Lord H and I have spent a wonderful day up in London visiting The British Museum and enjoying the wonderful and sparky Hadrian exhibition. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area, but do book a ticket. However, both Lord H and I are now worried about our ear lobes - as we have the same diagonal mark on them that Hadrian had, which is apparently a sign of heart disease. Oh goody, another medical worry - just what we need, eh!... Anyway, I'm actually halfway through the exhibition book, as Lord H kindly bought it for me a couple of weeks ago, but I also bought the gift-book small version while I was there. Finished that on the train. I do love Hadrian. As you can tell. What an interesting chap and of course so wonderful Greek in his ideas. In oh so many ways.
Whilst at the Museum, we also paid our respects to Cromwell's death mask, admired the Elgin (sorry - Parthenon now ...) Marbles, gasped at the mummies, and wandered round the Living and Dying exhibition, and also the Japanese galleries. All great fun. I was particularly taken with the vast shawl of pills (which is really the only way to describe it) in the Living and Dying section, which told us that each person is on average prescribed about 14,000 pills in a lifetime. Goodness, it's amazing we survive at all really - though Lord H did remind me that I'm taking his ration too, so it saves him the effort. Dammit, he's probably right - shake me and I'll rattle.
Strangely, on this Hadrian-obsessed day, I've finished Marguerite Yourcenar's Memoirs of Hadrian. Some fascinating facts for sure, but I don't really think it works as a novel. It's too constrained by the amount of its research to have any life of its own. Which is a shame, as it could have been brilliant. But it's not. Plus, it's very, very French - they do have a particular style of writing in a philosophical bent which I don't think any other nation does (though feel free to prove me wrong!). Perhaps it would be better in the original French indeed? The poetry would come out more then. Anyway, it's an interesting lesson of how you can get so consumed by your novelistic research that you are totally unable to write the book. That's my opinion at least.
Tonight, I'm getting my glad rags on for Strictly Come Dancing, and I'm videoing the plethora of Medieval programmes there also appear to be on. I'm a sucker for anything Medieval really.
Time since The Gifting submission: 4 months
Today's nice things:
1. The Hadrian exhibition
2. Seeing Cromwell's death mask