By Emma-Louise Nicholls, on 14 June 2011
Now as anyone who knows me personally will attest, when I do a job, I like to do it well. During my A-Levels I was the first person in my particular recruitment batch to achieve all five gold stars at McDonalds. By quite some weeks. This work ethic definitely applies to a job I actually care about. However there is one not at all subtle difference- at McDonalds I didn’t have an arch nemesis thwarting my every attempt to achieve my goals. Unlike at the Grant Museum…
The new museum is spectacular and if you haven’t visited yet I suggest you take a look back through your calendar and consider what on earth you have been doing with yourself. The room we are now in was originally a medical library and is a grandiose mix of cupboards and cubby holes in uber numbers, crannied walls, intricate railings and shelves up to the exquisitely high ceiling. However, the builder who placed the foundation stone on the 11th June 1906, clearly lacked the foresight to know that one day this room would have the ultimate honour bestowed upon it and become the domicile of the Grant Museum. As such, amongst other things, the shelves lack doors, meaning the specimens are effectively in no-man’s land. As all specimens (especially small… in particular jeans-pocket-sized-specimens) are agoraphobic, this is an issue. The temporary solution appeared in the form of perspex.
These sheets of perspex were the best we could do at the time and a somewhat genius temporary solution to the problem. Unless of course, you want to get to the specimens. There are several adoption labels behind the perspex that are out of date, and several new ones champing at the bit to go in. But the perspex, like a near-invisible force field, stands between me and a state of serene perfection for my beloved adoption scheme. I am left to helplessly paw at the sleek and mockingly thin sheet of may-as-well-be-steel and gaze forlornly at the specimens that I need to re-label. They look back at me with an expression of nonchalance but I know they feel my pain and their emotions are in a state of mirrored anxiety.
So onwards we travel. Until a solution can be found, the perspex will remain and my pain will continue. Like an itch I cannot scratch, the perspex quietly mocks me as it gathers dust thrown up by the incessant early morning building work next door which it viciously collates on its diabolically magnetic surface to slowly but surely thicken its width and increase the distance between my quarry and me. I’ve started to have dreams about breaking in at night and tearing it down but I fear they would know it was me?