Visit the Ashmolean
...has been completed!
If this entry was not a 101 in 1001 completed item entry it would have the alternate title of Cripple-locks and the Three Lifts.
So, yesterday was the Eleventh Month meet up (NaNoWriMo group). Only we were supposed to meet in Waterstones as Borders is gone. And we couldn't get any seats. Well, I had my own but no one else was that organised. Mostly it was just me and Steve, one of the others popped in briefly but couldn't stay and we never found the other person who was coming. After a long while hanging around to see if we could find tables or other people who are part of the group we gave up.
And I figured as the Ashmolean is really close, free and something I've been wanting to do for ages I'd go there. Steve said he'd come with. First thing we thought we'd do is pop down to the cafe for a drink. So we got in a lift. One of those stupidly shaped ones but thats not really relevant. Pressed to go down and it took us up. And the door opened part way. Then shut. Then opened part way. Then the rest of the way. Then closed part way. And, well you get the picture it did that for a few minutes and I was getting a little freaked out. A couple who were waiting for the lift went and found a member of staff and eventually the doors openned completely and I got out of the lift just as said staff member came. Who said it had been doing that all day. So, naturally I asked why they hadn't got some form of "out of order" or "this lift is fucked and tempramental but it does sort of work" sign on it. Apparently that is because it was kind of working.
Yeah. This is a plan that works really well until it doesn't and you have to get 18 stone of cripple, their 14 stone powerchair and their friend out of a broken lift. I have treated them to an e-mail expressing the flaws of this plan and asking for their comments.
So we had a long mooch around the floor we ended up on and it was really interesting, I enjoyed it. I'd like to go back and have a longer visit and see the floors we didn't go on. There was a lot of pottery and ceramics and some coins. The Ashmolean is a museum of Art and Archaology so there was loads of stuff from the far east and from times BC etc.
A lot of that stuff is very impressive. Intricate silver swords and crosses and other things. I find it interesting because it's so hard to make that stuff and they didn't have any tool or machines to help them like we did now. But then it was probably also easier for people to do so at those times then it is to make handmade replicas now because we're used to having those machines and tools to help and do the work for us and at the time they were made they weren't so it probably wasn't so much of a steep learning curve. I can't help feeling that as much as we've gain technologically and improved our quality of life and also length of life a lot has been lost in terms of ability and skill because of that technology.
Then we came to the second of the three lifts they have. That took us down but not to the coffee shop, to a bit with a dark education centre, some stairs and some loos (but not a disabled one). So we called the lift whcih took an extremely long time (minutes) to come and was full of people so we couldn't get in. We had to wait four times for it to come with room for us to get in. And we had to wait several minutes each time. It got to the point that Steve asked, in all seriousness, if he should go for help. And commented that he was glad he wasn't in a wheelchair as it's time consuming. Eventually we got out of there but not before the song lyric "I've gotta get out of this place if it's the last thing I ever do." began to go round in my head. We must have been down there waiting for the lift at least 20 minutes, it was a surreal experience.
Wandered around on the ground floor for a while and then found the third lift. And that one was just right.
Still didn't manage to get a drink though; there were no free tables in the cafe. On the lower ground near the cafe there's a section on reading and writing. I'd like to have a good look at it but by the time we found it I was tired and I was just done. So one for another time. Another time when I know exactly which of the lifts I'll be using.