Wednesday, 11 June 2014

A Beautiful Summer's Day Behind The Scenes at the Houses of Parliament

London was sparkling in the sun and everyone was smiling because of it.

I was in the fortunate position of going to the House of Commons for a reception related to my work.  I say fortunate because a) it is a magnificent building and b) because it wasn't my first time so I wasn't over excited and therefore really able to enjoy it.

Approaching along Mill Bank I came to the first security guard, looking after the exit for vehicles.  I'd been walking in the sunshine from Tate Britain, (where I was also lucky enough to have lunched with a client),  and stopped at the barrier to change my flats in to heels. 

Tony, immediately made a joke and within seconds we were having a lovely little banter.  He asked me to have a "glass of vino" for him and I promised to oblige.  (Tony I did!).  Thanks, Tony and thumbs up 

Once inside the House of Commons, the quiet dignity of the building, (despite all the MPs, aides, lobbyists, tourists and school children etc talking and rushing about), imposes itself upon you.  It really is quite majestic.

With the sun shining I was very pleased that today's reception was on the Terrace.  The views of the Thames from here are wonderful.  

The House of Commons has a permanent waiting staff, (as do the House of Lords), and because I have been to receptions there before the always polite staff are starting to recognise me and seem to give me that extra little smile.

One such person was the waitress Susan, (thumbs up)
who didn't want her picture taken for here but another is the Head Waiter, Patrick.

Now Patrick told me he's from Glasgow but you would never guess it from his "refined" accent.  Thank you Patrick and a thumbs up thumbs up for always ensuring we're all being well served, for your wonderful memory and for getting each reception in and out on time.  

Now about a year ago I was in the House of Commons for a lunch with an MP.  I then needed to get to a reception at the House of Lords.  Being "just" an MP and not a Lord, he is not "allowed" down the corridor linking the two houses but he asked Carlos who is on reception, (also known as a Door Keeper), to kindly escort me.
Carlos did more than that; since I was a bit early for my reception he very kindly gave me a mini tour of the House of Lords.   I wasn't running the blog then so last night, taking the opportunity of being in the House, I nabbed him for a photo at the end of his work, (hence being out of uniform).  Thank you Carlos for my tour, the smiles and for making me feel so welcome thumbs up

By the time we left Parliament, it was mid evening but being mid June the sun was still out even though the sky was starting to darken.  I took this shot of the Elizabeth Tower, the correct name for the Clock Tower commonly called Big Ben, (which is actually the name of the Great Bell), with just my phone and there's no filter here.  Gosh it was a sparkling evening. 

So to London, here's a thumbs up   

p.s. I hope I've got that all correct about Big Ben but if I haven't, happy to be corrected here.  Thanks.

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