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Saturday, 23 June 2012

We Found Real Treasure!

I started my day with a 'Run' hobble, stagger. . .whatever you want to call it. . . at 6.45am.  I was still having new running shoe issues so chose to run on meadows.  The dog thought this was a most excellent idea.  Off she trotted with her tail wagging in the air.  I managed to follow the Podcast for WK2 run 1 'Couch 2 5k' and did all of the run.  My breathing is much better but I was still hobbling like an unshod horse!  That was it!  Mind made up!  The running shop can have these shoes back. . . once I had hosed the meadow off them.  Euan and I caught the train into Birmingham.  Quite a jaunt for us home bodies.  The Running shop were actually brill and I have some new, new trainers to try on Monday.  Fingers crossed they will be good.  To make our trip worthwhile we decided to go into the beautiful building above 'Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery'.  This is my kinda trip, nice and thrifty, free entry.
               Euan is always quite difficult to focus in these places he flits around like a butterfly with the attention span of a goldfish!  I look forward to the day he slows down a bit and I can take more in, but I am used to trotting around behind him by now.  We looked at artifacts from Ancient Egypt, a mummy, a mummified cat, a mummified bird and a mummified crocodile.  Very cool.  We tried on masks of Egyptian Gods and admires ourselves in mirrors.  We looked at samples of ancient Greek Pots and Pottery.  We saw a fantastic African Textiles Exhibition 'Style Africa'.  Beautiful bright cloths and woven fabrics.  I was smitten by two really bold fabrics with 'Chicken' designs on.  We looked at art of all shapes and sizes.  This was my favourite painting, you can read more about it by clicking this link.  The colour is just beautiful, absolutely stunning.  The landscape with the backdrop of a double rainbow, in contrast to the girl's blindness, really strikes a chord.

                      The Blind Girl by John Everett Millais


It is amazing to see these works in real life.  I am not an art boff, but I would have loved to spend more time soaking in some of the beautiful works of art.  Euan had other ideas and was positively disgusted by the 'Modern Art'.  Loudly declaring 'What!  I don't get it!  Somebody in Nursery could do better than that!'  This was in response to this piece by Patrick Heron.  It is one of Patrick Heron's 'Wobbly Hard Edge' paintings.  ???!!!??? I don't get it either. . . 'Wobbly Hard Edge' beats me, what they teach in art schools.

Now no offence to Mr Patrick Heron, but I gotta admit I agree with Euan a bit here, and feel confident even I could do that surely!  Splodge, splodge, splodge. . . Bob's yer Uncle!  A work of art!

               
I also liked this piece of 'Linear Construction' by Noam Gabo 1957.  It is clear perspex and fine white thread.  It reminds me of 'Parabolic Curve Stitching' we do at school, making curves from straight lines.  Fascinating.  The Galleries are packed with many many fine works of art.  I must go again and again and get educated.  Now for the 'Treasure' part. . . are you sitting comfortably?. . . then I will begin. . . 
                In 2009 55 year old Terry Herbert was searching a field in Staffordshire with his £2 . 50 metal detector.

The field had been searched many times by others, but on this particular day Terry uncovered what is now known as 'The Staffordshire Hoard'.  The largest haul of Anglo Saxon treasure ever to be discovered.  It is worth Millions of pounds.  Anyone finding treasure has to report it within 14 days and the money is split equally between the land owner and the finder. (We have got an old metal detector in the shed)!  The treasure dates from 675 AD to 725 AD around the same time as the the Great Anglo Saxon Poem 'Beowulf'.  There were over 3,500 pieces unearthed with over 5kg of gold, 1.5kg of silver and over  3, 500 garnets.  Some of the pieces are the finest examples of gold filigree that have been seen, intricate gold work with fine thread made of gold.  It is amazing that such pieces were created to such beauty and precision without modern technology.  A small sample of the Hoard is on display in Birmingham.  It will take thousands of man hours to clean each piece.  We may never know who the hoard belonged to or how it got there, historians can only speculate, they think it may have been treasure taken from defeated Christian Warriors by a Pagan King, as the Christian pieces, crosses and pieces that have been inscribed with scriptures have been deliberately damaged.  None of the pieces relate to women.  There are amulets, weapons and decorative pieces.  Things that would have been worn by warriors and leaders to show their status.
This is a small selection that is typical of the 3, 500 piece find.  The clean artifacts on display are unbelievable and so beautiful.  What a story!  

I love this sea horse.  It is gold and patterned all over with gold filigree circles that have tiny dots circled inside them. . . it is sooo pretty.  To give you an idea of scale and how fine and intricate the gold work is, if you had a grain of rice it would be bigger than three of the circles on the patterns.  Now that is some seriously ancient and skilled workmanship.  The whole concept and reality of the Hoard just leaves you with a sense of awe and wonder.  These ancient dudes were by no means primitive.  They had immense skills, knowledge and wisdom.
             All this awe and wonder = 2 hungry bods!  We headed for our favourite Chinese Restaurant.  So did hundreds of other people.  It is a huge 'all you can eat' chinese buffet restaurant 'The Big Wok'.  It is not to everyone's cup of tea but it sure is to ours!  We queued for over half an hour to get seated.  Please don't tell the Weight Watchers lady!  I went with good intention to get running shoes didn't I?  I chose chicken, and Tofu and vegetables to sit alongside my prawn toast and noodles!  I ended my meal with a delicious desert of cold Tapioca, Coconut and melon soup.  Corrr it was lovely.  We were somewhat subdued on the train journey home.  
              I will definitely have to go more often to the Museum and Art Gallery.  The Birmingham Guild of Knitting and Crochet hold their monthly meetings in the Museum Coffee shop.  What a building to meet in.  Rather grandiose I think you will agree.  All that culture and history, mixed with yarn, needles and hooks can't be bad!  
Hope you are having a great weekend too.  :) xxx

20 comments:

  1. Evan is right, I don't get a lot of the modern stuff either. I much prefer the "old stuff" like your sea horse. I find the workmanship fascinating when you think they didn't have the precision tools we have today.

    Have a good weekend.

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    1. Amazing isn't it? I do wonder about all this 'progress'....

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  2. Interesting post Lucy
    Isn't that wonderful how exciting I'd love to find buried treasure!
    In one of the mountain town here a man digging the foundations for his villa discovered a large Hoard of Iberian gold coins,jewellery and weapons again no one knows who it belonged to just that it seemed to be something that had been quickly buried ... hidden... as it wasn't a burial site. I've seen the treasure in the little museum in Villena and its impressive, some of the gold coins are Roman and the filigree work on some of the jewellery is so very delicate and intricate. Needless to say the chap's villa cost him nothing thanks to the reward he got from the authorities.

    Like yourself I do like that seahorse...I certainly wouldn't mind a brooch like it...have to be old gold though LOL

    Amanda :-)

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    1. Thanks Amanda...I thought this one may be right up your street as you like History and tales of treasure! I would love to find treasure too, we have a metal detector but Henry used it in the back garden...when it bleeped he expected to dig holes in the lawn! I think he was detecting 'water pipes' any way! lol :) x

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    2. Ohh it very much is...
      Have to smile....my response would be quite similar...no digging holes in the lawn LOL

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  3. I do enjoy floating about local galleries and we are lucky to have so many fabulous ones nearby. Glad to hear they took your shoes back, I hope these new ones serve you better!

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    1. You are right we have a host of historical and cultural sites to explore...I must get on with it! I am keeping my fingers crossed for the shoes, I will run again in a couple of days. :) x

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  4. hi great post thanks, really interesting and have enjoyed reading about the treasure, how much did the finder get I wonder ?

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    1. I just googled how much the finder got and sadly the 1.5 million he and the land owner got has caused nothing but trouble...both men have fallen out with each other and wish the treasure had never been found! :( No pleasing some is there?

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    2. how can they ???? if they don't want the money perhaps they could pass some this way, we'll not fall out over it

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  5. So glad you were able to exchange your shoes, Lucy! and glad you and Evan enjoyed some exploring, also. I too rarely enjoy abstract art, It must have been so exciting to find the treasure and it is so interesting to view and wonder why it was buried! Since you have a metal detector maybe you should take it on your next run...you never know, Lucy :)
    Gracie <3

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    1. I have removed duplicate comments, Blogger plays Silly Billies sometimes. Thanks for your kind comments, Euan and I had a blast. He is actually great company. :) Most of the treasure was found pretty near the surface, I always wonder the hows and whys of buried treasure. I don't think I have the patience for metal detecting and there are some pretty stringent rules and regulations about it. Knowing my luck I would find an unexploded WW bomb or something equally exciting! lol :) x

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    2. oh u make me laugh!!!

      Amanda :-)

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  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  7. Hi Lucy! I would love to see all that gold! The King Tut treasure is on exhibit in Seattle, Dayle and I went to see it over 35 years ago up there and we plan to go up and see it again. You should see all that gold gleaming! Glad they took your shoes back.. they must have been bad to cause you so much pain. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  8. What a wonderful time! I'm glad you finally got new shoes. I hope they are better for your poor feet! Your museum trip sounds lovely. They are so fascinating! I've never seen an Egyptian exhibit before. Yarny time in a museum sounds like a wonderful experience! You most certainly should go at least once.
    ~Lacey

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  9. well done for sticking with the running and I am glad you had such a good visit to town...

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  10. Well done on the running! I hope your new trainers are a lot more comfortable - the image of you walking like a hobbled horse had me chuckling - sorry! I also really envy you living near museums and galleries....when you live out in the sticks, like I do, it makes me remember what I have given up!

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  11. I too am fascinated by "the treasure". Last time I visited the UK there was a tv documentary on this treasure. My local library here in PA, US has the dvd and books about this treasure too. Hope to get to the museum to see it for myself.

    Thank you for the very interesting post you have renewed my resolve to visit the UK and museum this Fall.

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  12. What an unusual lot of animal paintings. You obviously enjoy painting them. Lots of animal paintings can be browsed at
    wahooart.com who supplies canvas prints from the images. How about this one?: by Archibald Thorburn, a Scottish bird
    artist, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/
    w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8DP2A6
    , of a Great Auk.

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I appreciate and enjoy reading all of the feedback from your comments. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and sharing your thoughts. Sadly I have found it necessary to enable word verification, something I was trying to avoid...but I am receiving an unmanageable deluge of Spam! We don't want that do we? xxx :)