Went for our Houses of Parliament tour today with the lovely Tricia. We walked through Westminster Hall, a huge stone hall with a 69 foot wide hammer beam roof (the largest medieval timber roof in Northern Europe), and read the plaques that dotted the floor. William Wallace was tried here, the Gunpowder Plot consiprators, and Charles I.
We went to visit the House of Commons (the Lords were in session so we couldn’t check out their rather regal House). After the Commons was damaged during the war, it was rebuilt with many gifts from the commonwealth countries. The Speaker’s chair is inscribed ‘Gift of Australia’ and the big table in the middle on either side the ‘sword lines’ has ‘Gift of Canada’ engraved at the front. There are 2 sword lines – and behind each the different parties sit, facing each other with a no mans land in between. Tricia told us they were so called because the distance between the two is the span of 2 sword blades – to keep the members from duelling when debate got a little spicy! The whole room has microphones hanging from the cieling, and little speakers built into the chairs.
The Parliamentary estate is like a little village – okay a big village of 10,000 people! Just amazing. There was even a little post office in the central lobby (from which i sent a letter, couldn’t resist). I would have liked to see the woolsack in the House of Lords, but we’ll go back again to see. Absolutely wonderful and amazing. Thank you Tricia!! You rock da House!
I also cast off and grafted the toe on my second Anemone Pity Party socks – whoohoo! My first pair of 2009!
Had a real treat – saw the girls last night for some knitting, and tonight out with M & B for some tapas! Whoohooo!