If you caught my #CountryKids post over the weekend you will know that we visited the Oxford University Museum of Natural History over the last half term. We spent the morning on a wonderful dinosaur adventure, went out for lunch and returned in the afternoon to explore the displays on the first floor of the museum.
Upstairs is devoted to minibeasts and so right up our street. As any regular reader will know, Monkey and I share our passion for minibeasts and nature with my Dad, AKA Guru Gramps. Guru Gramps is an amateur entomologist, before he moved to Spain he left a large part of his bug hunting collection to the museum. In fact, when Dad dies, (hopefully in many years to come), the rest of his collection will also be donated to the museum. I love the idea that interested students can make use and learn by Dad’s collection. That’s some legacy to leave. Something quite special.
As we went upstairs with our friends, I jokingly said, oh, we’ll have to keep a look out and see if we can spot Guru Gramps on display. I was joking. Our first stop was to a display of bees, and their make do hive. The kids were all enthralled.
We started looking at the various displays of butterflies and moths and went cockroach spotting.
Then we spotted it – OMG! There is one of Dad’s collection! Guru Gramps on Display! It was a magic moment for me, I’m not sure Monkey totally grasped the fact that something his Gramps had caught long before he was born was on display in an Oxford museum. But for me, it was rather emotional. We spotted one of Dad’s exhibits and then another and another. There were a number of items on display. It took my breath away to be totally honest. To think that people are able to see things that Dad caught, to enjoy them, to learn from them, all this in his lifetime. For his grandson to grow up seeing this display. It’s wonderful. I couldn’t wait to speak to Dad and tell him that Guru Gramps on Display had caught us all by surprise.
He was thrilled. It’s been his lifelong passion. Yes, it’s lovely that the vast part of his collection will be used for research, and could be loaned out to universities all over the world. But actually, to see items on display, close to our home. That’s priceless. That’s just the best. That makes me so very proud to be his daughter.