Saturday, June 23, 2012

More formaldehyde anyone?

Today I was having a spontaneous meet up with my two closest friends from England who I only see when I happen to be across the border. Although I wanted to give myself a lie in I had already trained myself to get up at working hours, aka 7:30am. However my friend Gabby is a morning lark and this meant we could arrange a meeting point and time. She decided to head into London for around 12 and although tfl told me it would take almost an hour, I arrived with half an hour to spare.

After numerous timing issues we did eventually all meet up and followed our stomachs to Covent Garden. Alas, our stomachs didn't get us much further than that as we did several loops around the place waiting for someone to make a decision. This is why Tasha is an integral member of the trio, otherwise we would still be looping Neal's Yard now. She led us along to a Carluccios, which happened to be the one restaurant in London I can remember eating in. Even still, it was better than wandering around in the rain again.

I had fritto misto which is battered things from the sea with garlic mayonnaise followed by some chocolate profiteroles. After a long catch up, and an extravagant lunch for a group of three students we headed back out to London with our classic mindset of none what-so-ever. Following our feet, and to some degree our noses, and ended up in Covent Garden Market trawling through the numerous gift shops including The Moomin Shop where memories of 10 year old me appeared out of nowhere and I finally figured out where my love of all things Scandinavian comes from. The many, many gift shops also unleashed Tasha's tea-set fetish and well Gabby just loved all of it. Using our feet again we decided to just wander off but for some reason we all decided we should go into the British Transport Museum after spying a pillow made to look like a train ticket, that's the kind of tacky crap I love. The entry fee to the museum was not even on the map of acceptable, but the shop was free and lets be honest a museum is just a warm up act to it's gift shop, especially this one to me since I am a major map enthusiast and wannabe pilot.

This time we actually did wander but with the aid of flipping a coin. We were testing out the theory that you can't really get that lost in London because no matter where you are you will probably stumble across a tube station  and a tortoise can travel between bus stops in the city is less than an hour. The game took us through Theatreland and we ended up at the Hunterian Museum which I had read about the day before in a "I-should-really-go-there-for-uni-brownie-points" kind of way. The Hunterian Museum is part of the Royal College of Surgeons and is a collection by John Hunt who was re-known for his skills in dissection and preparing specimens as well as teaching using comparative anatomy of different animals rather than focusing on just human anatomy. The Museum itself is quite a bizarre place, it would take so much time to properly look at every single specimen in the building, my friend Gabby put it beautifully, "He must have liked Jam to get all these glass jars."

The museum was a classic example of something grotesquely fascinating, some things were just plain shocking. The human specimens were the most bizarre and particularly the foetal examples, it was something you just don't see in any other scenario. As a biology student I found everything pretty fascinating but after basking in a room of unthinkable amount of death things in formaldehyde and watching several videos of arterial bypass' and brain surgery, I couldn't help but feel a bit pale.

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