Wednesday, February 23, 2011

the Book of the Dead

Current work: new Riva
Listening to: DH’s iPod (say no more)
Reading: Katherine Webb, The Legacy (enjoying, but I would have liked to be made to think a little harder to work out the big secret – and I know I got it right because I was pulled out of the story by this point and went to the end to check. Plus I’m a pedant when it comes to the misuse of speech tags – brings out the copyeditor in me instead of the reader, which is a bit of a shame)

Had a wonderful trip to London. Admittedly, the book for which this was originally going to be research is currently on the back burner, but it’s still valid research as that book might just morph into something else.
Should warn you now, there's a nerd alert as we went to see an exhibition (my birthday treat to me!), which was...

… at the British Museum (I really do love the Millennium Court).

What struck me most was how clear all the colours were, for papyri that were more than 3500 years old. Absolutely stunning. Now, you’re not meant to take photos, but other people were taking pics, so I decided to be a little naughty as well (the flash was off, so I wasn’t doing anything that would damage the exhibits – also means the quality isn’t brilliant).

This is Anhai, the chantress of Amun; the papyrus comes from Thebes, dated 1100BC.

This one is from Nebqued’s Book of the Dead, 1400BC.

The ancient Egyptians believed that the flesh of their gods was made of gold, which was why they painted coffins gold. This is Henutmehyt’s coffins from Thebes, 1250BC (usually in the upstairs exhibition and I have pics of it from years ago, too).

I really liked this crocodile – another from 1400 BC. (Blurry because of light conditions!)

And this is Ani and Tutu playing the game of senet (Thebes, 1275 BC). Next to it was another papyrus showing lots of different animals playing senet. There were also senet boards on display, one of which really reminded me of Victorian watercolour boxes.

Though one pic that even my daughter couldn't moan about me taking (she doesn't have a rebellious streak yet, bless her) was the ceiling in the exhibition room. Just gorgeous.
After that, we had a wander round Greenwich; though it was a dull, dull day outside (not actually raining, but looking as if it was going to start at any second) and it made me rethink the location of my department store for the current Riva. Home late; semi-early start this morning as DH needed an eye test (and was amused when the optician remarked on his resemblance to Bruce Willis… though his current question is whether Bruce wears glasses, as he (DH, that is) is now officially middle-aged and needs them for distance).
The rest of today is for thinking and catching up writing my thank you letters (which are late because I should’ve done them a week ago), and sorting out times to do some library PR in April as I have a nasty feeling that I’m going to be in Rome when my lovely ed wants me to show my face. It may involve reading the royal wedding scene from the book that happens to be out in the US in April, and was out in April a couple of years ago her – OMG, make that three years ago. Where IS the time going?


Elissa Graham said...

Kate your photos took me back to my trip to Egypt *gasp* ten years ago and how awestruck it left me (in so many ways). What a lovely birthday treat to give yourself.

Kate Hardy said...

Elissa - very envious about your trip to Egypt! This was planned as a warm-up to ours in April, except with the political situation being so difficult we decided it was better to put it on hold. I do hope things settle down quickly, for the sake of the Egyptian people; and hopefully we'll get to see Luxor another year.

London is always a treat, but this was a special pleasure :o)