BLOG DAY25- a be-heading at the Tower
Okay, so I stretched the truth a tad. But hey, its exactly what they used to do at the Tower and we seen not only the Axe but also the block that they used to do it all on.
We started the day early with a brisk walk and a cup of Coffee to help us on our way. By the time the Tower opened we were standing at the front gates waiting to get in at the front of a short line. Now the Tower is the home to the Beefeater Guard Regiment and it houses the Royal Arms Collection……………….er, used to. But more about that later.
My young charge Darren, was rather upset that the Black hat Guard crew were nowhere to be found, and we had talked him into getting his pic standing next to a Beefeater since they are “way cool” in teen talk. Finally it was decided and the Guards seemed amiable enough to allow us to sidle up and get a pic for the folks back home.
The bad news arrived while we are talking to the Guards and Mom is reading some info on the Tower history. It seems that the powers of London decided to move all or most of the Arms to Leeds and open a new Museum just for the UK Armoury…………..and we drove right thru Leeds and new nothing of it. Pray for me Pastor Mike as I said a few things I shouldn’t have…………no, God did no reprimand me but my wife sure did. We as it all turned out there was still a fair representation of Armour within the Tower Museum and it was an open Museum for picture taking which always makes it nice.
It was a beautiful day in London, with high puffy clouds and brilliant sunshine poking thru the holes. We had done the Tower tour and are off to one of the oldest Live Theatres in London the Globe Shakespeare. My darling bride when asked what was here main objective in traveling to London, had committed us to seeing a live performance of Shakespeare……………..absolutely anything by William would be fine. SO we had a fun time at this open roofed Theatre built in a circular fashion and having been in steady use since Shakespeare’s time……….so……….about 1975????
The play was Othello, and it was just great…………and I am not a live theatre sort’a guy. Gimme guns and action any day, unless its Hobbits slashing Orc’s, or Crowe in the Hippodrome……………but live theatre………..and all that “wither thou” and “hark” stuff!! Jeremiah had a fine plate of crow too eat and my friend Darren made sure I ate all of it……………..it reminded me of the Liver , which I also very much enjoyed.
The play, with an intermission took about 3 hours and a little walking was in order to round up the spots that had gone flat sitting on those hard wooden benches. So we took a stroll across the Thames River and up the far bank from the Theatre. We headed for the floating HMS BELFAST Museum, which is a decommissioned battle ship from the mighty English fleet. This was a little different version in that they had wax type characters set up in various places amid the ship. And the characters were set to look as if they were doing their normal daily duty, be it a Dentist or Diesel Mechanic, a Cook or his helpers. Plenty of big iron to look at, and a lot of little gun barrels poking out anyplace there wasn’t room for a big piece of pipe.
With that done, we continued along the river side and walked thru an Art Exhibit by some renowned artist in which he has set up 10 foot tall guitars each modeled after some famous band or maybe an individual artist. I noticed the greats like who else but the Beetles……….and a little ways on we seen the Monkee’s, we seen one for B B King and another for Dave Stamey…………then there was Les Paul and a tribute to Nashville. The long road ahead to the Hostel was now infront of us and back across the bridge and we would wind our way back to our headquarters in Picadilly Circus.
Since it was most likely our last night to eat out in London, we decided to eat some of what had become our favorite food stops………….and have some “Pub Grub”. Nevada and Darren had some braised Fish and veggies. Pine got brave and had the Crayfish along with a plate of fried potato slices and melted cheese poured over, mixed in with it was bits of Ham or Gammon as they like to call it. Mom had a Yorkshire which was ladled full of mashed Tatties and Onion gravy, topped with a local make of pork sausage and veggies. I had a Ham/Leek and Stilton cheese Pastie, along with a little mash and gravy tooped with a few veggies. It all went down real fine, sitting outside on such a wonderful night with such good kids. How could you not feel Blessed. We had a last shot of some great Ginger Ale, which they make very well in the UK, and it proves to be very hard to find here. Closest thing we find here is Vernor’s………….which is close but still not that same sharp Ginger Ale taste.
Its now time for a stiff black coffee, and some dessert. It as unanimous………it was to be our last chance to try sticky Pudding once again, so three of them had the proverbial English fave…………….and Mom and I split an Apple Crisp. What a great night as we walked slowly back through the city and compared notes and thoughts on what had made the trip good and bad. While walking, we passed the Church of the Knights Templar, as it turned out it was closed, but would have been very cool to walk through. We seen the original location or Twining’s Earl Grey Teas. The kids still had a few items to shop for, so a little street shopping was in order to finish out the day. The city grew dark, the night life seemed to rise with the setting of the sun, the streets came to life with a new crowd once again. We sat in front of a fountain in a Square, the light on the adjacent building was just beautiful, we could look down the street and see the Tower Big Ben. Youth on skateboards whizzed by, vendors barked out details of items for sale while Lamborghini’s roared and bellowed in the streets like cats out on the savannah. It was past eleven when we made that long walk back up those 8 flights of stairs to our bed and our Hostel.
Good Night and God Bless