Friday, February 24, 2006

Ceremony of the Keys

I was a weird kid. How many little girls do you know would actively choose to read about Cortés and the destruction of the Aztec empire? Another favorite topic was The Tower of London and all the grisly things that happened inside its walls. It had everything. Hundreds of years of history, intrigue, imprisonment, beheadings, ghosts, sex and a zoo. In fact, I just learned today that William Blake saw the tiger at the Tower menagerie that inspired his poem "The Tyger". I went in the spring when Aaron and Gina came to visit and spent a few hours there and I could easily go back and spend a few more. An old college friend is in town and Wednesday night we went to see The Ceremony of the Keys which has been done every night in some form at The Tower for 700 years. Basically it is a bit of British pomp and circumstance as they lock up for the night. But it is nifty. Standing in front of Traitors Gate, I could just imagine it full of water and a little boat drifting through the gate and the future Queen Elizabeth I lifting up her skirt to climb the steps to face imprisonment at the place where her mother had been beheaded. When we left, a woman that lives in the tower returned from walking her dogs. I can't imagine living there. All the tourists in the day and then the crush of silence at night. And it would be difficult to have parties. I don't think it would be in good taste to have a barbeque in the Tower Green.


At 2/24/2006 12:54:00 PM, Blogger neil h said...

My fencing tutor has written a book about the Tower - Tales from the Tower of London - if you are interested.

At 2/24/2006 01:20:00 PM, Blogger Nicole said...

Thanks! I'll have to check it out.


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