After the intravenous excitement of Portobello, a calmer, more meditative activity was needed for Day Four, our last full day. Time for a pilgrimage to the Earth Galleries at the Natural History Museum, after picking out my jewellery for the day. I enjoyed taking this vintage 9ct yellow gold Anchor necklace I'd found at Spitalfields on Day One for a spin, before it found a new home (which it did very quickly).
My parents are from London originally, so whenever we'd visit my grandparents I'd always ask if we could pay a visit to the Geological Museum (as it was then), now part of the Natural History Museum. I wasn't interested in Hamleys, the famous toy shop, no... I just wanted to look at rocks #weirdchild
Needless to say, I filled my boots.
Let's just have a closer look at that opal...
And a case full of facets with their raw states...
And - heaven of heavens - famous collections of gemstones! <3
And thence to another part of the museum called The Vault - which is literally a vault with foot-thick walls which you walk into - to see some serious gems...
Despite all these drool worthy pieces, my favourite cases contained native British minerals, many of which from the North of England where I live.
It amazes me that this grey little island holds buried secrets as bright and glorious - in their own way - as all the minerals of Brazil or India. I saw cases of stones from Northumberland, County Durham, Cumbria, Cornwall, Devon...and miraculously, even the earth under my very house!
Despite all the amazing presentation of the new displays, I love best the old-fashioned displays without all the modern bells and whistles. They remind me of my childhood visits; lined up like silent and unaggressively acquiescent boxes of knowledge, happy for anyone who comes along to discover their secrets. Simple lined-up rows of rocks, with plain labels; it makes me feel eight years old again.