The time plus eight

4 Aug

For the last two days I have been working at my local museum, assisting the education officers with their summer events for children.  Amongst other tasks like handing out worksheets, my main job has been to adorn small children with Roman costumes, whilst desperately trying not to touch any bit of them in case I get taken to prison.  This has been, overall, a great success, first and foremost, because kids love costumes and their parents had joygasms seeing their dear offspring in helmets and armour.  I have heard the expression ‘Mummy’s little soldier’ more times than I would care to recall.  HOWEVER, I know very little about the Romans.  This wasn’t an issue in general, as I would say the words fort and battle and most people at least pretended to be impressed, but one or two small boys had been reading their Horrible Histories books a little too closely for my liking, and saw straight through my bluffing.  After some sceptical looks and a few too many questions, I managed to play my trump card (‘Did you know the Romans called this armour lorica segmentata? SEGMENTED ARMOUR!!’) and grab their mums to take photos, but it was touch and go for a while.  Next week: Eygptians.  I am definitely scheduling in a Wikipedia session or two before hand to avoid humiliation in front of the under-tens becoming a weekly occurrence.

Being at the museum has proved a nice distraction from missing my friend Steph too badly.  She has a blog, which you can find here, that she is keeping about her time in Japan.  The internet and the prospect of letter writing are presently keeping me satisfied, but I find myself adding eight hours to the time here several times a day to think about what she might be doing.  Despite having more to do than normal, this song has been cropping up in my consciousness rather more often than I would like:

Fortunately, before my head needs to get too acquainted with the inside of an oven, I have a few jaunts planned in the near future, including a visit to one of my favourite local-ish attractions, Yorkshire Sculpture Park , a trip to see Mike in Beverley, and finally, an eagerly anticipated long weekend in my relatively new flat in Newcastle.   I have pretended to be a proper grown up for a while, and have arranged for Virgin to come out and connect me to the internet when I get there, for I fear disastrous consequences if I was ever to be left to my own devices in an internet/tvless flat for more than a few hours.  I might, God forbid, have to leave it to seek entertainment.

I had toyed with taking this rusting delight up on the train with me, but I think, as I’ll realistically need to take up a suitcase, it may be wholly ill advised.

I have just realised how obvious it is which wheel I have cleaned properly… I got tired after one!  I also made the mistake of taking the chain off to clean all the gunk out of the gears and the other parts that I don’t know the names of, which resulted in an only moderately clean bike, and a very dirty, tearful me, being handed a pot of Swarfega (one of my childhood fears) by my dad before I was allowed to come anywhere near the house.  Needless to say, this bike is definitely a work in progress.  But I love it dearly, despite all the abuse I face from small boys on cool bikes when I ride it around Doncaster.  I just need a basket and some road confidence and I should be sorted for a quick commute into university each day next year.

To conclude this rather information-heavy post, this is a link to my favourite new Arcade Fire song, Sprawl II (Mountains beyond mountains).  As my friend Katherine rightly noted, it sounds like Arcade Fire meets Heart of Glass, which cannot possibly be a bad thing. The peanut butter/jam combo of music, some might say.

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