Art, architecture, history, travel

Another day in London 1974

7/26 Friday London

Claude Monet

Tower Guard Beefeater

The tour today was one of the best we’ve had on the trip, despite the fact it was late. I slept so well last night I didn’t wake-up until 9:10 when I heard a lady yelling, “Has the tour been postponed? I thought, God I hope so. We have been having American style breakfasts here with bacon and eggs and corn flakes. We are staying in an apartment tower kind of thing with a common dinning area somewhere in London. Near the newly constructed BT Tower in the west end near Regent street.  I have been using the stairs instead of the elevator. I have developed a bad cough. Nolting told me to get something for it at the Chemist’s.

Our RAP is named Tobie he is a proper English gentleman with black hair and a beard. I’m still researching grocery stores. I went for a walk tonight with Shelley. We got lost on the way back and nice women helped us. When she was done she gave us a cheerio and walked away. Toby told us that phrase is not used much any more.

Proper Gentleman

Something new in Britain this year is currency reform. Great Britain now has a decimal system like the US with 100 pence to a pound. They no longer use the shilling, sixpence, farthing system with 240 farthing or 80 pence to a pound. The thing I don’t like about the pound is that it is worth about $1.60 so if something is 50p it’s almost a dollar. It would have been bad to miss this tour. I like the idea of not having to go back and forth for lunch all the time. We should have done that in some of the other cities. I really enjoyed many of the sites. I’m glad I got to see the Albert Memorial. accessed 2012 April 4. I’ve got to go back. I was sorry to hear that the Crystal Palace burned down in 1930, but Tobie(our RAP) said there’s a copy in Houston. I liked Westminster very much. O, Rare! Ben Johnson he’ll always have his name misspelled. Westminster is completely different from St. Peters. Westminster is gothic although some of the restorations are in other styles. Westminster has all kinds of famous people buried there. Mainly popes are buried in St. Peter’s. The popes are buried under the main storey in St. Peter’s; each tomb has a little chapel. Just below this window you find the grave of the Unknown Warrior which commemorates the many thousands killed in the 1914-18 war who have no grave. . In Westminster the people buried under the floor. People can walk over their graves, not so for the popes. Another difference: St. Peter’s is a Cathedral and Westminster is an Abbey. St Peter’s is under the authority of the Pope and the Catholic Church. Westminster is controlled by the Queen and is Anglican. The Popes are elected in the Sistine Chapel and the Kings are coronated in Westminster.

I’m glad it wasn’t crowded at Westminster. Chris a buxom, typically British lass and Toby’s girlfriend, said tours usually don’t see anything. We just happened to be there at noon so we got a special benediction.


Some of the most famous to lie here, include the poets John Dryden, Tennyson, Robert Browning and John Masefield. Many writers, including William Camden, Dr. Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Rudyard Kipling and Thomas Hardy are also buried here.

Charles Dickens’s grave attracts particular interest. As a writer who drew attention to the hardships born by the socially deprived and who advocated the abolition of the slave trade, he won enduring fame and gratitude and today, more than 110 years later, a wreath is still laid on his tomb on the anniversary of his death each year.

Via Veneto
Rome, Italy

I didn’t get to see the jewels because of the bomb scare. It really messed things up. When we got to the gate guards wouldn’t let anyone out. I think it was just a scare, no real bomb. Someone said the bomb squad had been drilling, It was exciting, but I had to miss the jewels. The only things that didn’t mind staying at the tower during the scare were the ravens, because their wings are clipped. I’m having a good time here. We went to the Discotheque and I stayed late-then went gambling and won. It was so late there were no buses or tubes. We walked most of the way home.


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