Thursday, June 26, 2008
The fun day with no photos
I took this picture of the girls last week at the park. This is to make up for the lack of photos from our most recent outing.
On Wednesday, the girls and I went to the Bank of England Museum. It's a very nice museum, with lots of great displays about the history of British money and how the bank worked in the early days. I found some of the early methods of keeping track of debts very interesting - like the notched stick - the more you owed, the longer the stick was and the more notches it contained. Some of the displays contained bank notes over 300 years old! There was a quiz sheet for the girls (actually, they have several to choose from, based on the age of the child). There were a bunch of questions for the kids to answer as they looked at the displays, with the promise of a prize if they finished it. Juliette and Katrina really got into completing the quiz, and when they finished, they got three prizes - a pin, a pen, and a postcard. The man who gave them the prizes said that the pens are only for kids who finish the whole thing. He said that most kids don't get the answer to one particular question at all - and they both did it without my help. There was also a display where you could try to lift a solid gold bar. It was well-encased in two nested plexiglass cases, with just a hole to stick your hand in through both cases. It was at just about the right height for an adult to use bicep strength to lift it. It weighs about 28 pounds, so it wasn't easy! I could lift it all the way to the top of the case (about 6 inches), but the girls could only move it a little bit. The bar was said to be worth over £160,000 ($320,000). Of couse, there was no photography allowed in the museum.
After the museum, we wanted to go to a discount clothing store that we heard about from some other Americans. So we went to the closest Tube stop to the store, then picked up some lunch from a grocery store and went to the park for a little picnic. It was a beautiful day, and the entertainment was provided by the pigeons, who walked from one group of people to the next, seeing if anyone would feed them. It's obvious that Londoners (at this park, anyway) are well conditioned to avoid feeding the pigeons intentionally, as these birds would come pretty close, but were not at all aggressive. When they didn't get what they wanted, they just moved on. They were very quick to visit a spot when a group packed up to leave, though. I'm sure they find plenty of crumbs.
The discount store was next. Oh my. Those who know me are well aware of how much I dislike shopping in crowded stores. This was like the day after Thanksgiving times ten! The crowds were insane, with lots of bumping into people. Nobody was rude; there just was no room to move about. But the girls came away with some great stuff for very good prices. The score - one pair of pants, three shirts, one jacket, two pairs of shoes, a sun hat, a satin robe, 16 pairs of socks - total price £37. I hope to never see the inside of this store again as long as I live, but it was something to do once!