The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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4:23pm on Sunday, 26th June, 2011:
Continuing the occasional but infrequently-updated series...
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament.
This is a building I've seen many times on TV and many times in real life. I've never been inside it, though. I've been inside the German equivalent (and very impressive it was, too), but I've not been inside ours. Sure, I can see pictures and maps on the Internet that describe what it's like, but that's not the same as being there. I don't know what the central lobby looks like, nor what the courts look like, nor what the committee rooms look like, nor what the dining rooms look like, nor what the offices on the upper floors look like. More to the point, I don't know what they sounds like, smell like and feel like, either. (No, I don't want to taste them).
The same could be said for lots of other buildings, of course, but this is a building constructed by the largest empire the world has ever seen, at the height of its power. It doesn't just function as a building, it says something. I want to know what it says.
My brother got to go inside when he was in charge of the local Round Table, at the invitation of his MP. I'm never going to get invited inside, and I'm never going to get elected to be an MP (there being no parties for people who don't like party politics) so the only way I could manage it is if I joined the queue for the Strangers' Gallery. I wouldn't get to see much inside, but I would get to see something.
Perhaps when I've retired and have the time to make multiple attempts to get in...
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