Kew Visit

Today,  some of Cultural Geography MA students, SCG PhD students and Geography Dept Staff from Royal Holloway went to have a visit to the sites behind Kew Garden.  This visit focused on the contemporary management and uses of the historical botanical collections.  We visited the economic botany (plant artefacts), the herbarium (dried specimens) and the library and archives.

on the way to Kew

on the way to Kew

Kew is in a nice area, with beautiful neibourhood.

Herbarium collection and the original collector's portrait

Herbarium collection and the original collector’s portrait

In the old area of Kew’s herbarium collection, the building was built in the 19 century, and it is arranged like this to absorb more light and avoid use fire for lighting, to protect the collection from fire.

how the newer collection is arranged

how the newer collection is arranged: coloured dots

In Kew’s newer part of the herbarium collection, they use matching colour to show the specimens’ original location, making it easier and faster to find them.

The very spicemen collected by Darwin himself

The very spicemen collected by Darwin himself

Wax flowers and Felix taking photo of them

Wax flowers and Felix taking photo of them

the Wardian case

the Wardian case

The upper picture is a postcard from Kew.  The Postcard shows Harry Ruck, Kew’s packer and later storekeeper from 1912  to 1959, packing a Wardian case in the early 1950s. Wardian cases were used between the 1840s and 1960s to transport plants around the world. The rest two are photos of the Wardiam case from the economic botany collection.

Three steps of producing cotton

Three steps of producing cotton

Beautiful paintings from Kew

Beautiful paintings from Kew

Photos by author.

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On Chinese people buying London souvenirs which are actually made in China

Been thinking about saving money recently, and got a post box money box in a gift shop / souvenir shop after the Landscape Surgery today.

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It is a lovely money box, representing part of my life in London: saving money and will get the money ‘posted’ to somewhere when I need them.  This thought looks cool, right? 🙂

I wanted a money box, as well as a souvenir from London, so I bought it in the central London, in the gift shop at the corner where Tottenham Court Road meets Oxford Street.  But  I found this at the bottom of the money box:

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It is ‘made in China’.

It is unavoidable that many crafts are made in China and transported to London, and many of these crafts are sold in the souvenir shops.  So what do you think of Chinese people buying London souvenirs which are actually made in China? Is it as stupid as it sounds like?

First of all, it needs to be defined what is a ‘souvenir’, and why people want to buy it.

According to Oxford Dictionaries, a souvenir is ‘a thing that is kept as a reminder of a person, place, or event’ (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/souvenir, accessed 28/11/2013).

(To be continued…)

Five kinds of unusual London Souvenirs

1. Tourist Bus Teapot / Telephone Box Teapot

A city’s tourist souvenirs are representations for the city. There are some interesting souvenirs for London. These souvenirs can be practically useful, by making them into our daily things, e.g. the Tourist Bus Teapot or the Telephone Box Teapot. They appear as things we can use in our everyday life, but how many tourists will use their ‘precious’ (mentally and literally – some souvenirs can be very expensive as well)  teapots to make tea is a thing I am not sure about.

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2. The Scent of Departure Eau de Toilette LHR

Souvenirs from airports/ big stations (mainly non-places) is a unique area to explore in Souvenir Geographies and Cultural Geographies.

Perfumes as souvenirs mix the sense and the scent of the place/or situation (although the ‘scent’ of a place is a imaged one – we don’t know the scent of an airport, do we?)

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3. Wills and Kate ashtray

Well, I will interpret this as a ‘cultural’ souvenir. We don’t have a Royal Family in my country, so it is new and something can be picked up as a unique element if I were travelling to London.

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4. Tube map ladies’ thong

Tourists are looking for unique elements to take away home, but sometimes these unique elements are combined with more unique basement/material/foundation/holder…….

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Some times these more unique basement/material/foundation/holder can be out of control………

5. Crown Jewels condoms…

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Picture Source: Google image.