I started off on the path, but the cold soon got to me, and when I hit an open patch and felt the sun pull on my arms like some strange gravity I veered off to the left and onto the grass. There were Canadian boys with a hackysack – there are always Canadian boys with a hackysack – tossing it back and forth as they meandered up the hill in front of me, kicking it, heading it, larking around.
Written in response to the 2009 Manhire Prize prompt to ‘write about the place – past or present – of human beings in the universe’, in ‘Greenwich meantime’ a young New Zealand backpacker makes a pilgrimage to the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, ‘a kind of quiet amusement park for geeks’.
Shortlisted, 2009 Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing (Fiction)
‘Greenwich, meantime’ and other shortlisted stories, as well as information about the Manhire Prize, are (since the Royal Society’s website overhaul in 2017) no longer available online. The Manhire Prize was offered from 2007 until 2013.