Sunday, 3 September 2017

Suddenly September?

Well, we had the 31 days of Aug as a warning & the 31 days of July before that. Then there were the 30 days of June, preceded by.... Well, you get the idea.

Greenwich Park
Last weekend was a bank holiday in the UK, meaning we had a three day weekend, which is as long as it took to recover from the craziness of the week before. Working in the NHS under a Tory government is as bad as the press tell you it is. It just surprises me that more people aren't making a noise about it. Mr Knitty was working Saturday & Sunday, so I was kicking around on my own for most of it. On Monday, we decided to be tourists in our own city & went to Greenwich.

Greenwich Royal Observatory, showing the time ball, which drops at 13:00 local time

First stop was the Royal Observatory, famous for the prime meridian and the Harrison clocks. I read Dava Sobel's book about the Longitude problem, many years ago, and watched the respective TV adaptation. I loved the spirit of teaching yourself and working it all out; so different from our culture of needing a certificate or qualification to prove that you know something. I was less impressed at the way the Admiralty kept changing the goalposts to stop Harrison from claiming his prize.  Coming from a Naval family, I love a that historical watchmaker had a direct impact on the working lives of my relatives. It makes my head spin, slightly.

One of the Harrison chronometers

Mr Knitty & I had a discussion about whether the clocks worked l or not. I said that they all worked, apart from the last one. He wasn't so sure.

Greenwich Royal Observatory is also home to a camera obscura, using the same scientific principles as the modern camera. It's very easy to forget that you're looking at a live picture, until something moves.

Of course, the socks had to make an appearance

Notice the people on the pathway (left hand side), who weren't in the picture above

Then, the thing that Greenwich is most famous for: the prime meridian. Any line of longitude going from North to South is a meridian, it's just that ours marks the 0 point, from which all others follow. On one side you have the East, on the other, the West.

After lunch in Greenwich park, we went to see the Cutty Sark, which I have never visited before. It's famous for being the fastest tea clipper in the world. 

The Cutty Sark - looking up
Mmmm. Tea. 

The layout inside was built to look like tea crates, and actually smelled of tea. From what I could see, it looked pretty child friendly, with stamps to collect as you go around & exhibits that you could pull out and look at. Although Cutty Sark is known as a tea clipper, I didn't realise that she brought wool back to the UK on her return journey. 

Australian merino, to be exact. 

And, what kind of wool are my current socks made of?  Merino.  Since the yarn came from New Zealand, there's a high chance it's Australian merino.  Mr Knitty rolled his eyes slightly, but it was too good an opportunity to miss! 

Yarn - Stray Cat Socks yarn, orange and purple striped. 

I think the bit downstairs, under the ship, has previously been used as a theatre space - complete with its own audience of figureheads:

Downstairs also has the cafe, with some very tasty cakes.  The only downside, was that we visited at the end of the day, by which point the cake was a bit dry, after being in the sun all day.  

Today, I mastered the Fish Lips Kiss Heel on one of the socks.  I'll wait and offer an opinion once I've used it a couple of times.  With a bit of luck, these socks will be finished this week.  Next week, I'm off to see my sister and nephew, so lots of knitting time on the train. 

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