My London Adventure

“Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?”

Absolutely not, because I’m in London and it’s beautiful and not snowy.

This weekend, we spent Saturday in Greenwich, which is where time starts. Lemme tell you a little about Greenwich.

First of all, the Prime Meridian is there (that’s the line that splits the Easter and Western hemispheres). So, you can be in two hemispheres. Like this:

I’m 95% sure my right foot is in the East and my left foot is in the West.

And let me tell you why this is so valuable. So back in the day, before phones and clocks and things, sailors needed to tell how far East-to-West they were. They’d already figured out the Equator and North-to-South, but since they couldn’t tell how far East-to-West they were, they could never pinpoint exactly where they were. This made for extra dangerous travel.

So they figured out time could help determine where they were. If the world in 360° (which it is because that’s how circles work), and we do a full rotation in 24 hours, by doing some magical math they figured out that every 1° was equivalent to 4 minutes. So, that’s really helpful. If you know what time it is at home, and you know what time it is where you’re at, some math will tell you where you’re at. But, since there were no digital clocks, and all of their clocks were based on rotation (or something, my teacher was confused and did a kinda terrible job explaining it) being out at sea messed up the time “at home.” So then they tried using the stars, but for that they needed charts and they built the observatory, which is where we went this week. And eventually, when we figured out time zones would be a great idea, we started in Greenwich because that’s where the Royal Observatory is.

So, we took cute pictures on the Prime Meridian…

Very cute, girly picture on the Prime Meridian with some of my new friends!
Harrison’s First Timekeeper: “This timekeeper took five years to build. In 1736, it was tested on a sea voyage to Lisbon and back. Harrison was very seasick, but the timekeeper worked. It was the most accurate sea-going clock.”- From the plaque in the museum

…went through the museum about time…

Greenwich
Lisa, Clarissa, Katie, and me enjoying the sun and the grass!

…and then spent about an hour taking pictures and enjoying the sun.

Let me tell you something about spring in London. It’s so different from spring at home, probably because [usually] our winters are significantly more mild than they are here. But, here, this winter has been the wettest in a very long time, so while we haven’t been frozen, we have been wet. And that isn’t fun. And we had a few genuinely nice days. Like, 55° and clear and sunny. And it’s amazing what the sun does for our spirits and our moods.

Spring in London is beautiful. Sunday, when we finally got going (which took until after noon), we went and read outside in the sun. And everyone and their dog (literally; there are lots of dogs in London, and they’re well-behaved) had the same idea.

So we sat in the sun, Lisa and Clarissa and me, and read our books and listened to the people around us. And that was really cool for me because in London, like I imagine any big city, people just ignore each other. I always feel very isolated from the people around me on the tube or the bus or on the sidewalk. And being in the park this weekend, while no strangers came up to me and made small talk (there was one case where some boys were playing football- or for us Americans, soccer- and they accidentally kicked the ball toward us; the older one told the younger ones to apologize and when I told them it was fine, he laughed and told me to not tell them that, “don’t give them ideas” or something like that), I felt like we were more a part of something. More a part of the life.

At home, that’s always a thing. I never feel isolated from the people around me. Telling a complete stranger “hi,” while walking through the grocery store is normal. And here it really isn’t. Everyone kind of goes on doing their own thing. But it seemed like being in the park changed that. And that is amazing.

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