kate5kiwis: London calling to the faraway towns (part two)


“If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.” — Mitsugi Saotome

Thursday, July 06, 2006

London calling to the faraway towns (part two)

... awoke yesterday morning to typical british weather: a thunderstorm :o)

We did a drive-by of Buckingham Palace just at "the changing of the guard".. there were crowds and crowds of people there, and a policeman told us to *drive on now please* (he sounded just like a copper on the movies!!)

Mum and I ducked into Harrods: fantastic.. and then we travelled a little way to the house that Mum lived in when she was six years old until she was ten. It's a grand brick house, with eleven 'stories'.. well, the stairs stop at eleven floors..

..and Mum told us a few gorgeous anecdotes of when she and her two younger sisters lived there: the road seemed so steep to her little-girl-legs; the sisters would sometimes all sleep in the same room, which left the playroom free for their toys and little-girl-games.. and sometimes they'd get sick of that and move around: typical childhood stuff, and it was wonderful to get a glimpse of that part of Mum's life.

From there we went on to the British Library. Hubby found a statue of Isaac Newton which he loved, and we were completely blown away by the library's collection of sacred texts, including the
codex sinaiticus and the codex alexandricus, two of the three earliest manuscripts of the whole Bible, dating from the middle of the fourth century BC. We also saw an original magna carta, and the collection of famous authors' handwritten copies of their works: the delightfully illustrated original of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures Under Ground, some of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Geoffery Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, a mortgage document of Shakespeare's which has his signature on it...
and we saw the
penny black, the first postage stamp.

.. after this, we had a beer on Petticoat Lane, where Dad's Grandfather's Grandfather's Grandfather lived when he and his family emigrated to London. Dad told us some of the genealogy of his family, stories of fruiterers and cigar rollers, how people changed their surnames when they moved to new places, making it very difficult to track family history now. Dad has spent about three years researching his family's genealogy, and has it written up. It truly is fascinating, and very connecting, *being* in the places where my ancestors have lived.

To complete our day, we had a family-and-friends dinner at my cousin's friend's restaurant,
Satu. If you want some amazing Thai food and funky atmosphere, *that's* the place to go baby.


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