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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

That social media over reaction


This week I became Alice in Twitterland. I got sucked down the social media rabbit hole and ended
up in the nonsensical world of Twitter-rants.

I am not proud of it.

I try hard to keep my social media feeds full of funny thoughts and memes. I pry my hands from the keyboard when things become too political because I know you can’t solve or help the world’s problems in 140 characters. But this week I chased that White Rabbit down the hole and gulped from the bottle labeled “Drink Me” until I became as small as the rest.

I told a Monk off. I told you I am not proud of my behaviour.

I made the mistake of thinking Twitter was like Facebook. Then I realized to late that it wasn’t. Twitter is the Wild West with outlaws and gunslingers and makes Facebook look like Downton Abby.

My crime? I Tweeted “For those who convict Police officers without seeing or hearing facts from the investigation, Lord we pray @UnvirtuousAbbey”

It began an avalanche of hate Tweeted back at me. I had no idea what I did wrong. I really didn’t get it. I also posted it to Facebook and received nothing but love.

Apparently you can support cops on Facebook but not on Twitter.

Anyone who knows me knows I am not a mean spirited person. I don’t take joy in anyone’s pain. I am active in my church, all about family and spend a lot of time helping charities. I try to be a nice person.

I am also the wife of a retired Police officer and I am a retired Civilian Member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. During my career 14 of our members were murdered across this country. I lost track of how many died due to accidents or other means. Three people I worked with committed suicide.

I know what it is like to get out of your car in the morning and look up to see the flag at half-mast then wonder “What happened overnight? Who’s dead? Do I know them? Was it here?” I know what it’s like to sit through the funerals and memorial services and hear the muffled crying of those around you. I know what it’s like to see a tear roll down the face of a man you though was bullet proof and feel the chill going up my spine when you know everyone in the room is thinking “There but for the grace of God go I.”

I know what it’s like to get a call from the Communication Centre at 2:00 AM telling me my husband is in the Emergency Unit again. I know what it’s like to watch your husband leave for work then have your heart jump out of your body every time the phone rings or someone knocks on the door because you know you have to be ready for the worst at all times. I know what it’s like to tell kids “You can open the big gifts as soon as Daddy gets home” or “I am sorry I missed your concert I just couldn’t leave work.”

I get passionate when it comes to standing up for Police.

I made a simple statement that those in policing would understand… wait until the investigation is complete and then decide who is right and wrong. I was called “racist”, accused of “praising murders” and interfering with the grieving process.

I did not know any of these people but they felt entitled to spew their hate and anger towards me. I felt like deleting my Twitter account and felt deflated and attacked for days. It really affected me.

These people felt they had a right to say whatever they wanted on Twitter but I didn’t. I think it is indicative of the world we live in. Where people feel they have a right to walk up to a Police officer trying to do his/ her job, hurl insults at them and then record it on their phone so they can post it to social media to gain sympathy.

What if I went to their work place and hurled insults at them and recorded it and posted it to my social media accounts. That would be called harassment, wouldn’t it?

The Police are held to a higher standard. I know. But maybe the public should be held to a higher standard too.

When it comes to issues and problems, there’s a right way and a wrong way to solve and deal with them. Then there is that social media over reaction where ever armchair critic in the world can hide behind their keyboards and belittle celebrities for being overweight, athletes who drop a ball, parents who look away for a second and cops who are trying to do their job.

We all take a slug of that “Drink me” potion every now and again, making us too small.

Mahatma Gandhi said “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

I am not deleting my Twitter account. I am also not going to get caught up in the social media over reaction anymore. It is a nonsensical world and not a world I want to be part of.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

We’re going to Vegas Baby!

Vegas.com is looking for new style inspiration and invited me to participate in their search for the #UltimateVegasOutfit. If you have Vegas style I would love to see it. So feel free to use this hashtag, too! Let's see if you're a Vegas showgirl!

What do a gal pack for a week of fun, food, drinks, world-class entertainment and pure decadence? I picked out a couple of outfits to wear when I am spending the day in Las Vegas! Well as it turns out I just booked a trip to Las Vegas for October to see Jimmy Buffet at the MGM Grand. So I am already thinking about a week’s worth of outfits! Check out some of the great Las Vegas deals if you’re planning your Las Vegas getaway because I would definitely suggest going to a show.”

So take a seat ladies the show is about to begin….
The Roller Coaster at NY NY is on my list! I am an adrenaline junkie so I will be riding this baby with heights of 203 feet and drops of 144 feet. At speeds of up to 67 miles per hour I will need an outfit that defies gravity which is why I will be wearing these comfy and practical white painter-pants. My cell phone stays in the pocket even when I am upside down.

 
Next stop the Stratosphere Observation Deck. It is the tallest observation tower in the United States and has an amazing panoramic view over Las Vegas and the valley.

At 1,149 feet it’s the tallest building in Vegas and west of the Mississippi River.

The double-decker elevators travel at speeds of 1,800 feet per minute (that’s three floors a second!) and pop your ears along the way!

 I want to be at the top when the sun goes down and the lights on the world famous Strip come up. I also want to stand out so I will be wearing this bright yellow leather jacket over my black Michael Kors sundress just in case it gets chilly.

No trip to Vegas is complete without seeing the Fountains of
Bellagio. It is  a spectacular show of water, music and light designed to mesmerize its admirers.

It is called the most ambitious, choreographically complex water feature ever conceived and it’s absolutely free for any visitor to enjoy.

It never gets old. I have seen this display several times and I am still in love with this show. You will want to take a seat with someone you love and watch together. I always get this feeling that someone is going to get down on one knee and propose as soon as the fountains start. It's the number one place in the world to ask someone to be with you forever.
The Bellagio is bling! This plaid Michael Kors dress is great for Christmas, New Years or a night at the Bellagio. It shimmers in the light and gets lots of compliments. As a matter of fact, if I don't bring this dress with me to Vegas, it just may book its own vacation!

Our main reason for visiting Vegas is to see Jimmy Buffett live at the MGM Grand on October 15th.

Where ever Jimmy plays it is a tropical paradise.

His fans are loyal and they bring casual to a whole new level.

When Jimmy hits the stage with his Coral Reefer Band they bring the beach and Margaritaville with them.
 
I will be wearing a grass skirt and coconut bra to the concert but I won't be posting pictures of that! As soon as Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefers start to play, in my mind, I will be on a beach, soaking up the sun and drinking a nice cold Land Shark beer, wearing a bikini and my favourite red hat.

We are staying at the MGM Grand so having supper at Tom Colicchio Craftsteak is a must!
Top Chef personality and James Beard Award-winning chef Tom Colicchio uses only the finest ingredients to create dishes bursting with flavor.
I know hubby will order the 18 ounce Ribeye and I'll have the 18 ounce New York Strip medium well please.  
I love hats! So in Vegas I am wearing my black top hat of course! Where else could I wear it and fit in?
I am not much of a gambler I like to spend my money at a good outlet mall and Vegas is the Holy Grail of shopping. My favourite is the Las Vegas North Premium Outlets. It's an outdoor center with 175 designer and brand name outlet stores. It is conveniently located minutes from the Strip and is serviced by taxis and the bus.
If you are going shopping at the outlet mall, dress comfortably because it is going to take you a whole day to see everything.
My go to outfit for shopping is jeans, a comfortable top, shoes that are easy to take off (to try on more of course) and my Michael Kors big bag to store the tiny shopping bags (like jewellery).
I better hope my airline carrier eases up on the luggage weight and size requirements for my suitcases because I got a feeling I may need a whole section for myself.
There's no vacation like Vegas. Its Disney Land for adults. It has to be on your bucket list. Check out Vegas.com and plan yours!
See you in Vegas Baby!
 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Retirement - a time to find out who you are

Today was the first day I enjoyed retirement. Which is weird because I retired two years ago. I brewed a pot of coffee, turned the TV on and caught the beginning of a Tom Selleck movie. I curled up on the couch in my house coat curious to see if Tom solved the crime and gets the girl. Here I was at 9:20 AM drinking hot coffee and watching a movie. Three cups of coffee later and close on 11 o'clock Tom solved the crime and gets the girl. I could see that coming. After all, I just retired from a career in policing. I used to be the Senior Communications Strategist with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Now I am Veteran. It feels funny even saying it.


After the movie I did a half hour of yoga and a short meditation. Even now I have knots in my neck and back from years of stress that I can’t get rid of. I learned to meditate a few years ago to help me not kill people who irritated me. It must work because I'm not incarcerated.  I took a long shower and had a brief moment of madness because I shaved my whole leg not just below the knee and I am not even wearing a skirt today. By the time I got out of the shower it was almost 1 o'clock. I am trying to learn to relax but it was irritating me that I accomplished nothing today. I don't know why I consider relaxing as “accomplishing nothing.” I knew I had to get dressed. My daughter would be home from school shortly and I didn't want her to find me still in my housecoat in the middle of the day. I dried my hair, put on some make up and got dressed. There I sat at 2:30 in the afternoon, legs shaved, hair done, make up on and nowhere to go.

How do you know when it's time to retire? I get asked that all the time by my old coworkers. The truth is… you just know. For me, I was sitting in a meeting when a supervisor made what I considered a bad decision about my Communications Unit. A few months earlier that would have enraged me. We would have battled over it for weeks. But I just sat there taking notes saying nothing, being silent. I went back to my office and my partner at the time asked “What happened? You didn't say anything.” I realized I didn't say anything because I didn't care. I always said when the job wasn't fun anymore, I would retire. That day, was this day. It wasn't fun anymore. There was no fight left in me. I was burned out. I knew it was time to take my ball and go home. I called HR and asked “How do I retire?”

That last day I walked out of headquarters conflicted, it felt like I was going through a bad divorce. A divorce I wasn't even sure I wanted. I felt like I loved the husband I was about to leave but I knew it was time to let him go. I had a knot in my stomach thinking what if I want to go back? Would he take me back? Will he replace me as soon as I leave? Because I thought I could never be replaced. Eventually they did post my job and replaced me. I felt disappointed because I really thought the RCMP would close down without me. Eventually the husband I wasn’t sure I wanted to divorce replaced me with someone half my age, more educated and bilingual. Someone who probably shaves her whole leg every day.  

I ran at freedom like an escaped convict. I felt the need to fill every moment of my day with stuff to do. First thing I did was book a trip with the husband I hadn’t divorced. We went to Florida and took a wonderful cruise through the Caribbean. While my husband whined about returning to work, I had no idea what I was returning to. A few weeks later I took my daughter to Toronto to see her favourite boy band in concert. It was so different to spend time alone with her without my BlackBerry constantly ringing. Even now I can still feel the vibration of my Blackberry on my left hip and I reach to answer it.

A week after I retired I bought a gym membership and hired a personal trainer. He was a 22 year old university student who kept barking orders at me and shouting “push yourself.”  By day five I fired him. I was honest when I said “It’s not you. It’s me.” I explained “You’re 22. I am 50. Pushing myself means putting on a pair of Spanx and control top pantyhose.” It was too much too soon.  

Then one day it happened… The meltdown. While watching the evening news a story about the RCMP came on. “Why aren’t we reacting?” I shouted at the TV. We should have someone out in front of this with media lines to give our side of the story. I was enraged and I immediately reached for my BlackBerry preparing to go in to crisis communication mode. But there was no BlackBerry.  The next morning I went into headquarters for a veterans meeting. I ran into my old partner and tried to have a conversation about the news the night before. I told him he needed to pull out my old media lines. I explained “You need to do this! You need to do that!” He stood there politely listening to me. Then he dropped the bomb… “You know I can't discuss that with you.” I realized I had put him in an awkward situation. He couldn't discuss a police operation with a civilian. I know that. We both walked away. It was then I realized I was on the outside now. The divorce was final. I was just served my papers.

I had to find something to do with myself. I can’t handle “alone time.” I had been writing a blog
called “I am Funny Like That” for a few years and decided I would focus on it more. I figured there must be somebody who wanted free communication advice. I had always been a volunteer in our church. Now I dove in. I wrote a communication strategy to bring people back to church. I targeted minority groups especially the long neglected LGBT community. I mean if I can spin police stories then of course I could bring families in by the droves on Sunday morning.  Laugh if you want but it actually worked to the point that that Bishop said we were getting too much publicity and to tone it down.

I started volunteering with my children’s Air Cadet Squadron and took on the Duke of Edinburgh program. I now have 19 cadets in various levels and I spend my weekends hiking the East Coast trail with them. At the same time I volunteer as communications director for another charity. I spent the last two years creating communication strategies around fundraising and I was extremely successful. I am very proud of everything I have accomplished since I retired.  The problem is, I created a full-time job for myself.

Just recently after a grueling fundraising effort I asked myself “Why did I retire?” If I want to work full-time I should've stayed in the RCMP. I realized I had to retire from my retirement. I need to learn how to relax. I need to learn how to retire.

The best advice I received was from a fellow Veteran. He told me retirement gives you a lot of time to think. He advised that one day I will be doing some menial task around the house and all of a sudden I will remember something that happened 10 or 15 years ago. A meeting where I overreacted. A partner that I snapped at. Something I would like to do over again. He advised, “Then you will beat yourself up for the rest of the day thinking “Why did I say that?” “Why didn't I do this?”  He advised me to let it go. Think about something else and he was right. It's like your brain downloads everything you went through at random times. I am glad he told me that because it really does happen and you need to be prepared for memories that can keep you up all night.

I joined a line dancing group (don’t laugh, it’s fun) because I was wanted to stay social. I went out for lunch with this group of women. One of the ladies was having a “crisis” because the oven in her stove was broke. She went on and on about the oven. I sat there staring at her. I didn't know how to react to a broken oven. I was thinking “A year ago I was giving media advice on major cirme investigations, read situation reports on horrific acts of child abuse and the month before I retired three of our Members were murdered in Moncton.” I wanted to say something but I couldn't. I couldn't relate to this woman’s crisis. She was too normal.  I sat there, smiled and pretended I could relate to her “crisis” knowing I needed to redefine “crisis” now.   

I decided to stick to the friends I already had and focus on my family. I started baking cookies in the afternoon so when my daughter came home from school she would have afternoon snack with me. Maybe we could talk and get to know each other. It worked. After a while I found she was actually a nice person. It took retirement for me to realize that I raised the daughter I always wanted. I had no idea how funny, intelligent, thoughtful, and amazing my daughter had become.

I had to re-introduce myself to my husband. He must have thought “Who is this woman who bakes cookies and shaves her full leg?”  We had been married for 20 years and I had no idea who he was now. I was just too busy raising kids, having a full-time career and being that woman who had it all. We must've liked each other at some point, we had two children together! For years, I passed him in the hallway in the mornings. I would see him briefly in the evening while I was running to dance with our daughter and he was running to cadets with our son. One night I sat on the couch watching him furiously answer emails on his BlackBerry. I think it was the first time I really looked at him in years. He was actually quite handsome. I don't know why that surprised me. He was good looking when I married him 20 years ago! I realized then, it took retirement to make me fall in love with the man I had already been in love with for 20 years.

Today, I retired from my retirement. I have given up most of my charity work with the exception of the Air Cadet’s Duke of Edinburgh program. I enjoy working with teens. I find they breathe life back in me and it’s truly rewarding to see them achieve their goals in this program.  I have learned to say “No” I am not available to others and I try not to feel bad about that.

My next quest is to find a balance between my family, my volunteerism and discovering who I am now. All in all, retirement is great.  It just takes time to let go of your old life and find a new one. There is a normal grieving process. I have learned that enjoying retirement means it’s not a waste of time to cuddle with Tom Selleck in the morning and have a fully shaved leg in the afternoon. It’s time well spent. Some advice for those about to retire, stay away from personal trainers. After all, you just retired from a career where someone barks orders at you. Buy a good pair of Spanx instead.

*** This article appeared in the Atlantic Women in Policing newsletter Summer 2016. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A fake tan is like big fake boobs. Everybody laughs behind your back


My friend Karen told me “Brown fat is better than white fat any day” and I totally agree. So before I
go on vacation, I buy a tanning package. I figure if I am ridiculously brown I’ll blend in with the sand and no one will notice my muffin belly. Works like a charm. Until recently.

I went to a dermatologist. He told me that I am 100% at risk for skin cancer because of my tanning booth use! “What? I don’t abuse it!” Seriously I don’t. I go once or twice or three or four times a month to maintain a base coat and I go a little more if I am going down South and during Christmas so I don’t look too pasty in that low cut party dress. But I don’t abuse it. It’s not like I’m going every day.

He gave me a stern talking to about how he just attended the funeral of a 36 year old patient who died of skin cancer and explained how I was playing Russian Roulette with my life. He ended it with “The 80’s are over. Let them go!” That was harsh.

So began my quest to find the perfect self-tanner.
The problem with self-tanners is they are a lot like over-sized fake boobs. Once your back is turned everyone will point at you and laugh but no one will tell you how ridiculous you look…. Except your children.

My first self-tanner turned my bathroom in to a spray booth. It was the kind you sprayed all over your body and waited until it dried before you got dressed. It took a long time and left a thin film of orange all over my bathroom floor and walls. After ten minutes I was convinced it was dry so I put on my pajamas. The next morning I got out of the shower excited to see my golden glow in the mirror. Except it wasn’t the golden glow promised on the tin. I didn’t wait long enough for it to dry and it wasn’t even. Now I looked like an orange zebra. I had to get back in the shower and scrub my stripes until they came off or bled.

I decided that I would retry the spray but this time outdoors. I waited until dark and ran out in my back yard where no one could see me. I dropped my housecoat and stood there in only underwear (ugly ones of course, I wouldn’t ruin a good pair). I sprayed myself from head to toe and figured the wind would dry me in a hurry except that night there was no wind. So I jumped up and down trying to get the paint to dry. Hubby came to backdoor wondering why it was open so late at night and almost locked me out. I yelled “Don’t lock that door!” He looked out to see his mostly naked wife jumping up and down behind a tree in the backyard and all he said was “Oh it’s you. If this is another menopause thing I am going to bed. I don’t want to see how this one ends.” It didn’t end well. The next day in the bathroom light I realized that the front of my legs where extremely brown. The backs where white. My arms were brown but my chest and back were white. I looked like a menopausal panda bear. I spent another half hour in the shower trying to get back to my original colour.

Back to the drug store. I found a rub in cream. That night I rubbed every inch of me with this
“guaranteed natural tan” cream. When I got out of bed the next morning I was shocked to see my shadow still laying there. The tanning cream had rubbed off my body onto the white bed sheets. It had left a perfect outline of my body on the bed. It was like a tanning crime scene.

I was surprised that my tan was perfect. After my shower it looked even better. I was delighted with myself until later that day when my son asked if I was running for president. “What are you talking about?” I exclaimed. “You look like Donald Trump. You’re orange.” I looked towards hubby who was trying desperately to avoid eye contact. “Am I orange? I am not. I look good right?” All I got was “Oh no the BBQ is on fire” and he ran out of the house. The BBQ wasn’t even on.

I ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror again. Maybe I was a little orange. I had to think back over my day and who I met with. How many people were laughing at my big fake boobs, I mean tan.

It took a good three days to scrub the orange off. It took months to stop my kids from constantly reminding me about it.

After some research and lots of trial and error I discovered St. Tropez Self Tan Luxe Dry Oil. It’s about $50 at Shoppers Drug Mart. But spend the extra $10 and buy the application mitt to put it on right. It’s a mousse that rubs in and the results are instant. It’s so convincing that when I went back to my dermatologist he started to lecture me again about tanning beds. He couldn’t believe my colour was a fake-bake.

There’s nothing funny about cancer. I stopped smoking over 20 years ago because I didn’t want lung cancer so I would be foolish to continue to use tanning beds after all the information that is available on them. 

I still believe brown fat is better than white fat any day, except now my muffin belly is a painted on brown. But the boobs… the boobs are real so don’t laugh.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Keep Calm and Go to London


What a week to visit London, England! It was Gay Pride Week, the British voted to leave the
European Union, the Scots voted to stay, then Donald Trump came to visit! But even without all the hoopla London would have been just as exciting!

If you love history, if you love food, if you love entertainment, if you love beer, if you love walking tours based on serial killers and Rock-n-Roll history, if you love life, go to London.

Here are my travel suggestions:
1.       If you are an employee of a police force (civilian or police officer) join the International Police Association. http://www.ipacanada.ca/online-ipa-application You will get lots of travel discounts. Membership is $35 a year. My membership entitled me to stay at the historic Union Jack Club. Now it’s not the Ritz Carlton but it is a good sized, clean room for a discounted Price. http://www.ujclub.co.uk/accommodation/family-flats/

2.       Order the British Oyster Card and The London Pass. If you are landing in Gatwick Airport order
your Gatwick Express.

The London Pass: https://www.londonpass.com/london-pass-prices.php The London Pass® is a sightseeing city card which gives you entry to a choice of over 60 popular tourist attractions in the city. Available for either 1, 2, 3, 6 or 10 consecutive days, it makes sightseeing easy and affordable by giving you access to top sights in the city with one card. It also gives you a fast pass into some attractions so you don’t have to wait in line. It saves you time and a lot of money.

Oyster Card: https://www.londonpass.com/london-transport/ Gives you unlimited travel in central London. Get The London Pass + Oyster Travel card for the cheapest way to travel around the city. The Oyster Travel card covers journeys on London’s public transport network including underground, buses, overground trains and the DLR - any time of day, any day of the week!

The Gatwick Express: http://www.gatwickexpress.com/ The Gatwick Express is a non-stop train
between London Victoria train station, which is in the heart of Central London and London Gatwick Airport. It takes only 30 minutes - perfect for a quick and easy journey to catch your flight or if you’re looking to start your London adventure as soon as possible. You will save money and spend less time at the station by booking your tickets online. This is the easiest way to get from the airport to your hotel. There are lots of people at the station that will help you find your way. Don’t get a taxi it can cost your over a $100 British pounds.

3.       Go to a West End Show. https://www.londontheatre.co.uk/ I went to see Wicked and it was wicked! London’s West End is on par with New York’s Broadway. You have to see one of these award winning shows to enhance your experience of London. After all London is all about culture. Experience it.

4.       Watch TV. Why would you pay all that money to travel to London just to watch TV? Because it
is funny. It’s actually beyond funny. It’s hysterical. After a day of running from attraction to attraction put your feet up and turn on the telly. British humour is the best. I spent a good two to three hours every night watching British reality shows ("On Benefits: Life on the Dole") or mock newscasts to the real news. You will love the reporters in Britain. Catch the morning news before you head out. These reporters are vicious. When they ask questions they demand answers. I loved them.

5.       Fashion is huge! I have never seen a population of men so smartly dressed. No I didn’t mean women. Walking through London I was gobsmacked by how handsomely dressed the men were. They all wear blue suits and ties with walking cane umbrellas and closely cropped hair styles. Picture hundreds of Benedict Cumberbatchs walking toward you as you cross the London Bridge. The women also hold their own. Whether you’re touring the Tower of London or walking through the shopping district, the ladies are dressed to kill. If you are going out for the evening for dinner or a show, be prepared to dress up! Even the kids are fabulous. England still has school uniforms and they are stunning. Students of all ages are smartly dressed in blazers, skirts, ties and black leather shoes. It’s like Harry Potter came to life.

6.       Do the touristy stuff. Here are the top 10 things to do in London. https://www.londonpass.com/things-to-do-in-london/top-10-things-to-do-in-london.html Try to do
as many as you can.

7.       Getting around: London is the easiest city in the world to get around in. Don’t rent a car. It’s hard enough to drive on the other side of the car on the other side of the road but driving in London is crazy! Leave it to the taxi and bus drivers. But why would you want to? The tube and bus system is the easiest thing to use. Put your destination in on Google Maps on your phone and it will tell you what bus or tube to take and how long to get there. It is intimidating at first but by day two you will be an expert.

8.       Order afternoon tea and fish & chips. Most restaurants will offer an afternoon tea and fish & chips on the menu. Order it just for fun. Afternoon tea is three trays of finger sandwiches, raison tea buns, cookies & cupcakes and of course a big pot of English tea. It really is nice. Before ordering the fish & chips ask if the skin is left on the fish and if it is deboned. Twice I
ordered it and found the bone was left in and the skin was left on.

9.       The British Pound compared to the Canadian dollar is ridiculous! I confess, I did not buy a lot. I mostly picked up souvenirs and caved at the end to get this amazing red leather jacket. I did not buy one pair of shoes! First time ever. Right now one Pound is worth $1.80 Canadian. So when you spend 10 Pounds at a pub for a sandwich, it will be $18 on your credit card statement. One 100 Pound purse will be $180 on your credit card statement. Why buy when you can go home and order on line in Canadian dollars? Get your souvenirs and if you see something you know you can’t buy anywhere else, go for it. Other than that. Watch your money.

10.   Talk to people. The British are very nice and polite. Here’s a scenario for you. A Canadian bumps
into a Brit on the London Bridge. They eventually exhaust themselves from saying “I am sorry”, “No I am sorry”,  “No it was my fault”, “I think it was my fault”, “But even if it is your fault, I will apologise”, “I couldn’t have you do that, I apologize.” You get my point.  The British are more polite than Canadians. Everywhere we went people thought our Newfoundland accent was from Northern Ireland. Whenever we asked someone for help they were eager to offer assistance. Tell them you are from Canada and they will tell you about their relative who lives somewhere in our country or they will tell you about their service during the war and how they served alongside a Canadian.

11.   Go see the making of Harry Potter https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/ We loved this tour. It’s a must if you are visiting London with teenagers. It will take up a full day but well worth the money.

12.   Last thing to do, drink beer in a pub. It’s the national pass time. It’s a great way to end a long day or start one.

Cheerio! Enjoy your trip to London.