02 November 2009

This That and The Other in London

Our extremely entertaining Yeoman! Did you know (or care??) that today there are 35 Yeomen Warders and one Chief Warder. All warders are retired from the Armed Forces of Commonwealth realms and must be former senior non-commissioned officers with at least 22 years of service. They must also hold the Long Service and Good Conduct medal. NCOs from the Army, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force are eligible to apply, but members of the Royal Navy are not, because while members of the other services take oaths to the Crown, members of the Navy take an oath to the Admiralty.
The tomb of Isaac Newton. As a regular breaker of rules, I took this picture after we attended the beautiful Evensong service at Westminster Abbey. I told the kids that we were just saving the 18 pounds per person charge to tour the Abbey, but actually the choir sung service was a calm break in our non-stop forced march through the streets of London. You are not supposed to do any touristic activities while you are in the Abbey for the service...thus the non-flash surreptitious photo taking.

We never quite succeeded in remembering which way to look. We just ended up looking both ways all the time in order to not be flattened by the oh-so-patient London drivers.
This was so close to my heart...a shout out to Dad! I will always connect St Martin in the Fields to the classical music that Dad played all the time. The calm dulcet voice announcing that they were playing this or that piece featuring Sir Neville Marriner and the St Martin in the Fields Chamber Orchestra.

Long live that Queen!
Ole Vic
Covent Gardens...now just a bit too touristy for me. Felt like Pier 49 in San Francisco...in fact, I think the street performers were a franchise for how similar they were to what we have seen in SF. I even saw our old Peruvian buddies playing those Pan flutes!!
The Borough Market...WAY crowded, but good lunch and fabulous farm fresh meat and produce.
Celia prayed at the altar of Harrod's and loved every minute of this bizarre and incredible place. We had to admit that the clerks at Harrod's were the nicest people in London.
Piccadilly Circus...what a madhouse! But we did find a really good take-out Sushi restaurant near there!

The view out of our Youth Hostel room window. On Halloween night they even shot fireworks off the top. There was a banner announcing the countdown to the 2012 Olympics...1000 days to go!! I just cannot even imagine what a total and complete madhouse London will be if it was to the gills crowded the week we were there!
Nathan's favorite toy at Harrod's.
We lucked out and came out of Harrod's shortly before they turned on the Christmas Lights for the first time. Dannii Minogue was the celebrity on hand to push the button. She led the crowd in a countdown, hit the lights, and then fled for the food store behind her with a huge mob in full pursuit. Out come the riot police and sirens. What a first hand lesson in the British obsession with celebrity...it was quite an experience!

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