“Does anybody really know what time it is?
“Does anybody really care?
If so, I can’t imagine why.
We’ve all got time enough to die.” — Artist: Chicago; Album: Live in ’75
Greenwich was today’s destination. While on the train there, we couldn’t help but think of Mike’s Mom and Dad. After all, we were going to see the clipper Cutty Sark. Cutty Sark — the scotch, not the boat– was their favorite drink, named after the famous clipper. Both Mike and I had the same thought… Won’t it be fun to tell Dad we saw the REAL Cutty Sark? Sometimes we forget he’s no longer just a phone call away.
Anyway, the ship was pretty cool to see… beautifully restored with sky-high masts. My favorite part was the display of a gaggle of figureheads from various ships that represent fictional characters, historical figures — Abe Lincoln for one, or just someone that a ship owner liked.
Then, past the Old Royal Naval College and up the hill to the Royal Observatory, the site of the Prime Meridian. Yes, we did the silly photos of one foot in each hemisphere. I overheard a smug teenage boy tell his mother that this whole thing was all made up. Well, of course it was “made up” and thank goodness the Astronomers Royal were smart enough and persistent enough to figure out how to create a standard for longitude and the measurement of time. The STEM-heavy tour had me considering just how nice it is that the question “What time is it?” can be answered definitively.
After lunch, we popped into the Painted Hall on the college campus. Inside, film crews were setting up for a movie about Queen Victoria starring Judith Dench. Rats, no Dame Judy to be seen. Guess we were a day early. Still, it was fun to see the props folks laying out a splendid, albeit fake dining table fit for a queen.
We took advantage of the 80 degree sunshine and boarded a boat for our trip back. The east end of the Thames, called the Docklands, is jammed with high rise office buildings and balconied condos overlooking the river.