Big Ben and So Much More

Mon 25th:London

The first glimpse of light through the bay window reveals the trees of the secret garden below. It’s not hard to let your inner child’s imagination run wild, with thoughts of adventures galore below.

I thought I may have run out of steam by now but I am up early and we leave after a coffee, as Ken has a meeting. The train ride into London gives me sneak previews of what’s in store. It is during this ride I first see Big Ben and I am not disappointed-he is everything I expected him to be, even from a distance, as are the rows of houses with their quaint little chimneys atop. Santa must be in his element when he visits London!

Ken shows me the way to St Paul’s Cathedral before heading to his office.

I do the tourist thing like everyone else and take selfies out the front before going inside. It is while I am admiring the Cathedral that I get my first cuddle in London….the man beside me speaking excitedly as he squeezes me. I bask in the moment before he realises I am not his wife. His face? Priceless! His wife’s reaction behind us though, even better! She is in hysterics laughing at his innocent mistake. If only I knew what he was saying……probably something saucy!

The history of the castle is astounding ….least of all knowing Diana walked this very path to fulfill a fairy-tale romance and marry her Prince……we won’t dwell on the happy ever after because even that does not taint the magic. Even though our guide, Terry, never chose me to sit on the Queens throne, his demeanour and knowledge held his audience captivated. It was a shame to have to walk out of the tour early, but we wanted to try to catch the changing of the guards.

Time was not our friend today, and although I got to see the guards with their bearskin hats, we missed the actual changing of the guards. We stroll around the Buckingham Palace grounds on our way to catch a double decker bus.

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I snapped happily away regardless of the cool weather and overcast skies. Our guide, Noddy, giving us his special version of London’s past.

I get my chance at seeing Big Ben close up-love it!!! We hop off at Tower of London and tag on to a Beefeater tour before branching out on our own. The history here is phenomenal. London, I now know, deserves so much more than the couple of days I have allowed for it in my itinerary. Definitely coming back to explore further and spend more time here.

After The Tower of London we board the ferry which gives us a different perspective of the London sights. I am ticking boxes like a woman possessed today!

I think for my London experience to be complete I just need a red phone box and a Bobby! On our way to Trafalgar Square to meet Kens mate Greg, I get a photo opportunity with a red phone booth.

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“Quickly, take the bloody photo Ken!!!!!!!”

I am ecstatic! That enthusiasm comes to a screaming halt however, when I open the door and realise it has become an ensuite for the homeless. Not to be deterred I held my breath and begged Ken to take the photo quickly! Rancid! I try to imagine how well the contents would ferment in Hedland in the middle of 48 degree days in Summer! I was dry retching for a while after…..not my finest moment, but so glad I ticked the box -AND survived!!!!!!

We meet up with Greg and head to a pub for a pint…..or a water, whatever! We wander around a little more. Luckily for some young lass, as we strolled I noticed she had her skirt caught up under her belt and was walking around London with her butt bared to all. I raced up to her and let her know and quickly pull her skirt down to cover her bits-she was slightly embarrassed but grateful. Not sure the guys thought I’d necessarily done the right thing but hey….?

Later we watched some street entertainment before agreeing on pizza for dinner. I’m renowned for being unable to make decisions. The question, “tea or coffee?” sends me into a head spin. Hate decision making. It took me a while to decide which drink to have, then the waiter informs me they don’t have it….told him to surprise me. It was a good surprise so I ordered a second. We sang Happy Birthday to a young lady out celebrating with her friends, then decided to head off. The night was still young but I was outnumbered when I suggested music and dancing sounded like fun, so we said our goodbyes to Greg and headed off.

I will probably be grateful in the morning that I am tucked up at a reasonable hour.

Goodnight all

Love you 40-leven

kiss

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