Day 3 – 26/06/2015 – London

Currently at Oxford Circus waiting for Sarah to try on white jeans she’s been searching for all day. My feet are absolutely killing me, and all I desire in the world is to get a foot massage. Sarah also wants a massage but it is rather expensive so we’re hesitant. Hopefully we’ll find a cheaper place.

The jet lag hasn’t been too bad. I’ve managed to make it to 1-2 am, the moment after my body has simply stopped. Last night I fell asleep in an Uber.

London has been amazing. Sarah feels underwhelmed. I don’t. The city is truly magnificent. It is filled with tradition and history, progress and modernism. The streets are decorated with buildings designed in the classical and Neo-classical (according to the bus tour guide anyway).

The highlight really has been The Tower of London. It is perhaps the most interesting place in London. It is a mixture of different buildings, from different periods in English and British history. We went and saw the Crown Jewels. What an excess they are! A 3016 carat diamond from South Africa was presented to King George V at his coronation in 1904. I was consternated that it may be an error of typing. It wasn’t.

I was disappointed by the memorial to Anne Boleyn, the executed second wife of Henry VIII. I had expected a lavish memorial to her and the many others executed at the Tower. It was anything but. Just a round glass circle, with a few names on it, including Anne’s. Disappointing to say the least.

Nonetheless the Tower was brilliant. Filled with quaint reminders of the previous power of the monarchy and why it continues to remain endearing to this day.

Actors posing as members of the aristocracy provided good entertainment. They would walk around having private conversations with another, and you would just eavesdrop on what they were talking about. Then they would randomly break out into shouting matches, or Anne Boleyn would randomly emerge and we all would have to bow to the future queen of England.

For a lover of English history, this was all much too exciting.

A couple of hours later we were in Westminster. My excitement now overwhelming my usually placid exterior. We arrived into the Houses of Parliament and gained entry into the public galleries of the House of Commons.

I admit to moments of asphyxiation, as the excitement of the moment got the better to me. Here I was in Parliament. I sounded like a revolutionary as I explained to the underwhelmed Sarah the importance of this place. ‘Freedom, Democracy, Universal suffrage!’ It was all exciting.

In the commons there was a debate about national security. Only a few MPs were in the house. We entered when one MP, a large, tall man, was giving his maiden speech to the house having been elected at the recent 2015 election.

In the Gift Shop, this was the moment to finally purchase a copy of Manga Carta! I had requested it from some friends who had travelled to London before me, but they had not found it. I suppose there aren’t many of people who would go into the Houses of Parliament of Britain, well not people I know anyway. Nonetheless I found it. I shall have it framed upon my return to Australia. I also bought a gold pocket watch ‘exclusive’ to the Houses of Parliament, with House of Commons printed onto it.

It cost a little, yet I didn’t care. What more do I want?

Sarah’s done now with her shopping! Back to London!

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