteered to plant poppies at the Tower of London, it was the 14th of September, my brother’s birthday. I thought it would be something special for us to do together, something memorable and unusual. We had an amazing day for so many reasons, from walking the empty London streets early in the morning, to seeing the poppies for the first time, to leaving the Tower with sore thumbs and knees, to getting squiffy on a bottle of bubbly at lunch. A wonderful day, just the two of us, something we so rarely do when our lives are filled with kids (me), work (him) and life in general (both of us).
At the start of the summer, out of the blue I received an email from Katherine Weston, Access Officer at the Royal Museums Greenwich. She was putting on her first autism friendly event at the Planetarium, she had read my blog and wanted to know if we as a family would like to try out the show and give her some feedback. If you are new to the blog, I have three children, 10, 7 and 4, my eldest is autistic. It sounded fantastic, another museum taking their first steps to supporting autism families. We were due to go on holiday that day and whilst I knew it would be too much for the kids to go and then be in the car for three hours, my very forgiving husband let me shoot up to town early on my own before we crammed suitcases and kids into the car for a week in Dorset.
We have all had those ‘Wow’ moments with technology, I remember seeing ‘Tomb Raider’ on the PlayStation One, it was amazing (bear with me). I am not even a gamer but the quality of the visuals and the engagement with the game was an eye opener. I was a generation that grew up with ‘Jet Set Willy‘, believe me it was a revelation. I remember watching a High Definition television for the first time and feeling like I could reach into the screen and become part of the drama. I remember when my mobile phone didn’t have a camera, now I currently have over 3,000 photos on it. Technology, digital, the pace of change, you can’t stop it. The irony is we don’t have a pause button.
A problem worthy of Sherlock Holmes himself, how do you tell the story of a man who has never lived and will never die? I have been contemplating this conundrum ever since I heard the Museum of London was following up a blockbuster Cheapside Hoard exhibition with a close up look at the master detective. As the months have passed and I have been up in conservation or down in the store in my role as a volunteer at the Museum of London, I have seen tantalising sheets of tissue paper laid over mysterious objects. My eyes have been drawn to the ‘Don’t Touch – Sherlock’ signs scribbled in different hands, laid gently over indecipherable lumps and bumps. Strangely they have held me in their thrall, for once I have not been tempted to peek or snoop, I have been waiting for the big reveal and the day has come, the wait is over. Continue reading
I always find autism blogs hard to write because they mean so much more to me than anything else I write. This is the important stuff, this is making the world a better place for my daughter and I am always struggling to find the right words to make the most impact. When I heard back in July that the RAF Museum based at Hendon had won an Autism Access Award I was so excited, here was a museum shouting to the world that they support autistic visitors, and I hoped the museum world would sit up and take notice. I couldn’t wait to arrange a meeting with Ellen Lee, Education Officer at the museum to hear about the award, why they decided to go through the process, what changes they made and what the award means for the museum going forward. Continue reading
The Horniman Museum for me is all about memories, tradition and family. I remember trips with my parents, I take my children, we go often, we spend time together and make new memories all the time. The new Horniman exhibition may be all about Romania but it is also about tradition, family, what it means to fit in, what it means to belong, what you need around you to keep those treasured memories alive when you have travelled far from home. I was late to the opening of this exhibition but luckily I didn’t miss the shot of țuică on my way in. Too late to head straight to the exhibition, I listened to the speeches of welcome and explanation of why the Romanian collection at the Horniman Museum is so much more than objects and stories, but the heart of a strong relationship that stretches back to a Romanian exhibition the Horniman put on in 1957. Continue reading