Sunday, June 05, 2011

eye caramba

The lovely Hazel and I went up to London for a quick visit this weekend; in addition to popping in and visiting my sister we did some bog-standard touristy stuff. The thing about the bog-standard touristy stuff, though, is that because we native Brits are a bit sniffy and superior about that sort of thing and scoff about all these places being overrun by fat Americans and Japanese tourists with 23 cameras each, we rarely actually embrace touristdom and go and experience them.

So we decided to get over ourselves and go on the London Eye - which I'd seen in the flesh, as it were, before, in somewhat different circumstances - at New Year 2008 - but never been on. 30-odd quid a head will get you a Fast Track ticket whereby you can avoid most of the queuing with the great unwashed (you can save yourself a tenner if you don't mind doing that), and it's really quite impressive. Short of being in a helicopter I can't imagine anything affording better views of London, and it's considerably less scary than being in a helicopter.

We also had a nose round outside the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Parliament Square (it must have been Brian Haw's day off, though, as I didn't see him). Later in the day we visited the less-frequented Bunhill Fields Gardens (over near Old Street tube station). This contains the graves of some quite famous people (William Blake and Daniel Defoe among others), but also of the unfortunate Mary Page (wife of one of the Page Baronets, all of whom seem to have been called Gregory, strangely - that must have been fun at Christmas), the inscription on whose tomb bears repeating, for it reads:
Here lyes Dame Mary Page
Relict of Sir Gregory Page Bart
She departed this life March 4 1728
In the 56 year of her age
In 67 months she was tap'd 66 times
Had taken away 240 gallons of water
Without ever repining at her case
Or ever fearing the operation
Yikes. It is theorised - by modern medical types who like theorising about this sort of stuff - that she may have had something called Meigs Syndrome. Anyway, be that as it may, some touristy photographs can be found here.

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