First thing Monday morning, I went out to Camden Market. It's smaller than I expected, and yes, it's half a metric buttload of repetitive tat, though there were a couple of fashions I enjoyed but only were in female cuts. On the high street, though, there a couple of interesting shops, and at a Goth/Edwardian/steampunk sort of place I found a Halloween costume component, if it works right.
And to the British Museum. It's really big, and has a really lot of really great stuff.
The Rosetta Stone is thicker than I'd thought, though I don't read any of its languages, so why more than a quick look?
The Elgin Marbles are intriguing. I had never run into a list of the many times the Acropolis of Athens had been burned, captures, rebuilt, or converted to various religions. It's pretty clear that a lot less than even these wonderful fragments would still exist if it weren't for Elgin.
They have a couple of extraordinary Aztec objects covered with tightly fitted chips of turquoise, including a double-headed serpent, and a skull decorated to be Tezcatlipoca.
I have no idea how they chose the beautiful gilded statue of Tara, from Sri Lanka. It's no surprise that the Indian collection is repeatedly jaw-dropping. I made it all the way through, but was out of steam.
The 'Ram in a Thicket' (actually a goat) from the Royal Cemetery at Ur was my last must.
I'd Googled to try to find good used bookstores, but without much success. There seem to be several near the Museum, so that was next. I bought a couple of things at the Oxfam shop; skipped another; definitely skipped the Marxist one, and found the little occult Atlantis Bookshop, a hundred meters in front of the Museum. It turns out to be quite an institution; it's now the third generation of the family and will celebrate its centennial in eight years. I was pleased to see a Robert Anton Wilson in the window, and had a wonderful chat with the proprietress. The witchcraft laws were only repealed in the 1950's, so the store had been "anthropological" before that. I was very pleased to be able to refer her to Raiders of the Lost Basement
, so even though I didn't buy anything, I feel I did give.
My father's yahrzeit is the 16th of Av, and Barb went out of her way to find me a 16th of Av candle, so I went back over there at the end of the day to say Kaddish, and to wish Star Straff happy birthday. They were once roommates, and Barb and Brock and Star and Pooch were going out to dinner to celebrate.