Over the last week I’ve gotten to see a lot of London’s history. Starting last weekend, I went to check out the British Museum. Their collection of historic art and pieces of forgotten cultures helps to bring the city into perspective.
Monday was one of the sunniest days I’ve seen since being here and it was great spending it in the countryside out in Andover.
Llew, Hannah and myself were invited to lunch with Sarah, a member of the Mannkal advisory board – it was a much-needed break from the fast-paced frenzy of the city.
I was pretty stoked to find out that her house was where Jane Austen penned Pride and Prejudice! It was insanely cool getting so see some British history up close. We all had a great time talking about what we had been up to and our various think tanks.
We also got to meet the resident chickens, rabbits and pigs on the property!
By the time we had finished it was late in the day but since we were in the area, we decided to take a trip to the Salisbury plain to see the Stonehenge monument. There’s something very eerie about it but we all managed to snap heaps of photos anyway.
On Tuesday, Dan from the Centre of Policy studies took a few of us at the office on a tour of parliament. Definitely one of the coolest experiences I’ve had since getting to London. What really struck me are the tiny technicalities that have stemmed from events that occurred centuries ago.
For example, Queen Elizabeth is never allowed to step foot in the House of Commons – no monarch can. This rule stemmed from Charles I storming the chamber to arrest five MPs almost 400 years ago.
Another point on tradition that I thought was interesting is Sinn Fein’s refusal to take a loyalty oath to the Queen– a formality that prevents the party from access to the House.
A frustrating, symbolic gesture at the expense of the system and those who pay for it. Aside from all the tradition, the rule I found most disappointing was that we couldn’t take photos, I think this one had more basis in reason but still…
At the office I’m trying to get as much done as possible seeing as next week is my last! Aside from the field trips at the start of the week it’s been extremely busy. I plan on making the most of my last days at CapX and soaking up as much of the experience as I can.