The Manx Museum: one afternoon in February

The steps up from street level raised my heart rate to 122 beats per minute, tells Fitbit; that’s a comment on my current fitness and says something about how high-up the museum is. From the top step the view is roof tops and then sea – that’s another indicator.

I have a few campaigns in life,  one is lack of good signage, basic navigation to aid the unfamiliar visitor;  often we are sent from confident knowing to a void, a  nothing that leads to dead ends, wrong turns and paranoia.  In this case I went-in through the side-entrance, the chap on the desk, actually the man at the shop,  greeted me formally and shared the facts as he saw them. I had entered through the side entrance – “if” he said “I’d cared to take the main entrance I would have found reception” , as it was I was where I was and both of us knew we had to make the most of it. Eagerly he shared the visitor’s map.

The good news, the block colour layout of the museum guide is clear enough. Buoyed up I ventured to reception to find the cloakroom,  “There are coat pegs upstairs but be mindful not to leave anything of value” invaded my ears as I took more stairs to find the toilet and the cloakroom, just to be on the safe side.

Coat free, and relieved but still clutching my heavier than it needs to be back-pack: valuables inside, I waited in the “art gallery” for the announcement – the short film was due to start in 6 minutes – best I watch that first. “Ok”, I surrendered.

Once announced events unfolded, now inside looking up at pillar box red poetic Ritzy Cinema style seats, plush , comfortable and numerous. Needless to say on a Tuesday afternoon in February there is no other crowd.

After an inestimable wait, the projectionist flickered then danced on the screen…

“Nomadic hunters around 10,000 years ago”…….”5th Century holy men bought christianity”….The Vikings invaded…….”rigid trading laws led to smuggling”

Had I heard correctly, “rigid trading laws led to smuggling”, I quickly agreed,  it is of course inevitable when times are tough the tough go lawless. ..

The film continued. “tourism flourished after WWII, etc, etc”

I think I missed a few hundred years give or take.

Afterwards I went directly to the museum cafe and ordered  Manx vegetable broth and a cheese sandwich, delicious, then I left for the promenade.

Thank you Manx Museum,  your museum is just right and your cafe is just righter.

I hope to return one summer with my children.

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