I went to Pompeii for the last time today, the British Museum Exhibition I mean. I had a date there with my friend, the comedian Tony Law. The idea was to see if we could do, to camera, a trip round the exhibition that was light-hearted, funny... but also informative, and didn't just take the piss. And we had a camera in tow, to see what it might look like on screen (we were there after hours, not getting in everyone's way).
I honestly dont know what it looked like (this was only a test run, so you wont be seeing it on the telly). But it did give me a chance to think whether I had found some new favourite Pompeian objects during the time the show had been on. What had the exhibition made me think differently about?
Well some of my old favourites, I have to confess, remained favourites. The bar frescoes with the couple of guys quarreling over a game of dice (one calling the other "fellator"... which I still insist can only be properly translated "cock-sucker", whatever more sensitive souls might say. (Although this is black and white, it is a good reconstruction of the scene.. the "fellator" bit is above the head of the middle guy in the right-hand scene, and the landlord (bending over) is telling them to get outside.
And Pan and the Goat retains its (sort of) charm for me. Quite what we make of it still remains a puzzle.
But a new friend is the object at the top of this post. It's bronze food warmer -- partly extraordinary, as we agreed this evening, because it looks so fantastically Victorian. But in its functional way it's actually exquisite, and there is of course the question of how it actually worked.