However, when we got there, it was one of the very few days the museum was closed because they were decorating it for the Flower Festival the following day. We introduced ourselves, using the Fund for Teachers Bag, which caught up with me in my luggage. We said we had come from the States to see the house; to which they asked, "Will you pay?" We said, "of course" and that we had expected to
. That set us off on a two hour private tour of the whole house when it could not have looked or smelled better. I can't wait to see my photographs enlarged!!!! Everyone there was absolutely wonderful. Jenny Arthur, on the Executive Committee, did most of the touring and is a former biology person. They have not only restored the house, but also added a lot of interpretive exhibits about Erasmus, his amazing inventions, the Lunar Society, and biology and medicine in general. I was absolutely blown away. Frankly, I assumed The Mount would look something like that, but at least it is not deteriorating. Jenny had worked with the exhibit designers on all of the exhibits.
I went wild in their gift shop buying things that I won't be able to get anywhere else. In every bag, they were tucking in Erasmus' poem about nature where he talks of a common ancestry of all life. He had the idea that his grandson later came up with.
We had a big day today, and it was a lot of driving with a LOT of roundabouts. Jan is incredible at driving. I had a wreck in the States just a few days before we left, so I'm glad she's doing it. She is better driving on the "wrong" side of the road than I am driving on the correct side. We started by driving to Lichfield, the home of Charles' grandfather, Erasmus Darwin. He is quite a story in his own right (worth another FFT Fellowship) and unlike Charles' birthplace, his home is a museum called the Erasmus Darwin House.