Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Weekend wanderings: Blast from the past

We had a pretty interesting weekend.  The hubby had wanted to visit the Pompeii exhibition over at the National Museum, so we ended up going there for a visit on Saturday as they were having an open house (i.e., admission was free! Yay!).  

We of course, brought Junior J along, but had to leave after an hour or so,
since he started getting restless.

The exhibition showcases artefacts that give you a glimpse into life in Roman town, before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (which ironically, was responsible for the preservation of all these items).

There was armour used by the gladiators, like the shields they used, as well as a really heavy looking helmet...

Did you see?  A crab!  I'm wondering whether to send this picture to my supervisor...

... to items used in everyday life, ranging from the "cookware" they used, furniture in their houses (and the different rooms found in a typical Roman house), anchors, scales (I think there was about 200 over items on display!).  I must say I was most impressed by the beautiful artwork that was produced during that period:

Mosaic work.  I've always admired the painstaking effort it takes to create a picture
by piecing together many many tiles... There was also a beautiful fountain on display,
again decorated with mosaic and also adorned with shells.  Gorgeous!

One of the many marble carvings on display.

The exhibition also had a section with books about that period for you to browse, along with craft activities for children.  However, as it was open house day, there were no activities due to the heavy traffic... but we did collect the craft activity for the boy to do at home (it was to assemble this cool gladiator helmet).  All in all, I think the exhibition would be more suitable for older children.  We had to repeatedly remind Junior J not to touch the exhibits, or step up on the exhibit platforms, and the boy got rather restless after an hour or so.  However, he did seem to enjoy looking at some of the exhibits (he saw this giant scale and said it was a "swing"), and we tried to explain some of the items to him (and he had fun pointing out some familiar objects he saw):

EGGS!  Argh, blur and grainy photo... 

Dog!  This mosaic on the floor had the boy really fascinated for awhile. :)

The most unique part of the exhibition, I think, were the body casts of some of victims of the Mount Vesuvius eruption:

Body casts of a couple, with the man reaching out for the woman at the last moment.
The ash from the eruption covered the town and hardened, but voids were formed later
due to the decomposition of organic material that was trapped in the ash.
The casts were made by filling up these voids with plaster.

There was casts of people, along with a dog that was left chained while his owners fled.  Looking at those figures, curled up in various poses... it reminded me that we really need to treasure our time in the present and make the most of the time we have now. 

The exhibition ends on the 23rd of Jan, so there's still time if you want to visit (more info here), and there's another open house from the 21st to the 23rd of Jan (otherwise its $12 per entry for adults).  Bring your SLR if you have one.  We had brought only the compact LX5, thinking that photography might not be allowed, but it turned out you could take pictures (but no flash photography).  The whole exhibition was rather dim, so the photos turned out grainy and blur...

Anyway, with that rather macabre reminder to "celebrate today", we went off for lunch at Pasta Brava to celebrate two "events": Me finishing my dissertation, and the boy finally hitting 10 kg awhile ago (he was so skinny and kept hovering around the 9 plus kg mark for a long time, so it was something to be happy over!)... we really love the pasta there:  

And we ordered mushrooms for the boy (and he loved them, as well as the soup!)...

After an eventful Saturday (we ended the day at Alexandra, where I popped into Ikea while the hubby went to get sport shoes with the boy at Queensway), Sunday turned out to be pretty uneventful, since the hubby was on call.  I did manage to bring the little boy to church on my own though... 

I hope everyone had a good weekend?  Here's to a good week ahead (or what's left of it)... Its been rather productive thus far, with the boy starting some "bible lessons" and me feverishly packing our study (Simplify, remember?) and planning the little boy's upcoming birthday party...


  1. Looks like 10kg is a magical milestone for kids?? I've been praying that my baby hit 10kg too! Everytime she's nearing, she'd fall sick and lose a couple of kg! :(

  2. I have been wanting to go for the Pompeii exhibition! The photos look awesome! i should make a trip down soon. Lots of good family bonding. Congrats on completely the thesis. :D

  3. that sounds like y'all had some fun...thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures.

    hope you and your family are well!!

  4. looks like you had fun (: thanks for leaving me encouraging comments in my blog, really lifted my spirits in so many occassions! (:

  5. Surprisingly after the volcanic eruption there are still many masterpieces left until today! I wish I could go to the exhibition too, my girl is a big fan of volcano!:)

  6. Klessis: I think you don't have to worry so much... my J is 4 months older than your girl, and he JUST hit 10 kg! Like you said, its the yo-yo-ing when they fall sick... I'm sure your girl will be ok... :)

    Jeanette: Thanks! Yes, better go soon, since there's only a week left for the exhibition... :) Have fun!

    Ruth: So nice to hear from you after awhile... hope you had a safe trip!

    Juanna: Hey its been nice reading your blog and following your scrapping journey...

    Alice: Yup, actually the ash helped to preserve all the artefacts. Pop down to SG this weekend, then you can visit the exhibition!

  7. What a wonderful account of the exhibition! I had planned to go this weekend so thanks for informing us that it will be the last weekend of display, and that it is still an open house, yippee! And you are right, we should live in the present and cherish everything we have now :)

  8. The Beauties in Our Lives: Hope you managed to go down to visit the exhibition?



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