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Phoenix Feathers is updated on Tuesday and Friday

This week, we have my Russian penfriend staying with us. I spent Monday walking around London with her, showing her some of the sights. Only some, since you really need a week or so to do London properly. We had a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament, which made the sometimes surreal government procedures a lot more real to me (which is good, I think, since I do vote). The tour guide seemed disappointed when she asked where we were from, and I said 'Cambridge'. She asked if that was in England or the USA, in a vain hope that I wasn't another boring Brit. The Houses are carefully guarded - the entrance has an airport-style baggage checker. One couple had brought a 6 inch fruit knife with them (presumably for lunch) and that had to be dealt with. The guide was very interesting, and, after having learnt of the ceremonies and the reasons behind them, I'm really surprised that the government in this country gets anything done, so much has to happen for Parliament to begin!

Aside from the actual pleasure of the trip (and this is unusual; I don't go in for sight-seeing much, especially not in my own capital city, and I really dislike London), I thoroughly enjoyed seeing my penfriend enjoy London. She said it has been her dream to visit Britain, and London, for as long as she can remember. Seeing it - sort of - through her eyes was intriguing. I'm rather glad we live in Cambridge, since she doesn't have the money to go back to London, so at least we live in a city which has more than its fair share of architecture, ancient churches and pretty green places. I'm taking her punting tomorrow  ^.^

- Sun Kitten, 20th August '02

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