On Sunday, after the fantastic Free-wheel event, K and I went to the Imperial War Museum to do a treasure hunt test (don’t ask).
I’ve never been to the IWM before – looking at a load of gun, tanks, shells etc. doesn’t appeal. And why Imperial anyway? There were lots of visitors, mainly men taking extremely careful photographs of plane propellers.
There was one couple who stuck in my mind. A young man with short dark hair, standing with arms behind his back, legs planted firmly wide apart in the ‘I’ve had military training’ position. He was wearing camouflage trousers. It takes a certain person to wear any item of camouflage to a war museum. A certain person who wants to make a certain statement.
He was staring intently at an information board as I raced passed trying to find the name of one of the planes hanging from the ceiling (Big Beautiful Doll if you want to know). He gave the impression that he had given each and every item in the museum the same single minded level of attention. His girlfriend was sitting in a huddle on a bench behind him. A dejected sort of thing, shoulders all in a bunch – a bored slightly desperate expression on her face.
War is wrong, of that I have no doubt, but life is never clear cut. Museums like this serve a valuable purpose, even though I might try and turn away from the brutal side of human nature and violent way humans have of brushing up against each other. It’s how the world is I suppose.
We ended the visit in the Tibetan Peace Garden which was how I wish the world was.