On Sunday we took a family trip down the Thames to Greenwich. Growing up in London the kids have no idea how lucky they are..we live 30 minutes from Waterloo, which is a short stroll from the London Eye, which sits over the pier where you catch the boat..
Just opposite the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben..
Charlie opted for a outfit of utility chic. Honestly, he looked like a road sweeper.
The boat journey down the Thames is magical, from the drama of Shakespeare’s Globe and Tower Bridge, to the violence of the Tower of London and the old warship, HMS Belfast. It’s a spectacle. Unfortunately for us, it was all seen behind rain splattered glass as the heavens well and truly opened. Although by the time we reached our destination, the World Heritage Site of Greenwich, the sun popped out, if only for a minute..
Greenwich is a remarkable place to visit: There’s the Royal Observatory and the Meridian Line to hop over, The Cutty Sark, the Old Royal Naval College all seeped in romantic, baroque architecture..but we were there for a reason..
To see Against Captain’s orders at the National Maritime Museum, a groundbreaking theatre experience bridging the gap between museums and drama, thought up by the one and only Punchdrunk Enrichment, stars of immersive, interactive theatre.
The golden laws of interactive theatre mean I’m sworn to secrecy and therefore can’t tell you very much…except this is how it starts – and it’s not a stage set – you sit in the boats wearing life-jackets…before you are led away into a fantasy world where you are very much part of the fast-paced action in a behind the scenes experience in the deep, dark bowels of the museum. It’s brilliant, innovative..and an experience I know the kids will remember for a long, long time. It’s designed for children aged 6-12..and you don’t want to take any younger – it’s pretty heart racing…you’ll find little hands reaching out to find yours! Performances continue till the 31 of August..but take note: they do an adults version as well in an after-hours exclusive…if you can..GO!
Then it was off for lunch and wandering through Greenwich Market..yet another reason to visit…
Passing the Cutty Sark..
Before stopping at the nostalgic Hardy’s sweet shop to spend pocket money. I made Charlie buy popping candy..
Neither he nor Bella had tried it before..
I think it was a success..
Then it was time to run for the return boat home, before the storm clouds caught us..
Laters, Kate x
These arrived in the post yesterday….a final Christmas present from The Husband…somehow perfectly poignant..
Laters, Kate x
We wore the leather off our soles and the skin off our feet with our trip yesterday..I thought it was such a cunning and devious plan to link the Mexican shop and the Tower of London together – they’re both on the same side of the river after all – but sadly there’s no transport link between them..we ended up pounding the streets of London. Although, having said that – it’s a good place to pound. First stop was Milagros in Columbia Road – at the weekend this is a bustling, heaving flower market with much more besides (well worth a visit – there’s a Spanish restaurant at one end that does the best breakfast ever..) but during the week all the old shop fronts literally close their shutters – we were very lucky our destination was one of the few that was open..
We indulged..Frida Kahlo is my favourite..
It’s a fascinating area bridging hip Shoreditch and lively Brick Lane.
The kids took pictures of each other..
With varying degrees of success…
The Tower was magnificent. It’s such an iconic part of London with it’s foreboding stance against the march of time, combine that with the pure brilliance of this installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ to commemorate the allied fallen in the First World War and it’s a combination made in heaven. Tom Piper is the designer, Paul Cummins the ceramicist, both have captured something utterly unique: Is it Art..or is it theatre?
Each handmade ceramic flower represents a fallen soldier.
It was a brilliant decision to allow the planting to happen gradually in waves. It started in August and by the 11 November, Remembrance Day, 888,246 poppies will proudly stand, filling the moat – it has made this edifice to death into a living, breathing structure both celebrating and mourning loss.
At 4.55 every day – dusk – a solitary trumpet plays the Last Post and a roll call of 180 of the dead are read out.
We headed home..
But if you think my two are always angels..
Laters, Kate x