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On a soggy day which lends itself to going outside only to wish you’d stayed inside, we headed off on a blast from the past. For today is my mothers’ birthday and for some inexplicable reason, she decided as a birthday treat that she would like to take the Petite Pommes to the Royal Armouries to see the elephant. So once the present exchange was complete, off we duly trotted.

And you know what? I’d forgotten just how fabulous the museum is. Eons ago, we went to the Royal opening, and stood watching the Queen as she, in turn, watched Robert Hardy do his best Winston Churchill impression. And then I was fortunate enough to secure work experience there for two weeks. Trust me, it’s a long way round when you have to check the locks on every single cabinet – all of which were on the underside, so I basically spent two days on my hands and knees – I still haven’t figured out if it was a job which really needed doing, or the ideal way to get rid of a curious 16 year old who wasn’t really useful for any meaningful tasks.

It’s been a while since I’ve been again, and time had erased the sheer wonder of the Tower of Steel.

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The Petites loved the elephant. The sheer majesty of this awesome beast cloaked in handmade armour holds rather different emotions for me, having once had to pick chewing gum off its’ bottom, a challenge against the security guards once taken up with gleeful exuberance with what seemed like every teenager who crossed the threshold. Sadly these sorts of high jinks mean you can’t get quite so up close and personal as once you could.

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But I rather liked the cheekiness of this chap:

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And the symbol of the museum revolves in glorious state, still looking on in rather bemused silence over an exhibition on The Field Of The Cloth of Gold.

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For a history buff, it’s unmissable. For a birthday treat it went down well, and much cake was consumed on our return.

A spiffing day all round, frankly.

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