|Available from Hive.|
What better time to go than in the lead up to Halloween! Some children on a trip to an obscure little Egyptology museum in darkened university buildings? I'm sure there must already be a film about it.
I managed to snaffle a neighbour's piglet who is into this kind of thing, being like Piglet an avid reader of the Rick Riordan books - in which the dyslexic hero with anger management issues turns out to be a demi-god. (I really recommend these. The films are a jolly lead-in to the books. After seeing the film and starting to read the books, Piglet ceased to drag her feet - literally - and moan 'I'm bored' when going round classical antiquities. Although she does annoy us now by asking intelligent questions about the Greek gods, correcting our mis-informed ideas about their genealogy and telling us their back story in precise detail - luckily not the unsuitable bits about Zeus's extramarital affairs.)
I also got the neighbour's small boy piglet along by casually mentioning that we would be going for fish and chips and ice cream sundaes after the museum trip.
|Available from Hive.|
It's a fair drive to Swansea, so I provided a snack pack although Piglet - who was in charge of it - was having so much fun chatting that she forgot to hand out the Sunbites until the very end. You have to drive through Swansea to the university campus on the sea front, but it's pretty much straight on once you have left the motorway (at Junction 42), so it's not hard to get there. Best parking is just past the University main entrance on the right. (The beach is on your left.) There is a small and reasonably priced council car park beside The Pub on the Park, where you can get hot meals. There is also a pond with hissing geese (get back! I am a mom and I am prepared to use this butcher's bag full of heavy books on Egyptology!) and a crazy golf course. There is also parking on the other side of the road by the traffic lights (by the beach), although that one is more expensive.
You go through the university campus to get to the museum which is part of the Taliesin building. We inevitably attracted some attention, as there are very few piglets trotting around university campuses in term time. I overheard the neighbour girl piglet say to Piglet: "They are staring at us cuz we are the coolest." The good thing about university campuses is that there is bound to be a toilet in any building you are passing by, so when one or other piglet says they need it desperately you don't have to run to the museum, you just pop into some laboratories or lecture theatres, whatever you are walking past, and look around for the door with the toilet sign on it. Nobody asks you questions although they look at you in a puzzled way, because they spend all day being asked stupid questions by jealous rival academics. They know better than to invite the sort of scornful looks and sarcastic responses which they know they will get off some woman in a scruffy Barbour, who is already confidently shepherding three piglets along in a sharp tone of voice.
The museum itself was so much fun that the small boy piglet wrote This is awsome Dad in hieroglyphs. It's actually designed for school trips now so it's really well set up for kids. There was hardly anyone there the day we went. Half term will probably be more crowded, especially as there are some workshop activities planned. There are only two rooms: the House of Life and the House of Death, and there is a gift shop which is nearly as big as the rest of the museum of course.
|Tutankhamun's Senet set (Wikipedia)|
I was reminded of a friend of mine at university who was doing Egyptology. Part of his exam was to draw an artefact and they fetched a 4000 year old bowl out of the university museum for him to draw. He dropped it and it broke. He came round to see another friend and myself weeping and pale, saying: "I'm going to fail! I'm going to fail!" We were able to comfort him, saying: "No, you are the only student in the whole department. If they fail you they will have a 100% failure rate so they're not going to do it."
I believe that in subsequent years if they managed to recruit a student they would give them a replica to draw.
(Oh, he passed, of course.)
|Egyptian pillow from |
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
We didn't have time for the House of Death, just time to cruise the gift shop which was packed with cheap jolly scarabs and where I even managed to get a very reasonably priced coloured glass perfume bottle for a female relative for Christmas. In fact it was so reasonably priced that I think I will go back. Er, I mean, I think the educational value of going round the House of Death and learning mummification (perhaps in a practical way on the small boy piglet) would be so valuable that we ought to go back. LOL, seriously, we didn't have time to do the Egyptian mathematics which looked both entertaining and extremely high in educational value, so I will definitely go back.
|Sidoli's ice cream sundaes |
from previous trip.
By then it was getting a bit late to be going for fish and chips and ice cream sundaes at Sidolis, which is where I always go if I am anywhere in the vicinity of Porthcawl cuz it is delicious beyond the dreams of small children dreaming of ice cream. While cruising out of Swansea, I suddenly spotted a large M and so I neatly cut across three lanes of traffic (thank you kind and courteous white VW beetle who let me in) and took the piglets for a surreptitious McDonalds meal. There are many different kinds of experience in life, and I like to provide a variety of them for Piggles.
(For further reading, I recommend Draw Like an Egyptian, which surreptitiously teaches piglets about life in ancient Egypt while they think they are just having fun drawing.)