Sunday, 1 May 2011

A Royally Good Weekend!

Hello there! I hope you're well and enjoying another Bank Holiday weekend.

Well, I can't really start without mentioning The Wedding, can I? Apologies if you're not remotely interested - you'll just have to skip this next bit! Wasn't it wonderful? Beforehand I didn't even think I was that interested in it, I just kept saying that I was mildly curious about the dress. We didn't get the day off work, although we were given an extra days annual leave, which I prefer, because we can take that whenever we want. However, as it got closer to it, I did start to get a little bit caught up in the excitement, and on the day itself I was a bit miffed that I couldn't watch it. However, I had a cunning plan! I'd found out that it was going to be broadcast on the 'big screen' which overlooks Millennium Square in Leeds, and as I work close to there, I made an executive decision to pop outside to watch it!* I was still mostly just interested in the dress, and thanks to the expertly-planned timetable I knew that we'd catch our first glimpse of it around 10.51, so I got there about five minutes early and picked a spot by the Civic Hall steps to watch it. This was the Square, but I was right over on the other side (and thankfully not on this picture):

Photo from BBC.co.uk
It was a lovely atmosphere, lots of cheering and flag-waving as the members of the family arrived, and especially when we first saw Kate. I actually only stayed till 11.00 when the service started - I'd watched Kate arrive and seen the dress, and thought I better get back to work. Didn't she look beautiful? And I thought the dress was perfect too.

Photo from BBC.co.uk
In fact, I thought they all looked amazing - William and Harry and the other male members of the family all looking resplendent in their military uniforms, Pippa Middleton (almost) stealing her sister's thunder, and even the cute bridesmaids and page boys (especially the little one who covered her ears on the balcony - that photo is going to haunt her forever, isn't it?). Proper fairytale stuff!

Photo from BBC.co.uk
I've actually really surprised myself with how much I enjoyed the wedding (I managed to see the whole thing later on that evening on the BBC news channel). I got a little bit obsessed for a while there - I couldn't stop reading about it on the internet and looking at any new photos that were released. Whenever I talked about it before Friday I'd start my sentence with "I'm not a royalist, but...". Well, I think I might be actually, just a tiny bit! To be honest, I've never disliked the Royal Family; I never really had much of an opinion either way, they were just 'there'. When previous big events like this have been televised though, I've watched them with a mixture of awe, admiration and pride - I've always had that 'Crikey-they-put-on-a-good-show!' feeling and it always leaves me feeling proud to be British. And I definitely felt that on Friday. I don't care what anyone says, I love all the pageantry, the dignity, the formality of it all. It makes me prouder than ever of our Military and their discipline and dedication, not to mention the fact that they look absolutely amazing when they turn out in all their finery for things like this! I love the fact that Prince Philip still has to sing the National Anthem whilst standing next to the Queen, just because 'them's the rules!' Seeing William salute and Kate lower her head as they passed the Cenotaph brought a lump to my throat; I know this is protocol but it's still lovely to see them paying their respects. I feel really positive about the future of our Royal Family, now that William and Kate are that future. I think they're a breath of fresh air, and I hope they have a long and very happy life together.

Anyhoo, other news now! It's the 1st May and I was actually at home and able to take my first of the month photos. It was very sunny this morning, but also very windy.


I love how lush and green this tree looks against the blue sky; in last month's photo it was still mostly brown and 'twiggy' with just a bit of foliage appearing - it's amazing what a few weeks of warmth and sunshine can do!


Sorrel in the right foreground, getting a bit carried away! Behind that is a strawberry patch, and just in front of the greenhouse is a poinsettia in a tub, that my mum was given for Christmas. She didn't expect it to live long, but four months later she'd had enough of it on the kitchen windowsill, so it found itself a new home in our garden!


The 'pond', just waiting for the lilies to appear (there are 3 or 4 buds making their way up to the surface).

Another strawberry patch!



And yet more strawberries, in the 'toilet'. We like our strawberries in this house! CJ tells me that some of these (but I don't know which ones) are June-bearers, and others are ever-bearers, so we should hopefully have a plentiful supply for several months. I foresee lots of strawberries and cream, or smoothies!

I know I've complained about the lack of flowers in the garden, but there are a few little bursts of colour here and there, which I tried to capture today:

Bugle

Chives

Iris

Poppies

We don't know what these are - any ideas?
I also did a little bit of bird-watching:

Coal Tit

Magpie

Really fat woodpigeon!
I don't know if you can make them out, but wrapped around the trellis that the woodpigeon is perched on, are some solar-powered lights in the shape of bees, which I bought CJ for Christmas - have I ever mentioned that he's a beekeeper? Well, he is! This was him in the garden last year, inspecting one of his first colonies:



We don't have any colonies in our garden at the moment; he's got (I think) four hives that are doing really well, but he found a home for them elsewhere as we didn't think the neighbours would appreciate all the extra bee activity!

Speaking of photography, I've noticed a few of you taking part in a monthly scavenger hunt for images suggested on this blog. I came across it last month and thought it seemed like fun, but I didn't join in with that one, I decided to wait till this month. I've already visited this morning and written down the list, and I think I've already got one of my photos, which I'm pleased about. I'm hoping it will encourage me to get out and about more with my camera, and also use my imagination a bit more. I probably won't post my pics on the Flickr group (they won't be good enough for that!) but I'll show them on here, assuming I complete the challenge!

Anyway, it's getting late and I need my beauty sleep! Have a lovely Bank Holiday Monday whatever you get up to; I've been browsing on the web looking for places to visit. I've got a few ideas, and fingers crossed I might get back on here soon to show you where we ended up!

See you later!


*I'd just like to make it clear that due to working some late nights, I'm actually 'owed time back' at the moment, plus I almost always start work earlier than my official start time every day, so I didn't think there was any harm in skipping work for 20 minutes to watch part of such a historic event. Just in case management ever read this...

3 comments:

  1. Am inclined to agree with you about the wedding - had really thought I wasn't too bothered and knew I wouldn't get to see it cos I was at work, but did end up watching the late night highlights and thought it was a lovely happy day both for W & K and all those who were enjoying it. Nothing wrong with that! Love your iris pic - go for it with the scavenger hunt, I've enjoyed it! Just be aware that you risk all those around you thinking you are completely obsessed with taking photos... Who cares? Not me!! x

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  2. Hee hee! Love your little edit down the bottom!

    May already, my goodness, that means just one thing to me.. MY BIRTHDAY!!! Yippee, cannot wait!

    I am so proud of Britain and our Royals again now, really repaired the damage that awful Jeremy Kyle show had done. I was despairing of our nation!

    Good luck with your treasure hunt. xxx

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  3. @ Sandra - I think I've got two of my photos for the scavenger hunt, and I'm having fun thinking about the rest of them. I'm still a little self-conscious about taking photos in public though, especially of 'random' things, but like you said, I shouldn't care what other people think, should I?!

    @ Cuckoo - yes, I thought I better just cover myself after admitting I'd left the office to watch 'a tiny bit' of the wedding! Ooh, happy birthday month too!

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