London – does the greatest big city need the smallest rooms?

I love London. It is everything a giant city should be and has everything the two of us need. Hectic, old, cultured, diverse, civil, with a fabulous mass transit system, a seemingly endless supply of bell towers complete with the world’s best bell-ringers and for those of our group of a more genteel nature, an equally endless supply of pubs, with world-class beers and beer drinkers. We have been to London before, Beth has been here many times, have spent her 7th and 8th grade years living here, acquiring a refined English accent while attending another in her long line of snotty schools (Camden School for Girls, to go along with Green Acres School, National Cathedral School, and Rice, see the pattern?). We came here together about 4 years ago, and I was immediately drawn to the pub lifestyle. I’m not a big time drinker, but I do like the beer (lower % alcohol), general camaraderie, slow down, have a couple, then move along approach that their pubs promote, and our restaurants and night clubs generally do not.

ANYWAY, this time we didn’t have to do a lot of the newbie sight-seeing, since (do I have to spell this out?), we weren’t newbies. But, it’s a big place so sightseeing was in order, besides, dear reader, you may not have been to London.  Here’s what we saw this time:


Yep, it’s Trafalgar Square. And this Large Blue, uh, rooster?, is the current Fourth Plinth occupant. See what I mean about cultured?

Anyway, the real purpose of our trip to London was to reacquaint us with the English language prior to our return to the states, and, even more importantly, for Beth to ring the bells at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Beth is a member of the Ancient Society of College Youths (CY), a new-found body (established in 1637 (that is not a typo)) and was invited to ring at St. Paul’s. This is roughly equivalent to me being invited to play at the Masters. The primary difference being that her being a CY establishes her as being good enough to do so, my being invited to play at Augusta would probably indicate it is known I own golf clubs, and that the issuer of the invitation was somewhat deranged.  Anyway, Beth was appropriately nervous. The ringing is done on cue, there is no hitting practice balls, walk up, tee it up, ignore the fact that you are playing on the most famous of all course, and you’d best hit it down the middle. My bride, as per usual, performed brilliantly.

Here’s a small clip at Youtube.

More later, but the title comes from the fact that our entire room would have easily fit inside our Venice bathroom. No, really.

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About markfrombethesda

A recovering quantitative political scientist, after having grown up and being educated in Texas I have recently retired from the exciting world of government consulting and research in Washington, DC. I have a lovely wife, lovely adult daughter, and lovely home in a lovely suburb of a largely lovely city.

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