As I said in Part 2, London falls outside the itinerary for this year's trip to England. But there were many great sites we visited, and as we plan out this year's trip, I thought I'd share some of special moments with you.
Two of our favorite British sitcoms (or, if you prefer, Britcoms), are "Yes Minister" and its sequel "Yes, Prime Minister." As in the United States, the British Prime Minister lives and conducts business with politicians, civil servants, and world leaders from his home in the nation's capital. 10 Downing Street isn't like the White House: it's just a row house, connected to other row houses in Whitehall. While I didn't expect the grandeur of the White House, on our first trip to England I had hoped to get a clear view of the doorway through which James Hacker, Bernard Wooley, and James Hacker came and left. Sadly, the home of the British Prime Minister doesn't make for a very good photograph, at least not for the casual overseas visitor.
Unless, that is, you like photos of guards with guns. Then it's awesome.
Oh yeah, show me that heavy artillery! Yes!!!
This year, we've been watching another Britcom that was recently released on DVD. It's called "No Job For A Lady," and stars Penelope Keith, best known for her role as Margot Ledbetter on "Good Neighbors" and Audrey fforbes-Hamilton on "To The Manor Born." In this series she plays Jean Price, a member of Parliament for the Labour Party. She sees herself as an ordinary woman: a woman for the people and of the people. She's not rich, nor does she readily align herself with businesses, unless she's sure the result will be to help the poor and needy. She doesn't even own a car. She rides her bicycle into London each day, chains it to the fence outside the Palace of Westminster, and goes into the House of Commons, where she meets with other politicians and the people she represents.
"No Job for a Lady" may not be as important as "Yes, Minister" and "Yes, Prime Minister," but it shines a bright light on the life of the ordinary, lowly MP. Yes, that's right, I said lowly. As a member of the Labour Party, set before Tony Blair's big win in 1997, Jean Price serves in the Opposition. Consequently, she and her fellow Labour MPs hold little power beyond influence. Still, through grit and determination, Jean Price manages to get some good things done, while working in one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.
On our most recent visit, in November 2013, we walked the streets of London dressed in our thick jackets, with knitted hats covering our heads and gloves on our hands. Between sites of interest, we hopped on the bus, and enjoyed a few brief moments out of the cold and the wind. One day, we decided to try something different, and boarded a water taxi instead. This allowed us to see the Palace of Westminster as many other visitors and locals see it: from the River Thames.
As for the Daleks, the water taxi ride allowed them to relive a moment of glory, when their fellows invaded London and ruled the world, in the classic Doctor Who story "The Dalek Invasion of Earth."
Related Internet Links
Watch the trailer for "No Job for a Lady"