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June 13, 2012

Ever since our plane touched down at Heathrow, returning us to the UK, Paul and I have been on the treadmill of life. We’d just spent three glorious weeks wrapped in the warmth and tenderness of grandsons’ hugs, daughter’s hugs, son-in-law’s hugs, grand-dog’s hugs, and hugs from our dearest friends. When the hugging stopped, the eating began and we both returned to Wales packing the pounds.

And it didn’t stop there.

The Queen’s Jubilee, “Jubb-lee” in these parts of Wales, kicked off with a roaring tapas night at our favorite local pub, The Rock. The bar was strewn with a specially prepared selection of tid-bits that were delicious and filling. Paul posed with the Queen. Malcolm and Pat gobbled up the Publican’s (his name is Paul, too) specialties and I ate everything in sight. It wasn’t time to diet yet. We had four more days of festivities to get through.

The Rock on Tapas Friday

Our pub, The Rock, celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee with tapas and toasts!

The Epsom Derby, appropriately won by a thoroughbred named “Camelot” kicked off the official weekend, followed by BBC Television’s many specials about the Queen, including one with Prince Charles laughingly watching old home movies. You know, he actually DOES have a sense of humor! And the films were delightful! Prince Philip piloting his own red wagon down a hill. Prince Charles and Princess Anne doing an exotic hula on a Norfolk beach. Prince Phillip merrily slipping down a water slide on the Brittania. Queen Elizabeth lazing on a slope, doting on her two little children. These were lovely, intimate moments that we had never seen before and were welcomed into our databank of Queen memories.

Canaletto’s “St. Paul’s Overlooking the Thames” is the artist’s vision of an elaborate flotilla on the River Thames, painted in the mid-1700s. We had the real thing! One thousand ships sailed on the Thames, and the Queen and her family were in the middle of it on the Royal Barge. Both she and the Prince stood for hours and hours, under cover but in the rain. Don’t knock the Queen in my presence.  She’s a hard worker and this Royalist appreciates her dedication. What other woman “of a certain age” puts in over 400 personal appearances every year – without complaining?

Every event, in our house and the homes of our friends, was accompanied by food and drink. You can’t toast the Queen without a glass of good red wine, can you? Or roast lamb? Roast Chicken (Malcolm and Pat’s house), Fettuccini with Welsh sausage and mushrooms (Katie and Ian’s house), or a table loaded with lamb stew, stuffed salmon, bean salad, new potatoes, cheesecake, cupcakes, Victoria sponge, champagne and Proseco, (Krys and Peter, Kath and Lyndon’s house) and finally, a trip to the loo where Union Jack toilet paper reigned!

loo roll

The celebration never stopped!

As Rob Brydon said at the Gala Concert (a 20 out of 10), “Imagine – 60 years of reign. That’s a Welsh summer.  60 years of rain!” And so it is.  Raining again. But nothing will dampen the spirits or memories of the glorious, festive, elegant, fun, patriotic Jubb-lee weekend in the mind of this Yank.

Paul and the Queen

The “Queen” greeting Paul and welcoming him home from The Americas!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Malcolm permalink
    June 13, 2012 5:30 pm

    Well done enjoyed reading

  2. June 13, 2012 11:42 pm

    What a wonderful time! I believe Paul is muchj taller than the Queen, but they looked good together.
    In contrast, we had a very quiet Jubilee in the Yorkshire Dales with friends. We did see the thousand boats – both amazing (no collisions or people overboard) and moving (the people and organisations from all walks of life and all sorts of boats). It made me think. Best, Valerie

  3. June 14, 2012 12:30 am

    Love the pic of Paul and the Queen!

  4. Sharon permalink
    June 14, 2012 3:03 am

    How fun to see the celebration through your eyes.

  5. June 14, 2012 12:41 pm

    Well I can guess by the mention of all the food, drinks and packing on of pounds that you’ll both be donning your boots and getting out walking in that gorgeous Welsh countryside?? I love the pic of Paul and her Majesty….I watched the entire weekend using my computer, BBC and talking to Gary about it on Skype, as we watched it live together. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the parade! Gary told me what all the different military units were and it made it more interesting, but my favorite is always the horses!
    Thanks for the post! Drop me a line sometime Jann, I’m still sitting in the USA waiting to come over.

  6. Sal Davis permalink
    June 15, 2012 8:30 am

    Welcome home. Back in good time for Herefordshire strawberries, if they don’t get washed away!

    They put on a grand show, don’t they? I was particularly amused during the river pageant by Her Madge’s astonished joy when they ran ‘Joey’ [the puppet from War Horse] along the roof of the theatre and made him rear for her. She really lit up!

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