We had unexpected free time in London last week after an event we were attending was cancelled, so Mike allowed me to indulge my love of all things Tudor by paying a visit to the Tower of London.
I haven’t visited the tower for years so it was good to see it again but even better to see it literally heaving with tourists from all corners of the globe.
Our economy needs the boost of regular tourism and the Tower of London is one of the UK’s Top 10 attractions.
Anyone who has visited knows that it’s not just one tower, but a collection of towers and buildings that have evolved since the Normans built the foreboding White Tower, which stands guard in the centre.
The backdrop for all sorts of political intrigue, murder and uprisings, the Tower gradually became more of a prison and less of a royal residence as time went by.
It was fascinating to walk in the footsteps of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII and ill-fated queens, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard among others.
Other eminent prisoners included Sir Walter Raleigh, Elizabeth 1st and Rudolf Hess. Even the Kray twins were imprisoned there in the 1950s.
We really enjoyed our visit but what irritated me a little was that, with such a wealth of knowledge and research available, the Beefeaters and tour guides tell gullible tourists all sorts of rubbish that is definitely untrue.
For example, the scaffold memorial, on the ‘site of the block’, isn’t in the correct place at all.
And one guide was merrily pointing out where Anne Boleyn was allegedly imprisoned.
H owever, the buildings he referred to weren’t even built until four years after her death.
As someone who has researched a lot, I had to grit my teeth a bit when hearing guides reporting all sorts of wild inaccuracies.
But the funniest thing I heard actually came from two American tourists exiting Bloody Tower.
‘Was that it?’ said one to the other, adding ‘Where’s all the blood?’
How do I hit my 10,000 steps without moving to London?
As walking 10,000 steps a day is seen as a healthy goal, I’m having a competition with daughter Eloise who lives in London. We’re both recording our progress on an iPhone app.
As an active person, I thought I’d find it easy. Wrong. Last week, I notched up 28,000 steps over two days in London, but only managed a measly 5,000 steps yesterday – and that was after walking the dog and tramping around Chichester. Eloise has a head start as she’s always on the Tube and walks everywhere to appointments.
So how am I supposed to compete? I can hardly walk to my Gunwharf hairdressers from Horndean, can I? I’m running out of places to walk
and the dog’s exhausted. Help!
We did it with cigarettes, now let’s ban gambling adverts
Apparently 55,000 children in Britain are addicted to gambling. That’s horrendous but not surprising when you consider all the pro-gambling ads on TV.
I found it astonishing the now-defunct Jeremy Kyle Show was once sponsored by Foxy Bingo when Kyle was a recovered gambling addict. We’re not allowed to advertise cigarettes. They’re sold in plain packets with big warnings, but gambling is still glamourised. Isn’t it time for new regulations?
Smoking kills but what about the misery gambling causes? When did you last see someone suffering mental and financial breakdown or losing their family because of nicotine?