Monday, November 28, 2011

Charlie visits the Tower of London

One weekend, Daddy and Miho went to London on the overnight bus to visit Granny and Charlie. They were all going to stay with Uncle Tim and Aunty Ruth.

When they woke up on Saturday, Granny asked Miho and Charlie what they would like to do.

'I'd like to see a castle and a prince and princess,' said Miho.

'In that case,' said Granny, 'I think we should visit the Tower of London.'

'Yippee!' said Charlie.

When they arrived at the Tower there waiting at the gate was a very smartly dressed man.

'Who are you?' asked Miho.

'I'm a Yeoman of the Guard,' said the man. 'I make sure no one steals the Queen's jewels and I look after the ravens.'

'I would quite like a uniform like that,' said Charlie. 'particularly the hat. Are many of the Guards chimpanzees?'

'I'm afraid not,' said the Yeoman. 'but I'll suggest it to the Queen. However, if you look round the corner you might see some chimpanzees.'

Charlie and Miho ran round the corner.

'They're not chimpanzees,' said Charlie scornfully. 'They are baboons. They're not half as good looking as chimpanzees.'

'They don't look half as friendly either,' said Miho.

'Look,' said Daddy. 'There's another African animal here.'

And so there was. It was an elephant.

'These animals are all very well,' said Miho, 'but I want to see the prince and princess.'

'I'm sure we'll find a princess somewhere,' said Granny. 'Let's go and look inside this big tower.

First they saw lots of horses. They were all wearing clothes, metal clothes.

'That's called armour,' said Daddy.

'I really did want to see the princess,' said Miho.

'Look, there's armour for a very small person,' said Granny. 'Just about your size in fact.

'But that's still not a princess,' said Miho.

'Oh look over here,' said Daddy. Miho ran over.

'What's that?' asked Miho. 'It's got shiny red eyes. It looks very fierce.'

'I don't think I like it,' said Charlie.

'It's a dragon,' said Daddy.

'Chimpanzees don't like dragons,' said Charlie. 

'It's not a princess,' said Miho. 'I can't find a princess anywhere.'

Daddy and Granny and Miho and Charlie went up and down stairs. They looked everywhere for a prince and princess. Where could they be?

'Here they are,' said Charlie. 

And there was a big bed and lying on it was a prince. Miho knew it was a prince as he was wearing his crown, even though he was in bed.

And there at the end of the bed, talking to the prince, was a lady.

'I wonder if that's the princess,' said Miho.

'Let's go and see,' said Charlie. So Charlie and Miho crept up behind her.

'She's not wearing a crown,' whispered Miho.

'She's got a sheet on her head instead,' said Charlie.

'Those are the sorts of hats ladies wore a long time ago,' said Granny. 'Why don't you go up and say good morning?'

'Good morning, your Highness,' said Miho.

'Good morning,' said the princess. 'Who are you?'

'I'm Miho and this is Charlie,' said Miho.

'You've got a lovely pattern on the bottom of your dress just like mine,' said the princess. 'It's a very pretty dress.'

'My Granny gave it to me,' said Miho.

'And I do like your stripy tights,' said the princess. 'Mine are quite boring but I do have some nice red shoes.'

'I bet your shoes don't flash when you walk,' said Charlie. 'Miho's do.'

'Indeed you're right, Charlie,' said the princess. 'A pity they don't sell flashing shoes at the royal shoe shops. I'll let the queen know what a good idea that would be.'

'Then everyone would see you in the dark,' said Miho.

'So they would, 'said the princess. 'They'd be very good for going up and down the spiral staircases. Everyone would see me and get out of the way.'

Daddy said,' I think it's time we were moving on. Say goodbye to the princess, Miho.'

'Goodbye,' said Miho.

'Goodbye,' said Charlie.

'Goodbye,' said the princess.

In the next room, they saw a very special chair.

'That's a nice chair,' said Miho. 'Can I sit on it? My legs are tired.'

'That's the prince's chair,' said Daddy. 'It's called a throne. No one else is allowed to sit in it.'

'That doesn't seem very fair,' said Charlie. 'My legs are tired too.'

'Why don't we go outside and have a rest and a snack, Miho?' said Daddy, 'then you won't feel quite so tired.'

'What about me?' said Charlie.

'And you too,' said Daddy.

So they sat down outside the tower and ate some orange jelly left over from lunch.

'Charlie as well, Daddy,' said Miho. 'Don't forget him.'

Just then they heard a thump, thump, thump behind them.

'What's that?' asked Miho.  Daddy lifted her up so she could see over the wall.

'Look,' said Granny. 'It's soldiers marching.'

Miho peered down and there they were. They were great big men in furry hats.

'Where are they going?' asked Charlie.

'They're going to guard the Crown jewels,' said Granny.

'What are the Crown Jewels?' asked Miho. 

'They're the jewels that the Queen wears on special occasions,' said Granny.

'Can we go and see them?' asked Miho.

'Of course,' said Daddy.

When they got to the building where the Crown Jewels were kept, they saw one of the men in furry hats standing outside, making sure no one stole the jewels.

'He must be very cold standing there all day,' said Charlie.

'He has a little house to go in when it's rainy,' said Miho. 'Let's go inside and see the jewels.'

There were lots and lots of jewels, all shiny and sparkling. Some were red rubies, some were blue sapphires and some were brilliant diamonds.  They saw the crown which the Queen wore when she was crowned, a long time ago when Granny was almost the same age as Miho.

The crown Miho liked best though was the Scottish crown.

There was a great big sword beside it and a sceptre.

'What's a sceptre?' asked Charlie.

'It's a golden stick which the Queen holds to show she's in charge,' said Granny.

'I like it,' said Miho.

'So do I,' said Charlie. 'I'm going to get a sceptre so everyone does what I say.'

'So am I,' said Daddy.

'I think we're all very tired,' said Granny. 'Why don't we go and have an ice cream?'

'That's a good idea,' said Daddy.

So they all left the Tower of London.

'Look, there's another castle over there,' said Miho.

'That's Tower Bridge,' said Daddy. 'Trains and cars cross the river that way.'

'Look, here's Granny with the ice creams.'

So they all sat and ate their ice creams.

'That was a wonderful day out,' said Charlie. 'I'll definitely become a Yeoman of the Guard.'

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