Thursday, 19 May 2016

The Day Started Out,

damp, cold and wet,

we had caught a 54 bus to Blackheath village,

and walked towards the church,

and then over the heath,

theses buildings on the distance looked interesting,

so best foot forward into the drizzle,

and we were on our way,

across the many marked out football pitches on the heath,

looking back towards the church and village,

getting closer to the temporary buildings still no clue as to what they were, the hoarding said Paul Mathew International, which I googled but nothing came up about anything on Blackheath, so a mystery it is,

more football pitches to cross,

until we arrived here,

the entrance to Greenwich Park,

which we almost had to ourselves,

hardly a car or pedestrian to be seen,

well it was still drizzling,

so I guess a lot of people put visiting the park off for a day,

the horse-chestnut blossom falling to the ground,

it was cold,

so into the Pavilion Cafe to warm up,

for a hot chocolate,

and a cake,

for Diana and coffee for myself,

back outside,

we made our way to the Greenwich Royal Observatory, the O2 in the distance,

a quick pose by the outside clock and imperial measurements,

having bought our tickets we started the tour, this the William Herschel telescope,

then it was time to cross,

the Meridian Line,

where East meets West, or is it where the West meets East?

into the first building, to look at a telescope,

and a huge Grandfather clock,

then to the Harrison clock room, where his 4 clocks chronometers are kept,

this is H1, the story is fascinating and well worth reading,

at the time to navigate at sea an accurate timepiece was needed, H1 being his first attempt to build such a clock,

he spent most of his life making a clock that for the time and even now is super accurate and will work on a rolling ship, this is H2, his second attempt,

the sign above it,

H3 was his next attempt,

culminating in F4, amazingly some of his time pieces are still breaking records today,

a look across the tops of H1, H2 and H3,


to learn about the measurement of International time and how it came to be about,

next Mr Lloyd's Standard, a transit instrument was used by him to measures accurately the Observatory's height above sea level,

into the watch section of the gift shop,

and we were on our way,

going down to Greenwich,

well I had to have  quick pose,

ancient meets modern buildings below,

a look back towards the hill,

and we are through,

the main gates at the bottom of the park,

we started our walk to the covered market area,

but not many stalls today,

we continued to one of the most famous restaurants in the East of London,

Goddard eel and pie shop, open since 1890 for traditional pie, mash and liquor, plus jellied or stewed eels, we have seen it featured on so many programs from the UK,

back through the market,

to the Cutty Sark,

if you look carefully there is someone in the rigging,

one of the fastest ships of it's time,

we went downstairs under the keel,

the ship this close up was immense,

the hull copper plated for the prevention of wood boring and other sea creatures from attacking the wooden hull,

inside we explored the history of the vessel,

although destroyed by fire back in 2007 much of the original planking and frames survived as did much of the upper-works as they had already been removed for restoration,

banks of screens,

told the story,

of the tea trade,

Diana by one of the two huge anchor chains,

we made our way from the lower,

to the middle deck,

they must have been shorter then,

the 'mind your head' sign for anyone over 5 feet 6 or 7 inches really meant what it said,

this was fun,

you had to steer the ship on a course from Australia to England and beat the Captains time,

Diana tried to beat him, but failed,

a moving seat gave the impression of a rolling ship,

one of the lifebelts,

Diana tried this puzzle next, but gave up in the end,

then on to the top deck,

where it was still raining,

the seaman on the yardarm down down on deck,

inside my thoughts about the size of the sailors confirmed, these bunks were tiny,

we made our way towards the stern of the vessel,

Diana taking charge of the wheel, 

the down to the Captains cabin,

the officers galley,

the second,

and first mates quarters,

some of the porcelain is on display, it is remarkably well made with the companies insignia, I would have thought they would have used just pain plates, but not so,

back on deck,

although we had a great day the weather was still miserable,

which was bad news for the seaman,

then the Captain appeared,

Diana sheltered under a boat as we pondered what to do,

well we still had the exterior below the waterline to explore,

so down we went, there is a cafeteria there,

under the hull,

guess who?

there was a collection of ships figureheads on display,

Diana is in there some where,

there she is!

cold, wet and happy as both of us were,

deep under the hull, the keel,

this is the key to half of the figureheads,

the second half,

and the list that names most of them,

and a quick panorama of them,

we had not yet had breakfast and where else to go but Goddard's for pie and mash for Diana,

pie, beans and liquor for myself, 

we had another walk hoping the rain would stop, we called in to The Coach and Horses in the square,

for a drink and to wait out the rain,

but luck was not with us, we decided to call our day short and return to Beckenham,

later in the evening Mahendra called round,

and we made our way to the Crown and Pepper in Bromley,

 it is an Indian  and Chinese restaurant,

we were so lucky to meet so many friends there, like Uday,

 and Yee-Ha!

and Kritt, bringing back so many happy memories of previous meetings here and in Thailand,

not to mention a few friends of friends that we had not meet before,

and of course so many that we had, hello Bupa! the meal was delicious, and so varied, for a Indian experience in Bromley give this restaurant a try, Mahendra very kindly dropped us back at Steve and Kai's, but to everyone this evening many, many thanks from Diana and myself for this evening and we are both looking forward to seeing you all soon in Thailand, then for us a nightcap and we were off to bed.

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