Celebrating Pride with a visit to the British Museum and British Library

Today was the Pride Parade in London which marks 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality. The city looked like a Lush shop had exploded; rainbow flags and glitter galore. As I sat on the tube I overheard a parent explaining to her two little girls why there was a man dressed in a PVC policeman outfit holding hands with a girl kitted out as Wonder Woman. ‘It’s for a Pride March’, she said, ‘people get dressed up and celebrate that people can love who they want’. I sat feeling pretty lucky that I’m in a country where I can overhear that on public transport.

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Museum of English Rural Life, Reading

I’m am ashamed to say that I judged a museum by its title. The Museum of English Rural Life (abbreviated to MERL) just doesn’t sound too exciting unless you have an unhealthy attraction to farm yards. I grew up in the countryside and my first word was ‘tractor’, you’d think I’d be the target audience; but I just wasn’t sold . . . it’s nice when your wrongly negative assumptions are blown away.

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Tokyo Museums

Tokyo is a bubbling hot pot of culture. Not only is there the yearly blossom festivals and beautiful shrines, there are plenty of wonderful, interesting and sometimes just bizarre things to see and do. Want to drive a go cart around the city dressed as Mario, sure; Fancy a cuppa with an owl, standard; Want to see how many business men can squeeze on a train, that’s just daily phenomenon. If these things sound up your street, Tokyo is the place for you.

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Tokyo National Museum

Set in beautiful grounds that were dripping with cherry blossom, the Tokyo National Museum is a sprawling mass of culture. It boasts a collection of around 116,000 objects including 88 National Treasures and 634 Important Cultural Properties (as of March 2017). The regular galleries display 3,000 of these works at any one time . . . a formula for cultural overload and happy museum exhaustion.

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