London, Day 4: Jubilation! in the p.m.

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After the hub-bub died down in front of St. Paul’s, I walked in the other direction to get a better view of the church. Pretty soon I found myself on Fleet Street, but was lost and turned around. After the late revelry of the night before, I was hoping to find a Tube station that would whisk me back to my hotel, and specifically my bed. But the innumerable barricades along the streets prevented me from navigating in the direction I thought I should be going.

As I stood there confused, I noticed a significant amount of people still lining the barricades expectantly. I walked over to lean against one and look at my map, just as someone asked a police officer, “What time will they be coming by?”

My ears perked.
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Tea, scones and a royal wedding.

I need to give a shout-out to Angie. I’m so glad we became friends, because she’s always up for the crazy things that I want to do. Like getting up at 5 am on a workday to watch a royal wedding.

We tried to go to Big Ben, the local British ex-pat hangout, for a royal wedding breakfast and viewing party but it was actually over-booked. Turns out there are more royal-watchers in Charlotte than we expected. Plus, the director of our symphony also conducted the royal wedding orchestra at Westminster Abbey, so all of his colleagues and other symphony friends were headed there. I’m sure it was a madhouse! We opted instead for coffee (we needed something more strongly caffeinated than tea at that hour) and scones while we watched all the festivities in crystal-clear HD. The best seat in the house. And we got to share commentary on the dresses and hats, watch Oliver and Dixie wrestle and try our best not to wake Angie’s husband, who thought we were nuts. Okay, we are.

Next, Oliver and I headed to work, since we didn’t get to partake of a bank holiday. Instead, my coworkers and I spent all day watching the wedding re-broadcasts online and enjoying another spread of English delicacies — tea, more scones, petits fours, quiche. I even made sticky toffee pudding, which we can add to the OMG list. The recipe I used was pretty simple, and the result is just beyond words. Keep reading »

Countdown to the royal wedding.

Have you heard any whispers about that royal wedding that’s coming up? No? Well maybe you live under a rock in Wyoming. Or, maybe you live under the JumboTron in Times Square but just couldn’t care less. If so, this may not be the post for you.

See, I’m excited. I’ve told you how I revel in royal pomp and circumstance, and I can’t wait to see all of that in action on April 29. Everyone’s asking me if I’m going to get up early and watch, and I think I have to. I won’t be taking the day off like some people (ahem) I know. But even if I DVR the whole thing, I can’t miss watching the wedding coverage live, right? I’ll probably just set my alarm for 4 am, blearily fumble for the remote and watch it from under my covers until I have to go to work. Once I get there, my coworkers have planned a high tea in celebration while we watch whatever festivities are left. I’ll be making authentic sticky toffee pudding. If you want to do the same, here are some other recipes you could try.

It’s clear that royalty is one of my obsessions, but don’t worry — I haven’t bought the replica royal engagement ring, the commemorative Union Jack flag or even the china with their faces on it. I’m not really in to tacky tchotchkes in general. I will, however, commit to watching television. America’s gone wacky over this royal wedding and the coverage is about to blow up our television sets. It’s like the second British invasion. If you’re royally obsessed (like me) but have room on your DVR (not like me), there are plenty of opportunities to educate yourself on all things royal over the coming weeks. I’ve gathered what information I can find, so get to ready to burn up your remote! Keep reading »

God save the queen.

I’m a little behind on the news, due to events beyond my control.  But in my sickly haze I’ve been keeping up with all the news on Prince William’s engagement to Kate Middleton. Hooray! I love a royal wedding.

Well, you know I actually love anything about royalty. And that’s apparently not a well-kept secret, since Heather called me last week for the lowdown on what all of this means. I’m informed on the royal goings-on, traditions and monarchical implications to a level that even surprises me. Let’s just say that I have trouble remembering the DuPont Identity formula, but I can give you a history of England’s royal succession during the past few hundred years on a moment’s notice.

I don’t know why I’m so enamored by royalty — maybe it’s the fairy tale and the glamour, the pomp and circumstance, the observance and appreciation for history, social etiquette and tradition, or just the dynamics of a large, extended, dysfunctional family. One of my earliest memories is of getting up early to watch Princess Diana’s wedding with my mom — pretty amazing, since I was 4. Keep reading »