Monday, November 22, 2010
Sight seeing was done in fits and starts---Sayali managed to take Thursdays and Fridays off for two consecutive weeks---and with these added to the Weekends it really was very convenient----that's when we went around London!!With the exception of Madame Tussaud's(hate Wax statues---hangover of the film"House of Wax"),Hampstead Heath and Islington,we "did" all the other Sights.The place that I really wanted to see was the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.We took a guided tour and were shown around the Tower----some parts of the Tower---the Traitor's Gate,the Tower Green,the White Tower---all these are so poignant and saddening!!!Illustrious folk like Sir Thomas Moore have been executed and their heads hung on Pikes during the reign of Henry the Eighth---not to mention the Regicide of Charles the First---for me it was truly momentous---to tread the same stones as them---a true Walk with History!!
Then of course there were my "Nostalgia" Foods---Scones and Crumpets with Strawberry Jam--lots of Clotted Cream piled on top,Fish 'n Chips,Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding,Full English Breakfast,crisp Toast of Hovis Bread spread thickly with creamy English Butter,Pies--Steak and Kidney,Shepherd's and Mutton,the Cornish Pasty----oh it was a dream come true!!!Only regret? Couldn't eat the whole Portion thanks to dietary restrictions---but really and truly LOVED the taste!!!The fresh Fruits and Vegetables all organically grown---those "British" stamps on stuff like Bacon,Sausages,Ham,Beef---very proudly proclaiming their lineage!!In the midst of all this there were the "Curries" too----it has become a staple food in Britain today!!As they say there should be some "give and take" in each relationship---and this is it!!!The British ruled India---but today Indian Cuisine rules the Roost in Britain---a real Tit for Tat--wouldn't you agree??Jai Curries and Tikka Masalas!!!
Shopping meant our trips to Selfridges,Harrods and Fortnum & Mason's.It was lovely to actually be there having read so much about them.The actual "High" was our visit to beautiful Greenwich Village----it was what I'd been looking for!!!Right out of an Enid Blyton book---the Sweet Shoppe was exactly the way it had been drawn in ink in Mr.Pinkwhistle books---the Glass Jars sparkling and winking with Bull's Eyes,Humbugs,Gum Drops,Licorice Sticks,Peppermint Canes,Mint Drops and Boiled Sweets----the only thing missing was the round figured dumpling of a twinkling eyed old Lady with her hair caught up in a Cottage Loaf Bun!!!I made Sayali photograph the inside and the facade of this Shop----those Boiled Sweets were simply yummyyyyy!!Later we walked around the Village---and really felt as if we were a part of a picturebook!!The Village Market Place was full of various Stalls----Food from all corners of the World,hand knit Woollens,homemade Jams,Pickles and Honey,a variety of Teas
and Tisanes claiming to invigorate and cure different Maladies,Leather Goods----oh it was a veritable Treasure Trove and a true Feast for the senses!!Standing on the GMT Line was great----the whole thing was so very quinessentially British---the very Britain I was looking for---the one which was where my father had lived and studied more than sixty five years back!!
I've come back home with a longing to return---there's so much there I've still to see and experience---Cornwall,Wales,the Lake District,Devonshire,Yorkshire,the White Cliffs of Dover,Scotland and Ireland--------as and when I do that----all those books and their characters I've read about will come alive and walk hand in handwith me!!!