An Innocent Fete


Yesterday, we romped about London. First, a bit of a touristy event–we toured Parliament (the buildings attached to Big Ben :)). It was both an inside look into the building to marvel at its grand architecture and a lesson on the British political system. Apparently, their political system is broken into two parts: The House of Lords & The House of Commons. Lords are selected by the monarch, etc based on their expertise and are set as advisors to those who are elected by Commoners to represent them. The Lords can’t vote–but they do serve as a check to balance the will of the Commons.

In keeping with British traditions, the surroundings of the Lords are quite grand while those of the commons are quite bland. To be fair, this is due in part to the House of Commons having been destroyed by a bomb in the war, but apparently it was never so grand as the House of Lords. The Lords’ surroundings are amongst the grandest we’ve seen (and we’ve seen lots of palaces, etc). They’re opulent, gilded in gold, the portraits are absolutely gorgeous. The Parliament tour was well worth the effort to get there…now, later this year when they’re back in session, we hope to go back into the observatory to see things in action.

Next, we took a Doubledecker through Trafalgar Square and Camden to make our way to Regent’s Park for the Innocent Fete. Fete is the word they use for festival here and many big brands (Innocent juices amongst them) sponsor festivals of their own and charge a nominal entrance fee for the fun. There were Innocent juice tastings, feret races, dog agility shows (ie whose dog runs through the obstacle course the fastest), duck herding, live music, herb and organic growers vending their wares & dancing and enough British-style fair food to shake a stick at 🙂 We stayed for the afternoon and had a great time camped out on the grass. I even one a postcard book at the Lonely Planet stand for being able to identify landmarks in European cities (I had easy ones…Paris & Madrid).

We had a great day. Now, for the chores…this morning, I’m cleaning as G does finances. We’re hopeful that the rain will pass as I need to go shopping (argh…I hate shopping!) and we hope to pick blackberries in the park. And tonight, we’ll go to church for the first time since we arrived. Sources say that the Church of England is very similar to American Methodist…fingers crossed that the congregation isn’t too posh for us (those darn Hampstead property owners can be a bit pretentious) and that the service is good. So far we’re encouraged because they have services for Families on Sunday AM and a more informal service on Sunday evening…that fits our style.

This entry was posted in Life in London and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.