We got on the Overground at Crystal Palace Station and got off at New Cross Gate. We stepped out and it was like downtown Tehran without the religious police. I eyed a beauty salon which did eyebrows, because it looked cheap. The bus which google told had us about came and I told myself I could go back another time. I never did.
We rode and rode and rode and eventually we stopped outside Greenwich Park. The sun was shining but it was cool.
The grass and flowers were beautiful, polished and shining. I had never seen such lovely flowerbeds. We walked around, snapping and posing like mad. We saw deer from a great distance.
We paid £10 for 20 minutes on the pedaloes in the tiny lake. The Princess and the Golden boy quarrelled incessantly about controlling the pedalo.
The pedalo guy warned us not to eat in the park cafeteria, and pointed the way to town.
We could see London spread out beyond the wall.
The children played in the playground. Then we walked out of the park by one of the back doors in the wall. We walked down some streets and came to a pub.
We sat inside. An old, old man who easily looked a hundred years old came and sat down beside us and began describing what he could offer us. “…and for the children, I can do some beautiful chicken nuggets, with no rubbish in it, just good chicken, they’ll love it…”
There were books all over. I picked up a Ruth Rendall and began reading. By the time I finished Chapter 1, my steak pie arrived. It was beautiful, just like the old man had promised me.
After lunch, we walked back out and towards the park again. We passed by a notice in the shop next door for playing chess between 10-12 am and made a note to take the Golden Boy some day. We never did.
Back in Greenwich, we walked around and around until we found the entrance for the Queen’s House. We walked inside the chilly white and wood rooms and stared at the paintings which made no sense to us. We took pictures. There were some modern “art” “pieces” hanging around, what looked like a tangle of coloured yarn. I read that the queen for which this house was made died before it was completed. It reminded me of Aali-ghapoo Palace in Isfahan, but devoid of colour. But with the same large and small rooms and staircases. Rich people houses. We kept sitting. The Golden Boy wanted to take photos of other people.
We went to the Maritime Museum cafeteria and I had a slice of Victoria Sponge cake. We looked at people struggling to climb the hill up to the Observatory and said we would come back another day to do it. We decided we will go back another time to “do” the Maritime Museum. And the Cutty Sark.
We walked out of the Park, from another way and got lost for a bit. Eventually we found Greenwich Pier, and after waiting for ages, got on the ferry for Tower Hill. The river is wide and brownish-grey. There were many people everywhere. The Princess and the Golden boy found seats at the front, where they could look out over the water. Somebody leaned over the Princess to take photos of the view, the ferry lurched, he stumbled over, and fell across her. We restrained ourselves from screaming and beating him up.
We reached Tower Hill, and walked around the pretty touristy areas by the Tower.
Was that the evening I went to Revolution bar, and we had cocktails made with Stoli vodka? I can’t remember now. I can’t remember what cocktail I had, but I can remember the steak pizza and the pretty fair East European servers. I can remember the red poster of Lenin, smirking down at us as we had our cocktails and giggled about the servers. After that we walked some more, to another pub by the Wapping Overground, where the beer garden overlooked the river. We had beer, and I listened to my brother analysing (his latest) (another not quite failed) relationship. I remember my contribution to the conversation was singing out two lines of “Sorry”: “I’m sorry for you… Not sorry for me…” as a totally appropriate comment on the relationship, and my sister said saying admiringly that my voice sounded just like Axl’s.
I got on the Overground at Wapping, and rode back to Crystal Palace. I took a bus from the train station to hotel.
I can’t remember if these were all one day, or different parts of different days.
We never went back to Greenwich or Revolution.