Uk and Italy 2012 travel blog

Well at last we are getting a bit of a sit down at our b&B in Oxford. But there is a lot to go through prior to this point...

Tuesday was Mum's birthday which took me about an hour to remember (and Mum had also forgotten it would seem). Another cooked breakfast and then off to wander around the Tower of London - only outside walls, but still amazing to see. An old roman wall from 200 AD for example. Walked onto Tower Bridge then back on the tube off to Harrods (spectacular) and Harvey Nichols (very nice) before spending our money in a high street shop!

Back toward our B&B for pub lunch then Mum had a relaxing afternoon and I did a bit of shopping. Unfortunately I was on Oxford St which is a horrid place to shop - tonnes of pushy people, snobby sales staff and stores way too hot. Still managed to spend a bit of money. :-) Also, nice to see how the stores are celebrating the 60th Jubilee - lots of union jacks, bunting, store window displays and themed merchandise. Looked great. In fact bought a themed iPad cover the other day.

Got back to B&B to catch up with Mum and head out to Bart and Pippa's (cousin and his wife) for dinner at their home in Clapham Common. Great walk along the common - tonnes of people out running, military exercise groups, football, tai chi etc. A mass of people out enjoying themselves.

Had a great meal, cooked by Bart with a delicious German cheesecake for dessert (not cooked by Bart).

This morning we took off to spot the Queen. And by joves we did! It was Queen's Speech day where she speaks to the House of Lords about her Government's plans. We tubed it to Westminster then walked past the Parliament Buildings, up to No. 10 Downing then up along the Mall into St James Park. Was a hassle to get into park as all fenced off with armed police EVERYWHERE! A dull grey and slightly misty day but still a lovely park, lushly green with great views of Buckingham Palace. Walked over to the Mall and waited... Red tunics and bearskin hats 9 paces apart all up the Mall. Watched an officer march up the Mall with a measuring stick making his soldiers move as little as centimetres to get on the right spot. Brass bands, lots of horses and then here comes her majesty, in a horse drawn carriage and sitting on our side of the mall. Managed to get a photo or two of her and wave at her also. The British do pageantry very well! A great morning.

We then headed back to pick up our bags at the B&B then up to Euston to pick up our rental car (upgraded to Mercedes would you believe!). Drive to Oxford aided by sat via my iPad. Amazing.

We are both tired but good and pleased to be having a sit down.

My friend Hazel is shortly to arrive and we are off for a catch up and Mum catches up with her good friends, Ross and Susan, tomorrow. The social whirl continues.

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