I went to the British Library to see the Silk Road exhibition on Tuesday. I really enjoyed it but it’s very dangerous if you’re at all vulnerable to the travel bug. I’ve always wanted to travel along the various Silk Road routes anyway, and the exhibition just made it worse.
Otoh, I did realise out that maybe I could combine my ambition to work in China with my Silk Road travel bug and try and get work on an archaeological dig out there.
If you go see it, check out the ‘singing sands’ at a sound post towards the end, and make sure you look up at the photography through-out the exhibition.
There’s a section on terracotta monkeys that have been found along the route. Monkeys were really popular even though they don’t occur in the area because of the same monkey myths we watched as children on tv as Monkey Magic. Look out for the particularly naughty monkeys.
Right at the end there’s a small panel on the three hares motif – the same symbol has been found in 6th century China, 13th century Mongol work and western medieval churches and no-one knows what it means or why that particular symbol caught on.

Bush is at it again.
“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful – and so are we,” the US president told a high-level meeting of Pentagon officials.
“They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people – and neither do we.” (BBC)
While you’re at it, read some previous Bushisms

“In a sign the Linux operating system may be gaining traction beyond servers and other back-room systems, Hewlett-Packard said it will be the first major PC maker to ship a business notebook computer pre-installed with the open-source software.” (news.com.au)

I like. “Welcome to UNPEELED. The small, but perfectly deformed publication that covers the kind of music played by John Peel as well as material he?s never heard of!”
If you’re still suffering the effects of the weekend, try this and don’t read this: “Prime Minister John Howard today called on Labor and the minor parties to back a ban on gay marriage in the next two weeks to make sure marriage did not become an issue in the election.

Mr Howard said the Coalition would reintroduce proposed changes to the Marriage Act to confirm marriage was a union between a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others.
“I’m therefore saying to my colleagues in the other political parties in the Senate, if we really want to … divorce this issue from the political debate let’s put it through, let’s vote in favour of it, let’s put it into law within the next two weeks,” he said.” *cough*bullshit*cough*. Don’t try and rush it through, John. (news.com.au)
“Mr Howard said the Senate inquiry was unnecessary and an insult to the Australian people.” He’d know an insult to the Australian people when he saw one.

For some reason I’m really amused today by the way the English say ‘muggy’ instead of ‘humid’.
In other news, I think I’ve found a local brasserie around the corner in Newington Green for weekend brunches. I’ve been looking up some of the history of Stoke Newington and generally finding my way around. I still haven’t unpacked everything after moving but it’ll have to wait until I have something to unpack it all into. I’m tossing up between Ikea and Argos for wardrobes and under-bed storage. Not that I really have a bed yet.

I’m back from the Big Chill. Quick highlights included Senor Coconut, Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herren Band, RSL, Lemon Jelly, Ukelele Orchestra Of Great Britain and Mylo live, Jedi Knights, Xpress 2, Armitage Shankz Sound System in the cocktail tent on Sunday night, Phil Hartnoll, Asian Dub Foundation Sound System, Bonobo, The Egg, Soul Of Man / Fingerlickin Sound System, Gilles Peterson, Bugz In The Attic and the Hexstatic Comedy Hour… and there were so many acts I didn’t get to see.