Monday, June 04, 2007

Catching up

OK. we are a little behind here, not least because I am technically writing a thesis. Which I have promised myself will be finished this week. It won't, by the way - where would be the fun in achievable goals?

The most important news is that my Nanna had a mild stroke late last week, but is now awake and talking perfectly. AWAKE! Remains to be seen whether her mobility will be affected, but it is such a relief, and she is doing well. I have never wanted to be home more, but have been forbidden from buying a plane ticket just yet.

So, without further ado:

Your weekly castle is...the Tower of London, tourist trap for centuries!

Last weekend we went to the Borough Markets (two quid fifty for asparagus? I don't think so) and hence to the Tower of London with Regan and Jace. Regan masterfully avoided the gigantor queues at the ticket office by buying tickets at the empty group booking stands. Several hundred other people failed to work this trick out. I was incredibly impressed.

We tagged along with a yeoman's tour. Very funny guy. For example, he suggested that when people looked at Cullinan I, the biggest chunk of high quality supercompressed prehistoric leaves, which currently graces the British royal crown [edit: it is actually on the sceptre, its little bro Cullinan II is on the crown] and probably making it weigh half a ton, they should think about whether engagement rings they had been given or had bought were large enough.

Cullinan I, actual size (OK, not actual size).

For the public record, I am quite happy with my Robocop UPHOLD THE LAW ring, except that almost immediately after seeing the pretty diamonds in the Tower, we watched Blood Diamond (decent movie, + Leonardo DiCaprio is not only all grown up but can sort of fake a South African accent, but really damned depressing, particularly if you have ever owned anything made out of diamonds - THE BLOOD IS ON OUR HANDS, PEOPLE!).

The Tower also has nice ravens and such like, along with assorted torture chambers which are now very tastefully displayed.

[edit: there is also a most bizarre "museum" - one of the early styles of displaying weapons and whatnot]

And then we ate pizza. It was a good day.

And on the Sunday, we sat around like giant lumps. Can't remember what we did, in fact.

I had a couple of functions during the week which were fun, and made sure I was just tired enough for the weekend, which was actually fairly brutal in its exercise regime. See next!

[edit: photos can be found here]

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