It’s, like, ten thousand spoons…

…OK, 10,000 might be a bit of an exaggeration, but we do have a LOT of spoons in our collection. And over the past several weeks I’ve seen most of them. We are currently reviewing the anthropology collections of the museum (which involves checking the documentation of the objects and photographing them), and doing so thematically – the first two themes that our teams are looking at are Magic and Food. I am currently on the team looking at food, and what did we find in Bay One, Shelf A? Spoons. Lots of spoons, from all over the world.

And I’ve been surprised at how interesting it has been…some of the spoons aren’t much to look at, but some of them look like this! We took many, many photos of this spoon, and still they don’t quite capture the intricacy of the carving or the glory of the whole object. These two little beauties from India are also some of my favourites. They are made of brass, with scorpion-shaped handles! They are both different as well – one has his legs bent under him so that he stands up, and the other has his tail raised to strike!

When we have time, we’ve been trying to put some of our favourite things on the museum’s new(ish) Tumblr page for all the world to see. It’s been quite popular so far, and it’s been fun to see the reaction to our objects.

I feel like I’ve used the word ‘spoon’ too many times in this post. But I’ve lost the ability to talk about anything else now – I am immersed in a world of spoons (at least until we finish the next couple of shelves and get on to knives…).

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A World in White

Real snow is something of a rarity in London. So when it does come, it always seems to come as a surprise. It has been snowing steadily all day; small, fine flakes that don’t loook like much, but that, if given enough time, can transform the world into a blanket of white. I decided to go for a walk in the snow this afternoon, so I put on my trainers, walked out the door…and on discovering that I was standing in ankle-deep snow, went back inside and changed into my wellies.

I wandered across Peckham Rye Common, amused by all the giant snowmen that were in the process of being erected – and demolished – and into the park, to see how the birds were faring in this chilly weather. Quite well, as it turns out. The usual contingent of mallards, coots, moorhens, tufted ducks and Canada geese were well fed, and had been joined by a large number of black-headed gulls, a stately grey heron, and an opportunistic robin.

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While the birds on the pond are being taken care of by kindly locals with bags of grain and bread (although bread is actually not good for most birds), some other birds are clearly struggling…most sources will tell you that you would be very lucky to ever catch sight of a woodcock on the ground, but yesterday morning there was one in my tiny urban scrap of garden! I’m asuming that it came from Peckham Rye Park, as there is a wooded area there, but it must have been hungry to start foraging in a space as open and dangerous as a garden. Luckily for the woodcock, the cat didn’t even notice it was there, and it soon flew off again (EDIT: I’ve been informed by a bird expert that the woodcock may in fact have flown all the way from Russia before landing in my garden!).

I took lots of photos in the park. Here are just a few of them:

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