Museums of Oxford


anthropology cooking food london museums oxford swimming

It’s getting darker and colder, but so far I don’t mind. Like I said before, I’m cooking a lot of satisfying food. It’s still warm enough to get into the Hampstead Heath ponds every Saturday morning. The crowd there is thinning out and there’s now a pleasing corps of batty and rich ladies of a certain age who we’re starting to see on a regular basis.

A bowl of noodles
Leftover homemade pesto with udon noodles

I’m doing more in those dark evenings. After the office on Thursdays, we’ve been going to the pub in central London, which feels like behaviour from a previous life. I’m meeting up with friends to watch films in the cinema. The new James Bond movie was packed out.

Last weekend we went to the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers museums in Oxford. I’ve been to both before but I really like the Pitt Rivers in particular. It’s an anthropological museum and the stuff is organised into glass cases by kind, not by origin or time. So you have a cabinet full of dozens of zithers and zither-like objects from different civilisations across time. Wisely, they’ve done a lot of decolonisation work since I last went. They’ve left the old handwritten orientalist labels on things, alongside explanatory and critical notes. They no longer display human remains or things like shrunken heads, though.

A display cabinet full of old keys
Keys across time