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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Oh, My Aching Feet!...

Oh, My Aching Feet!

We woke up to rain in morning.  It rains a lot in London -- something about being an island surrounded by the sea, I think. What would we do since it is raining, I wondered.

“Go anyhow, of course,” said my sister.

With raincoats and umbrellas, we were off to ride the Underground again.  We had tickets for a boat cruise on the Thames River that was included in our bus tour. Couldn’t let them go to waste, could we?  Now I know why she wanted to bring ponchos.

After that drenching experience, we went to the National Gallery to dry out. We saw famous masterpieces by great French, Dutch, and Italian artists.  The English don’t paint many masterpieces of their own.

It continued to rain so we then went to the National Portrait Gallery where all the paintings were important people from England who looked alike in wigs and fancy dress.  I hadn’t seen that much big hair before outside of Nashville.

We developed a severe case of museum feet and went to the crypt at St.Martin-of-the-Fields church, which had been turned into a restaurant. Boy, we were finding all the exciting hot spots.

It quit raining long enough for us to take pictures at nearby Trafalgar Square, where other annoying tourists, also taking pictures of the fountain, kept getting in the shots.  So, we decided to leave and get tickets for the theater.

There are good many theaters in London, and people seem to attend as causally as we would go to a movie.  The play we saw was a musical with colorful costumes, but had a complex plot about the British being run out of Afghanistan back in the olden days when they though they owned it.

Our next day dawned cold and windy.  We had tickets to tour Parliament, the London landmark where Big Ben is.  We were allowed to go inside since Parliament was not in session, however, we were not allowed to set in the seats since we were not elected.

We then went to Buckingham Palace.  The Queen was not at home, so we were allowed to view her public rooms -- for a price.  Someone had spray-painted all her furniture gold while she is gone.  She had a lot of red carpet to vacuum and more paintings than the museum.  Everything was very gaudy, but I guess that’s what royals like.

We also saw the changing of the guards, which was guys in red uniforms and big fuzzy hats marching around, sort of like the “Nutcracker Suite” in real life.  The guard only change on even days of the calendar. I don’t know what they do on odd days.

Westminster Abby was another ancient church with dead queens and kings and an interesting gothic architecture.  Museums are free, but it costs to tour the churches. We grabbed a sandwich at their lunch counter and ate in a mausoleum again.  We seem to keep eating with dead people.

This was also the day we went to the British library, which had original manuscripts of things you’ve only heard of, like The Magna Charter and Beowulf.  Hard to believe this stuff still exists and has not disintegrated. There were also other remarkable historical documents like original copies of lyrics by the Beetles.

They seem to encourage intellectual development in England, and the people are all very literary. The museums were all free and crowded.  Everyone on the Underground read, even when standing up.  I saw more than one person with a classic novel tucked under their arm.

There was a lot of walking and a lot of steps to climb. The more you can walk, the more you can see. I would have given up my umbrella for a good foot massage.  In London, that’s a lot to give up.

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss

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