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 Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||The English Countryside....
After checking out most of the museums in
London, we were ready for something different. We got up
early to go to a flea market that my sister had heard of called
Portobello Market. Well, actually, she had seen it in a movie.
Flea markets are all pretty much the same, so we looked for a
while then ducked down a side street to escape the crowds. That’s
when we found it - the bookstore out of the movie! I made
my sister’s picture in front of it. Soon other tourists
gathered and made their pictures in front of it too. I don’t know if they also saw the movie, or if they just figured
it was something important.
I wanted to see the Rosetta Stone, which was at – yes –
another museum. Since this was not on the agenda, we didn’t
have much time. We practically ran through the British
Museum, which had all the loot they have taken from Egypt and
Italy – like Pharaoh statues, the Rosetta Stone, and whatever
they could chip off and carry away from the Parthenon.
Without much time to linger over the looted antiquities, we ran
through the museum and skipped lunch to get to the theater in time, only to
find that we had the time wrong and were actually there early.
We dined on potato chips for lunch and had a hard time staying
awake during the performance because we were so tired.
After a night’s sleep, we felt better and were ready for a bus
tour to see the English countryside outside of London. We were herded
onto the tour bus with 25 other tourists and rode an hour to
Oxford University, where the buildings also looked like
churches. Doesn’t everything?
Naturally, it started raining, but we still took a walking tour
with umbrellas and saw some of the differently colleges. All
the buildings were made of soft limestone, which disintegrates easily and costs a
fortune in upkeep. That’s just one of the reasons they like wealthy
alumni who die and leave large endowments to the university, we
Our next stop was an English village called Burford, the oldest
village in England at over a thousand years old. It was quaint, but it took
so long to get lunch at the local pub that we did not have a lot of time to
look around. Our guide said Prince Charles came to the
thousand-year celebration, but rushed off afterwards to go back to “that
woman.” They love making jokes about the royal family.
We then were taken to another palace that once belonged to the
Duke of Marlboro. It was built for him by the Queen for defeating the
French. His descendants still live there, but with the taxes and cost of
keeping up palaces these days, they must allow tours to help pay expenses.
We were getting a bit bored with palaces by now and found it old
and dusty. Probably there is a lot of competition for tourists from all the
other palaces that are also going broke.
The British are really enthusiastic about Winston Churchill,
so we were taken to see his nearby grave. More graves. It seems he
was born in the Cotswolds when his mama accidentally went into labor while
visiting relatives. For some reason, he also chose to be buried
there, even though he never lived in the area during his lifetime.
After the bus tour, my sister wanted to tour pubs, but I
insisted on visiting Jack the Ripper’s stomping grounds – not the best
part of town. The guide was fond of telling about guts and gore and we heard
all the details of the slashing. Then the tour ended and we had to
find our own way back to the Underground down dark alleys.
Next time my sister wants to go on a pub tour, I’ll listen to
Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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