The second part of Shannan’s moving piece about the Terry Pratchett: HisWorld exhibition…
It’s hard to pick the stand out pieces in the exhibit because there were just too many. I was overjoyed to see Terry’s hat. Terry’s hat! There it was, in a glass case. I was centimetres from it. The recreation of his office was brilliant. I loved seeing the six computer monitors and the cat bed cut in to the desk. It was amazing to hear a woman gasp as she saw one of the crocheted Terry dolls she had made sitting on the bookshelf.
I marvelled at all of Paul Kidby’s paintings and drawings. What fascinated me most about seeing these artworks up close is just how much detail you can soak in. You can see every brush stroke, every pencil line, even the fibres in the canvas. I picked up so many details that I’ve never noticed before when looking at the prints in The Art of Discworld by Paul Kidby. I never noticed that Death was carrying kitten in his robe as he rode out with the other horsemen of the apocalypse. Another show stopper was the fact that some of these paintings were gigantic. Some took up entire walls. Again, when you’re only used to seeing them on pages of an art book or prints on a greeting card to see them in real life, in actual size, is mind boggling.
Pieces that pulled at the heart were the pieces that highlighted Terry’s plight with Alzheimer’s. The test sheets show how his ability to see, read, write and draw was deteriorating. Not far from these sheets was the destroyed hard drive that held unfinished Discworld novels. Personally, I was happy to read that it was destroyed in line with his wishes. It also meant that the Discworld is now complete. It’s nice to know that whatever stories Terry had planned are for him to keep. No other author is going to take those ideas and try to continue the series. Discworld without Terry is like a decadent cake without the chocolate ganache icing; and where’s the fun in eating that?
It was the most amazing experience to meet Rob and Paul. They were so lovely and so generous of their time. Rob even offered me his seat so I could give Paul a closer look at my sleeve. They signed my museum book and the Granny Weatherwax notebook my mum bought me for my 30th birthday that I was using as my travel journal. I was also lucky to get a few photos.
I was at the museum from 10am and didn’t leave until well after 3pm. The exhibition was absolutely incredible and the whole team at Salisbury Museum are so lovely and really looked after me.
After leaving Salisbury and a packed tour of brilliant museums in London, I joined a tour that took us through parts of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland and Wales. As much as I loved the tour I found there was too much time on the bus and not enough time exploring. So, I now think of the tour as a ‘taster’ and have made notes of places I’d like to visit again with more time. Most of all I loved the history and lush green landscape. The country towns were adorable and it was brilliant to be able to walk through them. I loved walking over the cobbled streets and seeing buildings that are older than Australia’s colonisation.
I had a wonderful time in the UK. I achieved more than I ever thought I would and the experiences I’ve had will never be forgotten. Some people say that you “find” yourself when you travel. I don’t think that I found myself but I did learn that even with the depression, the anxiety and OCD, I really can do anything and I can do it all by myself.
17 October 2017