Tuesday, 1 September 2009

August Bank Holiday Monday

Our Bank Holiday Outing .....

Today George and I went with Brenda & George Melionotis (with whom I shared Open Studios) to Buckingham Palace - not, this time, at the Queen's invitation but to see the exhibition of Commonwealth Tours. And very interesting it was too, a tour of the Palace and an exhibition of some of the fabulous dresses worn by Her Majesty on the Royal Tours. What a tiny waist! Well, the Queen that is, not me and Brenda! Then we had lunch in the Bag O' Nails, a pub nearby, allegedly oft frequented by the Duke of Edinburgh and then we drove over to Greenwich. It was a glorious day and the sun was sparkling on the river which was busy-busy with tour boats, river buses and little dinghies. The two Georges spent a lot of time criticising the boatmanship!

We wandered round Greenwich Market admiring all the craft for sale, there were a lot of stalls selling food, especially foreign food which all smelled delicious - there was one little fellow who was doing well for titbits! There were loads of things we nearly bought. We sat and had a pot of tea on the pavement in a busy little street, watching the very cosmopolitan crown stroll by, it wasn't quite the passeggiata of Florence or Venice, but it was very entertaining nevertheless! We missed the Cutty Sark - so sad to see all the covers over the spot where the restoration is taking place after the fire, but one hopes to see it again in all its elegant glory before too long.

There were a number of people on the shingle at the side of the river - hardly a beach but certainly being enjoyed by children and adults and dogs, who were in and out of the water - it was a very hot afternoon. We sat again on the waterfront watching the world go by and speculating about people, who they were, what their lives were like and what their relationships were. We made up some quite scandalous lives for some of them! We were entertained by a young man who was highly inebriated but very articulate and frank about his drinking problem, all brought about because his wife had walked out on him (or perhaps she left BECAUSE of his drinking?). He kept on telling us he was harmless and wouldn't hurt us - he was a very sad case but I think he was just glad to have someone listen to him. He was on a curfew to be home by 8 so goodness knows what he had been up to! Drunk and disorderly, I daresay.

Eventually we decided to make a move and walk back to the car when, looking over the railings, we spotted this below on the beach
We chatted to this young lad who was about 15 or 16, the piece of work was part of his course
work - the pattern being made up of shells, broken glass and BONES! We said we hoped they were not human! but he assured us that he thought they were from animals but he had got a jawbone with teeth and some very recognisable bones, all jetsam which he had salvaged. He was eager for the tide to come in as the destruction of the artwork was all part of the ephemeral nature of the piece. He was very pleased to have our reaction (George M is a teacher and knows all the right things to say.) The boy's younger sister had done a smaller
design nearby and she was hopping about as well. It was so nice to see the river being used and enjoyed. We walked back to the car which was parked near the Trafalgar Pub - built in 1837 on the site of an earlier tavern, it was a haunt of Dickens and Thackeray and many others and is

apparently famous for it's whitebait. What a shame we were all still full up from lunch and tea! The pub stands right on the waterfront and looked so pretty and elegant with the bow windows and little canopies, and folk sitting eating and drinking outside, it was such a happy atmosphere. We got into the car and started to drive home when I realised I had not had an icecream, which would really have made my day and made me feel as though I had been on holiday! When we got home, it was still warm so we lit candles in the garden and sat and had a glass of bubbly to celebrate good friends and a lovely day.


  1. Aren't these just the best sort of days... friends, food and sunshine... it doesn't get much better!

  2. ahhh, that sounds lovely .. shame about the icecream though. x