Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Giant Meercats, Chameleons - all in an average Greenwich day

I seemed to have been living in Greenwich last week, no sooner than I'd left on Monday night than I was back Thursday morning for another mammoth day. It was really busy, as it was the last day of the Equestrian events, and everyone seemed in great spirits that day. Instead to trekking home I decided to stay on for Friday, a much quieter day as there were no events that day, and then back yet again for a very long Saturday.

There has been a great buzz this week, the atmosphere has been terrific. I only regret not skipping the Friday to be there on Sunday as well, as I didn't realise the pentathlon final was on that day in Greenwich.

Click to expand picture - Frank the Chameleon has a day out in Greenwich Market

Saturday turned out to be more entertaining than I'd expected! For most of the week a Hurdy-Gurdy player has been in and around the market. For those who don't know what that is, it's a very odd Elizabethan musical instrument, which has a small keyboard as well as strings. The last time I'd head one being played it wasn't very good (think cats in a bad temper) but this guy was excellent, and I actually quite liked his playing. There's a photo over on Greenwich Market's Facebook Page if you want to see more.

 Having been to a few medieval banquets where the mead was flowing a little too freely I can see how this might have gone down well in 'ye ages gone by.' I've looked at old instruments like this a little more sideways ever since listening to Emilie Autumn's 'Face the wall' (which is an instrumental electric violin song, played by a violin virtuoso who dropped out of the classical world to do more alternative performing.) I never really 'got' violin solos till then, but hearing that I could see how in Bach's day this instrument and style of playing might have seemed revolutionary. It was the rock and roll of the day. Maybe it's my ear, or way I listened to it, but I couldn't fail to notice some of those Hurdy-Gurdy melodies weren't far away from rave & electronic dance music of today. Maybe it is just me, maybe it's because I've spent way too many hours working this week, but looks like I'm not alone in thinking this is an instrument that more could be done with. Elizabethan Star Wars anyone?

Darth Vader vs The Hurdy-Gurdy

So after that if I told you I saw two giant meercats wandering around the market, you'd probably not believe me? I was certainly surprised as I looked up from popping a pendant in a bag for a customer to find a meercat had crept behind my stall and was staring at me!

I've seen them in the market before, they create such a buzz when they come along, and have got the movements down so well too! They are always a pleasure to see, and often have lots of children and adults with cameras stalking behind them!

Then late afternoon there seemed a large crowd gathering besides Ng Jewellery's stall a few stalls away. I looked over and wondered why someone was carrying a model chameleon on her arm. Of course, it wasn't a model, but the real thing! Because the weather was so nice, the lady owner of 'Frank' had taken him out for a walk. She explained chameleons don't really walk much, there like standing still waiting for food to walk past them, but the sunshine and fresh air was good for him. As long as he stayed green, which meant he was happy, and didn't turn grey which meant he was unhappy, he seemed unbothered about lots of oooing strangers stroking him and taking photos. Now I lived very close to Camden Market for many years, and I saw some strange and interesting sights, but certainly never quite so much as you get to see on an average sunny day in Greenwich!

1 comment:

  1. I love Frank! and those Meerkats! What a fab day.