So today is my birthday and A and I are staying at my Mum and Dad’s for the Bank Holiday weekend. In the best tradition of birthday trips, we went out to the Zoological Museum at Tring. It was always a favourite of mine as a child and I haven’t dragged A here before.
Nothing’s changed really – the polar bear still dominates the view as you walk into the first gallery, the quagga’s still a bit moth-eaten, the seals have some terrible taxidermy scars, one of the leopards still has a slightly startled expression. But best of all, the fleas are still there!
These fleas are genuine fleas from cats or dogs, dating from about 1905 I think. Mexican women used to dress them in traditional costume. You have to look at them through a magnifying glass and I remember as a child really not believing they were fleas – after all, the fleas I’d encountered from our dog all had six legs and no sartorial elegance at all!