... with one eye open.

By Chamaeleo

NHM: Old General Herbarium

More atmospheric in large ("L").

I've blipped this a few times before but the light was nice today, and it's a Friday so I walked through "The Old Gen. Herb." quite a few times (which seems to make me want to blip it more...).

Those of you who've heard about the Old Gen. Herb. before probably ought to skip this paragraph... The Old General Herbarium used to be the herbarium in which the majority of the museum's seed-plant collection was housed. Since the second phase of the Darwin Centre opened ("DC2"), the collection has been moved into the new building, and this herbarium now stands almost entirely empty; it is a "ghost herbarium". The beautiful mahogany cabinets are all empty, and now the space serves as storage for a backlog of unprocessed plant material (specimens which have not yet been examined, mounted, and incorporated into the various collections). It also holds a few glass-fronted shelving units that used to be out in a part of the main hall second-floor gallery that was closed off to the public, but this has now all been opened up, and the shelves moved into the Old Gen. Herb.
Everyone speculates about what it will become; it will apparently become a public gallery, but no-one knows what the gallery will feature, or whether that is actually a plan...
In the meantime, it is a wonderfully quiet and atmospheric room to walk through on the way to the big coffee we all have on Friday mornings...

I'm very grateful for the many kind words people left yesterday after I mentioned the MRI; I hope I haven't caused undue concern because I'm absolutely sure that it is the consultant confirming his diagnosis rather than looking for something more serious (I've had a long-standing headache which it turns out is a chronic, rather than episodic, form of migraine, but it is now being treated and is definitely improving!). I didn't enjoy the scan; I did find it interesting (having never had one before), but the experience was rather rattling (small space, loud noises and juddering, and feeling trapped and enclosed by a large, powerful machine). I walked over the river afterwards to give myself a restorative dose of wide-open-space, and London was looking very beautiful in the twilight.

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