This past Tuesday we headed off to London’s Venice otherwise called “Little Venice.” This series of canals were constructed in the 1810’s for trade and transportation. The author of the term “Little Venice” is disputed between famed poet Robert Browning and novelist Margery Allingham. A deeply sad Browning returned to live in this area after the death of his beloved wife and poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It is located in a very upscale section of the city and a great place to visit.
We took a boat ride to Camden Market (where we previously visited a few weeks ago) and returned back. It was something different to do here in a bustling ad hectic city. These canals are located in a neighborhood which s hidden from noise, traffic, and mass tourism. Along the river are numerous boats which are used for different purposes: art museum, boat rides, restaurants, and puppet theater. There is a row of boats which are houses. These houses can cost up to 20,000 pounds with annual mooring (docking) fees between 6,000-10,000 pounds. These brightly colored boats each have unique personalities with creative and differentiating names. Some of the boats have flowers and plants on top of them, while some just have plastic storage boxes. There is a narrow walkway one can use to walk along the canal. It was interesting to see the backyards of these big, beautiful, and fancy houses. There was even a sculpted cow in one of the backyard! It is definitely a different ad unique place to visit-which isn’t surprising since its so close to Camden Market.
On the way to Camden Market we basically had the whole boat to ourselves. But on our returning trip it was filled with elderly people. I even got scolded by one for “being rude” because I was “talking too loud.” On our boat ride we saw a huge sign which said “Before I die…” slanted against the walkway. So once we were finished with the ride we walked to get a closer view of it.
It was this huge plank of wood which people wrote on chalk there aspirations, dreams, and desires which they wished to see accomplished in their lifetime. There was chalk next to it so we added our own “Before I Die…” wishes to the ever increasing list. You could tell extra wooden planks were added because so many people kept writing on them. The wishes varied from “traveling the world”, “move back to Cork”, “to see my children live a happy life,” to those more philosophical in nature “to finally be free”, “free from desire,” “create a something which will withstand time”, to just silly ones, “be batman”, “cook and dine with Katie Price”, “get a girlfriend.” A whole laundry list of different people’s desires all on one board. So many different people yet so many of the listed wishes were mutual while others were extremely different. It really makes one think about those cliche questions on how short life is and what one really wants out of life. Ancient and classical Greek philosopher Socrates said, “The unexamined life is a life not worth living.” How true that is. Maybe its time we examine our lives from time to time and ponder what our ultimate end goal(s) is and how we are trying to attain it (them). Let us not lay dying on our deathbeds with unfulfilled hopes. We often let life go by so quickly not giving ourselves a chance to really think and ponder about it and those daunting goals which we wish to do “Before I Die I want to…” BEFORE I DIE I WANT TO…