A Couple in England – Day Three – Part One

It occurs to me that since you’ve been invited along with the Hubby and I on our trip to England, you might like to see what your companions look like. The photo above was taken on my last birthday. We didn’t take many pics of ourselves during the course of our trip to England – for reasons that will eventually become clear. In London, it was the weather or the fact that we’re neither of us picture people to begin with.
We began Day Three as we had Day One and Day Two, at Caffe Nero. One of the handful of things the Hubby and I actually have in common is that we both turn our faces against breakfast. Give us a coffee and two cigs each and we’re good to go. Our first destination was Buckingham Palace, via Green Park. This picture, taken as we entered the Park will demonstrate what a dreary day it was.
No sooner had we started towards the Palace then we came across this plaque for the Princess of Wales Memorial Walk. As you can see, I stopped to take a photo. 

“This is the Princess Diana Memorial Walk,” I said.
“Yes . . . I can see that.”
“It winds through four London parks and takes in sites associated with her.”
“Uh huh.” At least he didn’t say my good man.
I looked around at our surroundings. “Green Park.” I sighed. “It was originally a burial site for lepers. Later, they had entertainments here, like ballonists and fireworks.” He doesn’t care! I reminded myself. I can’t help myself! I rejoined. “Handel’s Music For The Royal Fireworks was written specifically for a display here.The Earls of Bath and Bristol fought a duel here.”
“Uh huh.”
Leaving Hubby to his own thoughts (one can only guess) I began taking random photos of the park. The example below is a particular favorite of mine.

Before long, we had reached the Palace. There was only an abbreviated changing of the guard, as we were there on an off day and they really just trotted by on their way to the barracks. We missed most of the pomp and all of the circumstance, but it didn’t matter. We were at Buck House and I took a few more photos to add to the hundred I’ve already taken of the environs.

Finally, we gazed through the gates at the Palace.

“We were inside there last time,” I sighed.
“Yeah. That was great.”
“You enjoyed it?”
“Sure! Who wouldn’t? It was great. The best part was when you told that guide who the guy in the picture was.”
What actually happened was that during the course of our evening champagne tour of the Palace, the guide showed our group around the throne room, but totally ignored a huge, full length portrait of a robed figure. As she walked away I approached her. “Excuse me,” said I, pointing at the painting. “Isn’t that a Wellesley?” Our guide seemed taken aback. “Why, yes. Yes it is.”
“Isn’t it Richard Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington’s eldest brother?”
“I’m amazed that you know that,” the guide had replied.
“Let me get this straight,” I said to Hubby now. “You hate it when I go on about British history to you, but you like it when I point things out to others?”
“Yeah. I love it. The look on their faces is priceless.”
Go figure.
We moved on and walked through St. James’s Park on our way to Horse Guards and came upon a gaggle of friendly geese, birds and squirrels, all of whom charmed the Hubby, who stopped to admire them and suddenly didn’t mind the cold.

“I wish we had some bread,” said Hubby. “Why didn’t we bring bread?”

If the fowl were friendly, the squirrels were even more so.

“Look. They’re going right up to people. We should have brought some bread with us.”
Hubby went on in this manner for quite some time, inexplicably entranced with London wildlife. Eventually, he began making noises meant to draw the squirrels nearer. “C’mere squirrel. Come on. Click, click, click. “Here boy . . .  here boy . . . . that’s it, good boy . . . .  hey, hey, HEY!”

“Did you see that? He attacked me!”
“He didn’t attack you! What did you expect with all that clicking and here boying?”
“It’s not funny.”
“It’s hysterical. You jumped about three feet.” Now I have to tell you that I didn’t take the last picture, I stole it off the web. Apparently, the St. James’s Park squirrels are known for this sort of behaviour. Oh, if only I’d had my own camera at the ready . . . . But I swear to you, the squirrel climbed up Hubby’s foot and began to make its way up his leg until he did a version of the St. Vitus Dance and dislodged it. Reader, it was priceless.
“Just imagine if we’d brought bread with us,” I said through gasps of laughter.
“Very funny.”
“We should come back tomorrow with some croissants. Maybe you can get one of them to go for your neck.”
“You’re a regular riot, Alice.”
Once we’d collected ourselves, we left the park and soon found ourselves at the Duke of York’s Column.

“That’s the Duke of York’s Column.”
“Uh uh. Are we anywhere near where you’re taking me yet? Where are we going again?”
“Horse Guards. Where the Duke of York had his offices. And more importantly, where Artie had his. He was married to Freddie.”
“Artie was married to Freddie?”
“No! The Duke of York. But he had a mistress, Mary Anne Clarke, and there was a huge scandal when it came out that she was selling army commissions.”
“The Duke of York had a mistress and a scandal and they gave him a column?”
“Freddie lived at Oatlands. We’re going there.”
“No! Oatlands is near Windsor. We’re going to Horse Guards now.”
“What’s at Horse Guards, anyway?”
“Horses. And Guards. Come on, you’re going to love it.”
Part Two Comi
ng Soon . . . . .

12 thoughts on “A Couple in England – Day Three – Part One”

  1. You're welcome, Diane! I wish you and I could be in London together again. You would certainly have known that Artie hadn't been married to Freddie. Sigh. Maybe we should organize a Number One London Wellington tour to England?

  2. Oh I would love a Number One London tour of England! What fun!!

    And I do so wish you had been able to film your poor hubby's close encounter of the squirrel kind!! Poor thing! He had better be glad the geese were friendly. They can be quite ferocious!

    I am so enjoying your tour!!

  3. It would be fun, no? We could do a Wellington tour and visit London, Dover, Brighton, Stratfield Saye, etc. The only problem would be that we'd all encourage one another not to return home!

  4. Welcome to England and I love reading about your stay here. I think being born and bred in this small Isle we tend to forget the history beneath our feet and take it for granted but reading your blog has made me appreciate it more, thank you Kristine

  5. I simply had to comment because I love the way you write. Had me laughing a good few times, it was like a story in itself. And I can certainly relate to knowing things that other people aren't interested in! The bit about the squirrel was especially funny…I'm not too sure I'd like one running up my leg either, but good comeback to your hubby! Sounds like you are enjoying your time in London and it makes me want to go there even more. I'm in Nottingham and haven't yet found the chance, but I've been looking at serviced apartments around the city because I plan to stay for a month or two when I do go. Where would you suggest is a good place to stay? Thanks for the interesting post and I'll definitely be returning to read more! 😀

  6. Jeez, I couldn't begin to tell you about serviced apartments. I'm never in London long enough to need one, more's the pity. Look on Trip Advisor, would be my first suggestion. I'm so glad you're enjoying these posts and that I've been able to provide a laugh or two along the way.

  7. I am so enjoying your trip posts, Kristine. I take so few pictures that I love it when I see some of places I have visited and can relive it again. And one can never go to Apsley House too many times;-)

  8. Thank you, Denise. And thanks to everyone who has taken the time to tell me how much you're enjoying these posts. I'm having a ball writing and reliving them. I seem to take lots of pics, but none of myself or the people I'm with! And I'm so glad to hear that you, too, think one can never go to Apsley House too many times. A girl after my own heart.

  9. Diane – Fairy tales, do come true, it could happen to you . . . we're seriously considering organizing a Number One London Wellington Tour for 2014. London, Walmer, Dover, Brighton, Stratfield Saye, Windsor and a few surprises along the way. Fingers crossed, we may again be sipping port together by an English fire.

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