Daily Archives: October 16, 2012

In two hemispheres

I stood today in two different hemispheres at the same time.  One can only do this on two different world circumference lines.  I happened to be at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, and standing astride the Prime Meridian, I was at the same time in the Eastern and Western Hemisphere.

I’m certain the earth quaked somewhere.

For more on the Royal Observatory, click here.

Aboard the Thames Clipper service

I took the Thames Clipper service to Greenwich and back today.  The way up included photos; the return, video.  I’ll need to edit and prep the latter.

Here are shots from the outbound journey this morning at low tide.

Bikes

No matter what time of day, London is more a biking city than it was a decade ago.  I’m intrigued by the bikers’ habits of weaving through traffic at a red light, then lining up at the front of the queue in order to get a quick start when the light changes.  I’ve seen this over and over, especially in the morning whilst walking to Westminster Abbey.

Clock Tower and Big Ben

Here is a sound file of Big Ben.

From Tuesday, October 16, various studies of the Clock Tower at the Houses of Parliament:

The Shrine of St. Edward the Confessor

The morning is chilly and windy, much more than yesterday.  But the sun does shine, and shine indeed!

Tuesday Eucharist at Westminster Abbey was at the Shrine of St. Edward the Confessor.

After being in the windowless and ancient St. Faith’s Chapel yesterday, today was a totally different visual and aural experience.  Prayers were said immediately east of the high altar.  Light and height were the key visuals.  And then there was the tomb itself, massive and hulking and ancient and . . . present.

And to my left were the tombs of Henry III and Edward I.  I was surrounded by royalty today, although of the dead kind.

I will say to all: morning Eucharist is the way to experience Westminster Abbey.  The silence is astounding, as is the mystery and the ancient.

 

Monday in London

The local London time is 6.50 a.m.  I’m moving downstairs to breakfast in a few minutes, but thought I should try to update one day before starting the next.

I visited yesterday two places new to me.  My first stop, after a Tube ride, a bus ride, and a couple of wrong turns, was the Museum of the Order of St. John, an ancient group of hospitalier knights, reconstituted under Queen Victoria as a medical corps.  The 12th-century crypt was interesting, and the medals and insignia were fascinating.  But I doubt I shall take this one in again.

After making my way by bus and Tube over to Piccadilly, I walked down to Trafalgar Square, did my toiletries shopping at a Boots at Charing Cross Station, bought a new SIM card for my international phone, and then took lunch at The Silver Cross pub on Whitehall.  My chicken and mushroom pie was tasty.

Funny thing: I’m eating more vegetables here than at home.  I’ve had carrots for three meals already.

My second big stop of the day was the Household Cavalry Museum at Horse Guards.  What fun this was.  I posted some pictures from there yesterday.

And then I went on down to the Abbey, walking in a slight drizzle.  I ate a bit of refreshment in the Cellarium (vaulted ceiling, painted china, something so English about the place).  And then I attended Evensong, sitting this time in the Nave.  It was Uganda Day, so the High Commissioner (aka Ambassador) from Uganda read the second lesson.

Dinner last evening was with my colleague Bill Lynch, director of Webster University London.  We dined on local produce at Canteen at the Royal Festival Hall, just a few blocks from my hotel.  I loved the sight of the London Eye all lit up in blue as I walked past it.

Funny sights from Monday:

Three Jewish boys in yarmulkes and Westminster Abbey school suits.  I just got a chuckle thinking about Jewish boys being educated at a school run by the royal peculiar that is the Abbey….

Twice during five minutes, tourists got too close to the guard standing outside the horse paddock at Horse Guards.  He can’t speak to them, so he startles them with a rattle of his kit and stamping of his feet.  And then protocol says he must march, since he moved.  I saw the tourists jump, and then his grim-faced march up and down his duty post. ‘Twas both funny and quite serious at the same time.

A workman near Farringdon station, cigarette dangling from his mouth, unshaven.  And his fly down.  Shown pink polka dot boxers underneath.

An elderly Filipino woman with garish orange lipstick.