Things I’ve learned working in a museum (part VII)

How to clean an halibut skeleton…

This is a delicate procedure, requiring several paintbrushes of varying size and softness, and a conservation hoover with a long, narrow, flexible attachment (for getting into those hard-to-reach places under the fish’s head, fins, and ribs). And also glue, for reattaching those bits that inevitably fall off as soon as you touch them (not my fault – it’s a very old, greasy, and fragile specimen!). Et voila! Your halibut is good as new, and ready for re-hanging on the wall.

Yes, folks, it’s been a weird week. Spent mostly photographing and editing photos of the museum’s displays (lots of them. I took over 600 photos in the end! Some of them re-takes of shots that came out blurry, but that’s still a lot of editing!). I have also labelled, bagged and sealed dozens of bird nests and insect store boxes, cleaned an halibut skeleton, written a new label for the halibut skeleton, cleaned the finger smears off the glass tops of the insect display cases, fed the frogs, bearded dragon, millipede and harvest mice…and slept. A lot. It’s been tiring! But fun. I may have been so exhausted that I crashed out on the sofa as soon as I got home a couple of nights this week, but at least it was a satisfied ‘job well done’ sort of exhausted! It’s a good feeling to get done in two-and-a-half days things that the curators have wanted done for the last two years! Even if editing photos is a bloody pain in the arse. Not to mention the back, shoulders, and eyes! Staring at a computer screen all day is really not good for you at all! Which is why of course I’m now sitting at home staring at a computer screen, telling you how much I hate staring at computer screens. *Sigh*.

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