Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

You Never Know What They'll Take Home With Them

 My daughter and eldest son were talking about the time I took them as children to see the bog body known as Lindow Man in the Manchester Museum. To this day Alice says she can remember everything about him: how he looked (all leathery), what he had for his last meal (some sort of nasty porridge) and how he died (the ritual triple death: garrotted, throat cut and smacked on the head with an axe).

We saw the Egyptian mummies too- but they were less real, she says, less in your face, less awesomely dead.

I didn't think twice about it at the time. I reckoned I was furthering their education (as indeed I was). It didn't occur to me that I was taking them to see the body of a murder victim.

You never know what children are going to take away from any given experience.

I went round Woburn Abbey yesterday with my eldest grandchild, Ivy, who is six. If we hadn't had a worksheet to slow us down we'd have been in and out in five minutes. Thanks to the worksheet, with its questions and exercises, we spent time listing the animals in the murals in the Blue Drawing Room, counting the Canalettos (there are twenty five in all) and looking for specific items in the magnificent dolls house (we never found the hairbrush).  She impressed me enormously by identifying all five senses personified by the dainty desmoiselles on an 18th century screen.

I wonder what she'll remember of it all....
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