I just got back from Merry Old England. Went over there for my 45th wedding anniversary. (More on that later.) Mostly we were in London. That’s a big city. Nine million people live there. The town is 30 miles long and 30 miles wide. It was founded in 1066. (William the Conqueror and all that other history you forgot.) The town burned up in 1661, Shakespeare, Churchill, Kings, Queens and all sorts of things you have to look at if you are going there. With a town like that you have to get a tour guide or go on a tour.
Four of us went and we decided to arrange for a private tour with our own van and tour guide. Four people getting a private tour is much better than getting off and on a bus with 25 other people.
Our tour guide introduced himself as Sam. He would be our guide for the next couple of days and show us all sorts of interesting sights. After a while he told us that his last name was Bond. Of course we started talking about all the James Bond movies that we had seen over the last 50 years. He couldn’t help himself. He told us that his father’s name was James Bond. Thus started the greatest introduction of all time. “Bond, James Bond.” After we got through with that, we asked his middle name. If it was Oliver his initials would be S.O.B. He claimed that Oliver wasn’t his middle name. We decided that we would just call him Son Of Bond and still use the initials S.O.B. Sam was a fun loving guy. He took all the jokes we told very well and had a great time showing us the sights. Traveling to a town like London is rather rough. After you start talking about three or four Kings, Queens and histories of 800 years it is easy to become confused.
Sam liked to spiel off all sorts of facts about the history of England. After awhile I started adding to the history lessons. Sam was telling us about Mary Tudor for 1553-1558. I chimed in that my friend was a big fan of her. He tried to have a Bloody Mary each morning in her honor. Some other people standing around were not sure if this was really true history or not.
At Shakespeare’s house, I told about Shakespeare sitting by the garden smoking a cigarette and writing. “To be or not ZXXLFLS:DLFPLKEP” “NO that’s not it” “To be or not to be.” “That still doesn’t sound right. Some of the people around found it hard to believe that Shakespeare could have writers block.
We looked at all sorts of Churches, Museums, Historic towns and some of the wildest traffic I had ever seen. When you get in the heart of the city, you are in for a treat. It’s like driving in New York except people are driving on the wrong side of the road. Thank goodness that Sam had been to the James Bond School of High Performance Driving.
Other cars are about two feet away from you. Motorcycles are going between the cars and bicycles are between you and the shoulder of the road. There is a roundabout every block. And I never did figure out which way I should be looking.
After a week we left S.O.B. in London and headed back to the good old USA. It was a wonderful trip. After being home a week, I realize that I’m thankful for the traffic here and that we drive on the right side of the road.