Back when wonder | wander | women visited the American Museum of Natural History in New York, we thought nothing could match the joy of such a visit (read about it here!). This year, one thing may have come close: a grand private party in the Natural History Museum in London.
We started filing in after the last visitors of the day were ushered out. The days being shorter, it was already full dark by closing time, and lit torches burned on either side of the imposing main entrance.
We followed the cheery noise to the drinks reception in the Hall of Marine Reptiles, toasting to fossils of ichthyosaurs and mesosaurs. Many people had taken the opportunity to dress their best, Christmas-red lipstick perfectly matching black velvet and lace outfits with glittering shoes.
But just as many people took advantage of the invitation to 'fancy dress', which in Britain means costumes! The theme was history and nature, and we were reminded of this year's Comicon where everyone's personality and craft skills were on full display.
|A mummy gets the final wrap while Afro Caesar adjusts his helmet|
|An anglerfish hanging out with his flamingo friend, |
drawing little fishes to his light
|An Ionian woman and an Ionic column have a chat|
I dressed up as the British folk carol The Holly and the Ivy, and my friend Mirjam dressed up as the classiest version of herself.
Of course there were dinosaurs galore! These two T-Reginas mixed costumes with glitzy dresses, looking both classy and Cretaceous.
The most impressive dinosaur was only present as themselves. The diplodocus of Hintze Hall, fondly named 'Dippy' by the museum, presided over everything like a perfect host.
Even the way to the washroom was presented by a gracious scarab hovering over the hall of Creepy Crawlies (and often cute crawlies).
To fuel us for a night of dancing, several tables were set up, each serving a buffet loosely based on a particular era: Egyptians,Vikings, the American Wild West. I went for the Egyptian table and came away with couscous, coriander corn salad, and some amazing seafood. Others preferred Viking meat or American burgers.
But whatever their preference in main courses, none of us turned down dinosaur cookies!
The dancing was great too...even with the portrait of Darwin casting a quelling eye on us. We bopped, thrashed, swung, limboed and snakehipped till our feet were sore.
We had to leave a bit early, so we collected our coats and bags and wandered slowly out, wishing we didn't have to go just yet. The building looked deceptively silent and peaceful as we limped happily home. All other parties seemed to pale in comparison; how could we possibly go dancing again unless we were in a world famous museum!