Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tooting Common

I went a lovely special view of the Tutankhamun exhibition at the O2 last night, courtesy of the National Geographic Channel. It was great - a bit like seeing it in a shopping centre - but great nonetheless. Countless priceless artifacts and treasures, with soothing James Bondish music and audio commentary by Omar Sharif. It was like that scene in For Your Eyes Only at the Pyramids. I was expecting to be knifed by a shadowy assailant at any second.

My only complaint was that there was no big reveal, no death mask as it's too fragile to travel, but it more than made up for it with plenty of other stuff to absorb. The craftsmanship is amazing, and the fact it's lasted all these years speaks volumes. I couldn't quite get my head around the fact that it's all so old, he said stating the obvious.

Sadly you exit the exhibition via the gift shop, which was more King Tat than King Tut, so I didn't buy anything. I'm not ready for Ancient Egypt Monopoloy or a mock-Arabian tea set quite yet.

Then a sumptuous middle eastern banquet followed and nice goody bag too. But have you ever been to the 02? It's bloody miles away from anywhere. And I can't believe how big it is. I've never been before, though I was working for Sky at the time of the launch of the Millennnium Dome, and we got tons of free tickets to go and visit, but I never fancied it.

Now, it's got a high street of shops and restaurants, a huge ice rink as well as two arenas. Much bigger than you think. But if there's no Tube, as there was last night, what do you do?

Still better than watching football. Not that I would anyway. I'm relieved that England are out. No deluge of footy themed everything next year. They're paid too much and they don't care. Why should we?


A Kitten in a Brandy Glass said...

I saw an exhibition on the Rosetta Stone and ancient writing systems at the British Museum a few years ago, and one of the exhibits was a document written in hieroglyphs that was basically the sick list from a major temple building project. It listed various workers from the site and why they hadn't come in to work on various days: "stung by scorpion", "eye trouble", "his mother is ill", etc. I found it utterly charming that human nature has changed so little in 4000 years.

TimT said...

I've got to disagree with you about the O2. Went to see Lucinda Williams there (in the smaller venue, Indigo2) on Monday and was mightily impressed. 20 minutes on the Jubilee Line from Bond Street and a couple of minutes' walk (under a covered walkway, much appreciated in the pouring rain) to the venue. The journey home to Fulham took me an hour exactly, which compares well with getting back from the West End.

True, I don't what you'd do without the Jubilee Line, but there is a big bus station and taxi rank. And there's apparently a car park with 2,000 spaces if you prefer to drive.

TimT said...

Oh, and we had a choice of about 20 eating options before the gig. We were a bit late, so we opted for sushi from one of those conveyor-belt places.

Ishouldbeworking said...

I saw the Death Mask when he toured in '72.