14.07.2012 - 14.07.2012 16 °C
With the Olympics only 2 weeks away and security services a little "testy" it was probably not such a good time for their arrangements to be tested. A visit to the Crown Jewels, 10 Downing Street and Picadilly Circus was probably not such a good idea in hindsight.
All was going swimmingly until I suggested a photo opportunity outside Australia House (Patriotic guy that I am, couldn't help hunting down a little bit of OZ).
I said, "Mandy stand under the front entrance and I'll take a photo of you". I didn't say, "Mandy put down the parcel that you're carrying outside the entrance and then I'll take a photo of you". There is a big difference. Note the parcel that my goddess deposited outside the entrance, to her right hand side in full sight of the security monitors.
Well to cut a long story short, we got some attention.
I sorted out the mistake by offering to undergo a strip search. Why the hell won't anyone take me up on this. I've watched the shows on TV, I know what it's all about.
Next stop the Tower of London and the Crown Jewels, if the Royals protect their Crown Jewels like I protect mine, this should be good.
Based on a conservative estimate, I would reckon that we walked about 25 km. That's what we enjoy anyway.
Arrived at the Tower of London about an hour after opening thanks to the previous incident......the rain was steady as has been the case since we arrived. Certainly appreciate the way of life here when they talk about rain. It starts, stops and then you have sunshine for half an hour then it starts again. Crazy.
We joined onto a tour of the Tower of London. The Beefeaters (not the gin which is Mandy's favourite) are all ex-service with a minimum of 22 years service and with the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, provide the security and tour. The rain was such that the "eater" gave us his lecture (just like the Australian Defence Force services) in the chapel. He was just like we remember sergeant majors to be like; full of themselves and arrogant.
My feeling is that the "jewels" are replicas and not the real thing. Amazing that such wealth was being given to the Royals whilst their people were being transported to Oz for stealing bread out of hunger...Lucky I'm not a labour man.
The tower is really a castle. It's where the royals lived prior to their holiday home at Buck being built. Henry the #8 was a real charmer when it came to females. This is a shot of his bedroom where he was apparently King of the Castle.
And I could see myself in his throne.
Having been through the tower and taking in all the information, the Beefeater asked for any questions. Mandy, as quick as ever responded.
and that's when security mark 2 were called in.
So off to Picadilly Circus, maybe they are a bit more laid back in that spot. A quick stop off at Downing street to visit the PM first.
Big Cam wasn't home so Mandy suggested that I give him a call at his weekender. We needed some tickets into the Lion King and he was surely able to get them for us at the right price.
No luck, so I suggested (wrongly given the days events thus far) that Mandy try to chat up the guard and get him to let us in. She admires Black Caviar and maybe this will give us some brownie points if she can win over the horse.
The Poms love to queue, and so when we found this queue at Trafalgar Square.....
London zoo!! The Poms have this fascination for africian animals. This group of monkeys were attracting a large crowd and we couldn't figure it out.
until we realised that literally they were made of metal. Can't understand what it was all about.
Anyway, back to the hotel whilst we still could. Mandy for the third day running whilst on the Westminster Bridge; asks me the time..........idiot that I am, pull up my sleeve; look at my watch and tell her reverently, 3:29.
The goddess, quite politely points out that I'm a dickhead.......maybe tomorrow when the same question is asked, I'll think to look up.