Sunday, September 20, 2009

The River Thames, the edifices and Greenwich Mean Time

I have to keep pinching myself, to think where I am. Doing the tourist sites you come across languages from across the world, mostly French, Spanish, German and of course the broad twang of the Americans. The English sound so, English, “You know what I mean Gov” With Dominic doing a gap year in the Navy day I decided to head to Greenwich and the National Maritime Museum. This meant a slow cruise down the Thames with a very comedic river guide. His very funny and dry commentary had me wondering how many of the foreign language speakers would get his joke. But jokes aside he was very informative and on asking where he had collected his anecdotes he said his grandfather had worked on the river and told him all the tales. My dad often told us we were related to Captain Kidd the pirate (his father was John Kidd Stewart) and that would be handy now with a pub named in his honour on the river bank. English loved building grand edifices to themselves, huge monumental works like the houses of Parliament, big ben and Trafalgar square and it’s monument to Nelson must be one of the largest phallic nods to war I’ve ever seen. It’s towering. Greenwich is a wonderful ancient cobblestoned town and the old Naval College, National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory are truly impressive. Dom reckons his basic training has been tough, but even tougher for the younger boys sent to the military college

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