Archive for the ‘Museums’ Category

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~ This is a re-post; the only photo I have which has something to do with the Sepia Saturday prompt this week.~


Meet Chester.  He lives in Beamish.  I didn’t know his name, didn’t know if he had a name.  The moment he came near enough to be touched I decided he wouldn’t be ‘A Horse with No Name,’  that horse created in Dorset, so I named him myself.

Chester is a heart stealer.  This moment will breathe eternally fresh in my stock of beautiful emotions.  I held out my palm.  He checked what’s in it: mint candies, and he didn’t hesitate to lick them off as if chiding, “what took you so long to give me my treat?”  I forgot the shivering complaint of my south-east Asian blood against the cold of North England.

I told Chester to leave some for me.  He kept on eating til my hand was empty.  I giggled and he understood I had more.  It only took a second for him to realize where were the rest.  He licked my purse too!  The force of his tongue gave me a gentle push. His intelligence sealed my admiration for him.  That’s when I patted his head.  We exchanged the same unspoken message of thanks.  His grateful eyes melted my dancing heart.


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Chemistry class



The Iron Lady’s husband was once asked, ‘who wears the pants in this house?’

Mr Thatcher replied, ‘I do. And I iron them too.’

Whether I could tell Le Boyfriend that anecdote or not, I remembered it as I watched Margaret Thatcher’s funeral on youtube last week.  He is not a fan of the late premier but I kind of teased him anyway when news of her passing came off the media – that they share one thing in common and that is their education in Chemistry.


I do not know how I passed Chemistry in school. Some of us in class would tell each other a joke about a test item in which the teacher would holler, ‘write the chemical symbol for water.’  John asks a seatmate for the answer, and the seatmate whispers: “H2O.”  John then writes “H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O.”

We used that humor to temper the difficulty we faced every week. All those symbols to memorize. The correct quantity of poisonous liquids mixed in a way that will not kill you in case you were forced to drink it.  A .0001 error and you’re comatose. The teacher wanted us to learn accuracy. We just wanted to survive the class and get on with our lives.

Twenty-years later I visited this schoolroom in Beamish, sat by that wooden lectern but kept my distance from the flasks and bottles. Every minute staring out the glass window and reminiscing high school Chemistry was perfect fun. That’s because I knew I was there to observe history in an English classroom, and not to be grilled in atoms, behavior of matter, energy, or what have you….

Thank goodness there was no Chemistry test that day.

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Deutsch: Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle (vo...

Deutsch: Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle (vor der Flut 2004), Cornwall. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three of the ten unusual museums listed by tripadvisor, are found in England: the British Lawnmover Museum in Merseyside, the Cumberland Pencil Museum in Keswick, and one that sounds quite intriguing – the Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall.

On the Witchcraft Museum website you will find an image carousel of objects that are available in the museum. There’s a guided tour of a selection of artefacts.

This was a virtual sequel to my fairy tales.

Cecil Williamson, the museum founder provides much of the text presenting history and references of the collection. Some of them are already familiar to me like spells, charms and curses, divination, mandrake root (which I really thought existed only in the pages of the HP series), runes, Madam de la Cour, and tea leaves; all thanks to Harry Potter. I had to google scrying though.

You probably wouldn’t want to try the mirror.

The text on Mother Goose sounds very interesting. Like, really?! The Mother Goose rhymes? the Mother Goose stories? A cousin calls her mom Mother Goose when she’s nagging or fussing over domestic trivia. I can’t wait to tell her Mother Goose was a witch!

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