For those dear Readers who have followed me for a while, you will know how dear to me Greenwich, London is. It's my happy place, an area filled with nothing but sweet and smiling memories that tend to kiss your cheeks as you walk around the old buildings with the distant voices of past family members speaking to you and sharing your journey. How I wished my dear Grandad was still with us just imparting his knowledge of this area with such enthusiasm and deepest love. In my mind he was walking with me, Mumsy, Miss Teen and her friend Miss B. I would have loved to have kept saying, 'Hey, do you remember...?', 'Why was this place called...?' and a million other questions, but instead, I just calmly kept talking to him in my thoughts. So, Grandad, are you with me? As you kept saying when we came out of the foot tunnel 'Where shall we go on our journey today? Do you remember? Well, let's just stay near Greenwich beach and watch the sails come along the misty River Thames. Does this remind you of your childhood watching the ships come in laden with exotic spices and food from across the seas?
The misty and darker skies can't dampen our spirits, along with the hordes of people that are visiting the Tall Ships Regatta. Grandad, have you ever seen Greenwich so busy? I can imagine many many years ago that this was a regular sight.
The romance and beauty of these ships hide the hard work and cramped conditions taken on by those on board.
You knew how I used to love to look at the bare bones of things, what was beneath the surface. To see the masts, the ropes, the gathered up sails, is such a treat today.
Just standing here made me think of all the times I have stood here before with you by my side and Grandma smiling.
One by one, each ship passes, just like the years we enjoyed together.
Each one being different.
Each one bringing with it sweet memories to savour.
Just carrying on with their journey.
Different views through time.
With ropes showing the different pathways that we took along the way.
Can you remember the times we used to stand here and look across at the Isle of Dogs as the redevelopment was going through the motions over the years?
Then walking into the Painted Hall and looking at the ceiling from the mirror on wheels to save my neck becoming stiff?
And then there was our favourite place, The Queen's House.
Can you remember when me and Grandma got told off for eating our liver sausage and cucumber sandwiches on the terrace here? Just one bench placed with such a beautiful view, why waste it?
Well, here is the idea that we obviously gave them for this empty place... afternoon tea!
Can you remember when we used to climb the tulip staircase and you used to tell me about the ghost that frequented it?
Then looking over the bannister on the first floor to the beautiful hall beneath us. Our hands had touched this so many times.
The mesmerising geometric shapes.
And the familiar statues.
The happy views across to the Royal Naval College.
And then, a painting. A painting that means so much to both me and Mumsy. The last time I stood in front of it, you were with me. This was hard, so so hard that you were only with me in spirit this time. But, there it was, in an empty room just waiting for me to teach your little game in front of it.
Were you smiling when I said 'right girls, walk left, walk right - see their eyes follow you?'
Now, go to the top of the room, see how long the table is? Now walk closer, see it shrink?
The Somerset House Conference was painted in 1604 and I was so worried that this was no longer part of the collection. Grandad, it is still there and now your grandaughter knows the game to pass on to her offspring!
It is lunch time now and time to just sit in Greenwich Park and have a little picnic. We are happy with a burger and soft drink, however nearby it was Champagne and M&S picnic food! A far cry from our liver sausage and cucumber sandwiches from times gone by!
A last walk along these cobbled stones under the Queen's House. How many times did we walk along these, gradually wearing our shoe leather out?
And there's Mumsy, sitting on a bench in the same spot we used to sit at. Your daughter had not sat here since she was a teenager and was so happy to be here once again.
The view from the bench hasn't changed!
But let's go and do some people watching! The Naval Officer...
The colourful marching crew...
The skipper shouting his orders...
And, no, is it?... or in Miss Teen's words 'It's J, J, J, J'... couldn't get the words out... speechless. It's Jack Sparrow, or could it actually be Mr Johnny Depp!!! We could only wish, but Grandad, he was brilliant and looked, sounded and acted just like him! He even gave Miss Teen a bit of a show for her to film and blew her a kiss at the end!
But it was nearing the end and time to say our farewells. The Cutty Sark in its renewed glory was something you didn't get to see, but would have loved to have witnessed. Also a spot of entertainment to make you smile.
Still looking beautiful and again your knowledge would have been let loose around here.
So Grandad, we will be back soon to walk with you, but until then, may we leave you smiling with Grandma by your side at the bench in the place we used to sit.
The photos this week had to be edited a bit due to the misty weather which was unfortunate, but it was an amazing day and one that I would love to go to again. We will be back at Greenwich soon and hopefully a more sunny day, but if you want to see Greenwich in its full glory, please read my post here on a sunnier day.
Can I also say at the end of this very long post, thank you so much for your wonderful birthday wishes, you are all so lovely!
Have a wonderful weekend and week.
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