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AND FINALLY . . .
The twins are the symbol of Gemini, suggesting the duality of the Gemini character.
People born under this sign are very versatile and adaptable. Gemini is an air sign, which indicates compromise.
Geminis are attracted to Virgos, Librans and Sagittarians.
Famous Geminis include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle , Marilyn Monroe and Ann Frank.
The Great Fire
Dawn is breaking over the banks of the Thames, bringing permanence to the nightmare that one always hoped would fade into the night. Armageddon has come to London. Today is Thursday 6th September 1666; for 4 nights and 4 days, it has spread its anger over the city. I watched it all happen from here on Bankside, south of the river. I have seen the moon and stars blotted out by thick billowing smoke; raging, darting flames and sparking embers darting skywards like little devils released from the bowels of the earth. Heard the screams of people running, falling and the explosions as they demolished houses with gunpowder to stop its advance. Fourteen years old, alone and I have no work, it has all gone, the cookhouse where I worked and slept in Pudding Lane, now nothing but ash and rubble.
I’d bedded down, as usual, on sackcloth and straw in the roots store and the Bellman, walking outside, had just called out the hour, 12 O’clock, when I soon fell asleep. Saturday night had been another uncomfortably warm night and I was glad that the hot summer was ending. The wells were getting low and the stench in the streets unbearable. My main job had been to prepare the carrots and marigold leaves ready for the pork or neck of beef. Sometimes people would bring in their own meat, which I would also get ready for cooking. The rest of the time would be spent cleaning the cooking pots, feeding the fires or laying fresh straw on the floor. It was hard work, but I ate well and had a warm place to stay. I always dreamed that one day I would be able to work in one of the better places where they could afford and used Samphire instead of Marigold.
It was late on Sunday night when I woke up to a clambering, shouting and screaming in the lane outside. It gave me such a start that I thought there were Ballers, drunk on small beer, up to no good. I rushed to the door, opened it and stepped into the lane. There was a smell of burning straw and timber. It was the home of Thomas Farryner, the King’s baker, just up the lane, ravaged by fire. Its roof collapsed and the chalk and flint walls crumbled. There were sparks flying and smoke filling the air. Someone shouted that it had
spread to The Star Inn in Fish Street and was rapidly spreading further. There had been an Easterly wind blowing all day, which only made things worse.
In an effort to illuminate the streets, a law had been passed making every household provide light between dusk and 9 am. We kept a lighted lanthorn on the wall outside – another of my jobs ensuring it was lit. With so many unattended naked flames, fires broke out quite often. The Aldermen provided buckets, squirts and hooks, but these were often borrowed and not returned or poorly maintained. That night there was very little to hand and people grabbed their belongings and fled.
I was soon joined by my master, Samuel Smythe, and he beckoned me back into the cookhouse. There was panic everywhere and it was obvious that efforts to stop the fire weren’t working. We bundled up as much as we could and set off down towards the wharf. Once there, Samuel left me with the bundle and went to look for a cart in order to go back for the heavier items. While waiting I became aware of the strange combination of smells coming from the warehouses and the fire. Oil, pitch, tar, hemp, smoke, burning wood, miasma and the sewage of the streets all mixed into a sickening, heady aroma. It was getting all too much for me and I felt sick. Everything was happening so fast and I wondered if I was just having a nightmare.
Samuel returned within the hour with a cart that had cost him £10 instead of the usual £3; I heard tell that later the cost of a cart had risen to £30! He set off, but found it difficult weaving in and out of the crowd moving towards us. He did not go far. The sky was a bright red and in the couple of hours since first waking, the fire had spread well below the cookhouse and engulfed at least forty to fifty houses. I saw his head drop in despair, he’d obviously realised it was hopeless. Someone offered him £20 for the cart. He took it, returned and we sat and watched all the commotion. We thought we were safe, but the fire kept coming towards us until eventually we walked over London Bridge and sought greater safety on the south bank.