On another cold rainy day my wife and I sit in our room and eat more Pret a Manager. We are hiding out from the rain after we attended a Trooping the Colour rehearsal. We had the privilege to stand next to the courtyard where the troops performed. It was raining the whole time we were there so it was not as enjoyable as it may normally be. I will say the effort it takes to plan the event and the effort to make it look so good is not easy. A person can tell that the soldiers work very hard perfecting the ceremony for the Queen. It is a birthday celebration for the Queen, although her birthday is in April they will perform it in June.
Allow me to rewind the clock to last Thursday so I can fill everyone in on the basic details of what we have done. Our main event on Thursday was a tour of the Metropolitan Police Museum. Here we learned many things about the history of the Metropolitan Police. We were allowed to look at the logging book from previous officers, uniforms that have been worn over the years, weapons and communication systems, and the different badges that officers have earned in the line of duty. An individual that I found interesting was Commissioner Bradford who had lost his arm during duty. The question of how is the best part. He actually shoved his arm down the throat of a tiger while his was serving in India. He did this to sacrifice his arm so the tiger would not eat him. On that rainy day we went to the Natural History Museum, the number one museum on my list that I wanted to go to. Unfortunately, there were so many people that it was hard to move around. Skyler and I still managed to check almost everything out. We rode the large escalator into the burning globe, stared in awe at the life size blue whale, looked at the many mammal taxidermy pieces, and caught up on our knowledge of dinosaurs.
Denise, you will probably enjoy reading this if you can. If not Google it, the animal is called the Giant Irish Deer. I have heard of it before, but essentially it was a deer the body size of a moose, but the antlers grew to be much larger. They went extinct during a part of the ice age when there food source was wiped out.
Moving on to Friday we had a Magistrate Court Visit. The Magistrate Court is the lowest court in the land here; this is where individuals are taken for their first proceedings. There are so many differences in their court system than ours. One big difference is that there are Lay Judges. These judges serve as a group of three that conduct the trial. It takes two of them to agree on something in order for it to be approved. The Lay Judges are just normal citizens that are directed by a legal advisor that knows the law much better. A big difference is how much stricter our legal system is. The first case was over a man that stole something from a store after drinking at a pub. He had 90+ offenses before this, no you are not reading that wrong. He was only sentenced to a month in jail and had to pay back 150 pounds six months after he was released. If someone had that many offenses here the legal system would just put them away. Even crazier was the women who was tried not long after him. She was probably around our ages and pleaded guilty to assaulting five police officers. She used mental illness as the reason she committed those crimes. They extended her trial to do a full report over her mental illness. The assault included spitting, scratching, and head-butting the officers. If a person assaulted that many police officers in the United States they would not likely get anything less than 20 years. After our scheduled visit on Friday we went to M&M World. It is a huge building where we were able to select from a variety of M&M colors and even get scanned for which color we are. I came up with yellow, so I bought a baseball with the yellow M&M on it.
On Saturday we went the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. Unfortunately, the Queen’s dressing room at the Houses of Parliament was closed for the time being. The most interesting parts of the tour for me where the different chambers for the Houses of Parliament. The beautiful red room is known as the House of Lords where people are placed because they are royalty. They do not have as much power as the House of Commons, but they are highly respected. They can only put a bill on hold for a year, but don’t have a way to veto it. The House of the Commons is represented by a green room that is not nearly as elegant. The people here are elected officials that make the legislation. Something interesting here was how the different colors pertain to bridges in London. The bridge to the west is green, which is the same color as the House of Commons which is on the west side. The bridge to the east is red, which is the same color as the House of Lords which is on the east side. After that we went across the street to Westminster Abbey. Westminster Abbey is a beautiful church where past royalty is buried in elegant tombs. This church is open to the public for worship and the corridors attached to the church are even where the courtyard from Harry Potter was filmed. That night my lovely wife and I went to Bubba Gump Shrimp Company for supper in Piccadilly Circus.
This is the corridors of the courtyard in the Harry Potter movies.
That brings us too yesterday when we all made it out of the city. First, we went to Stonehenge and all of us purposed ideas as to what its purpose was. I have always thought of it as a sacrificial place where people came from all over if they were unhealthy to sacrifice themselves. Our great tour guide told us that many remains have been dug up around the area, one of a young child that was obviously murdered by a blow to the head. I can check that wonder of the world of my checklist now. After that we went to the town of Bath. Here the Roman baths are nestled in the city. The water comes from deep in the earth and comes in at 46 degrees Celsius. The water is made up of many minerals and gases. The Roman’s made the area into a large spa where people could come and sit in the pools, saunas, and worship by the sacred pool. Many people came to change their ways or wish for new things when they drank the water. I enjoyed this trip as it was a chance to get out and enjoy the countryside after being in the city for a week. The other thing I can’t go without mentioning is the many sheep that we saw on our trip. The sheep here can be compared to our cows in importance.