Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Day

The day began by a quick stop at the US embassy in London to pick up a ticket to Parliment and the House of Commons. I then made my way to Big Ben's home and was fortunate enough to get in to hear the Prime Minister's question time which occurs on Wednesday's at noon. This was a neat experience and quite entertaining. The British government is structured in two houses the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The House of Commons tends to have more interesting and rowdy debates. It was pretty cool to see Tony Blair going at it in person. Members of Parliment raise questions and then he responds to them. At times, they really have a go at each other and it can be almost of thing of school yard style "Your mama's so fat..."

Interestingly, there are red lines on each side of the room which people are supposed to stand behind. The original reason for them was members of Parliment would carry swords into sessions. The red lines were the length of two swords plus some extra room to help ensure that the opposing sides not actually come to blows when passionately speaking.

The Prime Minister's question time only lasts for 30 minutes and then they move into the more relaxed pace of introducing new legislation and deliberating. Things are structured very much to allow debate and encourage discussion between varying veiwpoints.

It was then on to a quick tour at the Bank of England museum. There was a sample bar of gold weighing 28 pounds which was available for visitors to pick up and try out the weight.

The evening brough us to another musical in the West End which contains the above mentioned exra long word in a song within. (hint: the musical has two words that start with an M and a P.) I especially enjoyed this stage production of the classical story. Special effects included in it allowed for the somewhat realistic looking flying of kites indoors and airborne approaches and departures from the much beloved and precocious Mary. Quite a full and satisfying day.

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