Today, my sister's boyfriend and I decided the weather was too nice not to go to Greenwich.
We checkout the old Naval School, 'The Queens House' which is an 18th century house near where Elizabeth the first had her palace.
We also looked at the Maritime Museum and Observatory. I learned a lot about England's Naval History, and through that quite a bit about NZ's as well. I also stood on the Prime Meridian with one foot in the East and one in the West. I learned about the history of time, navigation and space at the Observatory too. We managed to be both too early and too late at the same time for a show at the Planetarium so we grabbed some lunch. We also debated my non-commital beliefs over the history of the universe. I go by evidence yes but there are some things for which there is more than one hypothesis and both have their valid points ok! Lol.
After lunch, in a bid to evade the crowds, we decided to head to the Bank of England Museum. The Bank of England Museum is actually really awesome. It's about the history of money and banking which is of course really important to all of us. They have a real gold bar in there that you can try to lift up, weakling here could not do it one handed. They had exhibits about the economy and inflation too and we managed to win my sister a pin for being able to answer some questions to open a safe. Yay.
Fresh Pasta for dinner with homemade sauce by my sister. Oh my goodness amazing. Shame I can't get fresh pasta in Japan!
Today was Shakespeare Day.
After I went to see some books at the British Library I went to the Globe Theatre for As You Like It then Royal Albert Hall for an opera based on A Midsummer Night's Dream.
First up was the British Library. Home to a copy of every book ever published in the English language. They even have copies of misprinted bibles. The misprints completely change the meaning, for example in the "Sinner's Bible" where is says that 'thou shalt commit adultery' or the "Unrighteous Bible" which may have some truth in it to an extent when it says 'the unrighteous shall inherit the Earth'. There are also Bibles in the original Greek. There are originals of Shakespeare's manuscripts, Captain James Cook's diaries, King James' private library, not to mention my favorite thing in the whole place JANE AUSTEN'S WRITING DESK. It was amazing!!! The whole place was amazing. I could have spent all day there to be honest.
Alas though, I was booked for a play on the other side of the Thames at The Globe. As You Like It performed by the Globe Company was amazing. My seat was really good too. Right at the back of the lower gallery to the right hand side of the stage if you were facing it. People would have sat there for 2 pence in the 1600s. I sat there for 16 pounds I think. I had an uninterrupted view of the stage, apart from a pole which didn't block all that much. The play was really well done. I admit to having known nothing about As You Like It before I went but thoroughly enjoying it anyway. The principal actors really brought their characters to life and were brilliant with the witty puns and other jokes threaded throughout the work. The dude playing Touchstone was amazing with the speed at which he could crank out the jokes that his character constantly made. I was absolutely floored by the whole experience and can understand why a play at The Globe is a must do in London after that. I can also understand why I saw a rather famous and not quite so great looking in real life actor there too, brushed past him in the shop, ever so slightly star struck still.
After my Globe experience was 4 hours of A Fairy Queen at The Royal Albert Hall, one of 2009's BBC Proms. It was based on a Midsummer Night's Dream an included the whole of the play plus dancing and arias. It felt like it took forever. We had balcony seats with amazing views but it was hot up there. We got home at 1130pm and my sister was starting her new job the next day. Needless to say the length of it left her a little stressed and the rest of us exhausted. It was definitely worth the 13 pounds for the seats though and I would go to one of the BBC Proms again, provided I hadn't already had an amazing 2.5 hour play before hand.
My day of being literary was over all a very awesome day and I hope that I can have another day like that sometime. I'd love to spend more time in the British Library for sure and maybe go back to The Globe. It left me thinking, this is a place definitely worth visiting again. :D
Back to the Japanese study I go now.