From the earliest days of my travel blog, I’ve maintained an ethos of travelling on my doorstep and beyond. I’ve read your blogs and felt pangs of urge to visit the countries you’ve written about. Through your words, your photographs, your memories, you take me on journeys to lands I’ve dreamt of and lands I never knew of. Occasionally, I have shared some of my treasured local finds – the pocket-sized phone box library, my favourite local food market and even a glimpse into my little London village. But truth be told, I’ve neglected my doorstep – my gaze always adrift to counties, countries and continents further afield.
A sunny afternoon in Greenwich
Good thing I have Pumpkin to remind me just how much I love the borough of Greenwich, which I can proudly call home. One rare Saturday morning, when my less than ambitious plans involved pyjamas and baking (my default “free Saturday” activity), he suggested an impromptu visit to the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, thereby giving me an opportunity to travel both on my doorstep and beyond all in one. Now, how’s that for efficiency? Out with the PJs and in with the summer dress.
The Greenwich and Docklands International Festival
This free event showcases some of the best international talent in the world in the fields of street circus, theatre, dance and the performing arts. We headed to Greenwich on a blissfully sunny afternoon to find the lawns and gardens around the Maritime Museum and Old Royal Naval College heaving with free games, performers and art exhibits.
There was something for everyone at this festival – the tiny tots, the arty sorts and the rest of us mere mortals.
We walked around with a programme, in the way that you do because it makes you feel a bit more like you know what you’re doing and we tried to formulate a timely structure for the day about which events to go to.
But within a few seconds, we threw in the towel and decided to let our instincts guide us to whatever looked most intriguing. And speaking of towel-throwing, our first experience was watching an eccentric, vintage, laundry-style dance routine. If my description of it is as clear as mud, it’s because that was the extent of my understanding on it. Hopefully the pictures do more justice.I’m not sure I’m enough of a thespian to interpret the hidden nuances of contemporary performing arts but I was blown away by this captivating 2-person performance, which began in a concealed cage, progressed through a circular tale of emotion and ended in the liberation of souls. It was a poignant love story. And this was the only reason I understood it. Feed me a love story in any language or shape and I will feel that twinge. Because that’s just how we romantics are.
The cafes around Greenwich, which are bursting to the seams on any given Saturday were on this day, overwhelmingly short of free seats so we grabbed ourselves some takeaway traditional Argentine empanadas (the best we have had since San Telmo Market in Buenos Aires itself) and picnicked in the park.Authentic international cuisine and artists from around the globe – not bad for a glorious day out just 5 minutes away from home.Have you been to any festivals near your own home?