Friday, April 29, 2011


By the time I ate breakfast and showered, the police had let everyone into the Mall (the avenue leading down to Buckingham Palace). Apparently, not everyone went on spring break. It looks like a beehive now.

As The World - sorry, women in the Western world watch, my comments

Got up to see David and Sam(antha) Cameron arrive. The wife isn't wearing a hat. That's not the norm at these types of events. Sometimes the camera will focus on a woman, all who seem to be wearing hats. Many of them seem to wear them at angles that make it impossible to see their faces.

The groom and his brother arrive. Harry's got a more fancy looking uniform, but William's is bright red. It makes sense - he's the man of the hour. Not that anyone will notice anything he or anyone else is wearing once the bride appears. The BBC informs me that the groom is wearing the uniform of the Irish Guards.

Oh, it isn't raining right now. Yesterday there was rampant speculation that it would be pouring all day. Now they're calling for spotty showers. It's good that it held off. Imagine Kate (sorry, Catherine) arriving in a downpour. No good for any bride!

Now the princes have gone off with someone behind the gate. Of course William will be the last person on the planet to see his bride. But it's like that at everyone's wedding. But most people don't have strangers live-blogging their weddings at 4 AM local time.

Still haven't decided if this makes me a history fanatic, or just weird. I'm sure I'll read this in twelve hours and say, "Of course you're weird!"

The European royals bus. The Queen of Spain, the Crown Prince of the Netherlands, et. al. all rode together. You wonder if they compare notes on previous occasions. "Well, at the Duke of Gloucester's wedding in 1969, the bride's aunt got sick in the middle of the ceremony!" or stuff like that.

The bride's mother and brother arrive. Nothing against the mother (I like her hat, it's more understated), but I think the dress my mother wore at Sissy's wedding was more beautiful. As is my mother. No bias here...

The inside of Westiminster Abbey is beautiful all bare, even without any decorations. Today, of course, it's covered in decorations.

The minor British royals all show up by bus, too. By "minor", I mean the Queen's cousins and more distant relatives. Unlike the foreign royals, I suppose they're used to being put in a group together.

Choirboys marching in. Almost time...

Princess Anne and husband, Prince Andrew and daughters (but no ex-wife), Prince Edward and wife Sophie all arrive together. Her Maj should be along soon, along with the Prince of Wales. Edward and Sophie's daughter, Louise, is one of the bridesmaids. As the youngest female cousin William has, she was bound to be in the wedding.

The groom's father and stepmother arrive. Nice cheer from the crowd. Can't help wondering the reaction if William's mother was here today. Everyone's wondering that. Diana is still very much missed.

The groom's grandparents, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen arrive. She's wearing a lovely pale yellow dress. Suits her well.

Trumpets as Elizabeth II enters the abbey.

Not long to wait now.

Big year for the Queen. First great-grandchild born, Prince William getting married, and her husband turns 90 later this year. Another grandchild, Zara is getting married too. Princess Anne's daughter. She's very close to her grandmother, as she's an athlete - an equestrian? Not sure how to spell it, or describe it. She rides horses. The Queen is a really into horse sports too. She went to the Kentucky Derby for the first time a couple of years ago. This year, or so I've heard, two other people will make their Derby debuts. They're in good company. :)

Awwww......the bridesmaids and pageboys arrive with the bride's sister, the maid of honor. In Britain bridesmaids are young girls normally.

The bride and her father are in the building. Reeeeeeaaaaaaaallllllllly like her dress! Not too much. Going down the aisle...

Ha ha! Harry sneaked a look before William. Probably wants to let him know when he can turn around.

At the front. First hymn is "Guide Me, Oh Thou Great Jehovah". The congregation sings it as "Gee-hee-vah." Really. And it looks like someone planted trees inside the Abbey. Lot of work there.

The vows are done. No stumbles. Both the bride and groom were a bit quiet, but no matter. Another hymn now, not sure what it's called. The choir's doing a beautiful descant. One thing's for sure, the music is grand!

"Do not be conformed to this world..." Love this passage. The bride's brother is reading. Surely he's nervous. It sounds like he practiced, too. Good thing.

Choir's singing again. They make it sound so easy...

An address (or sermon) was given. Most of it was pretty good. I'm consistently surprised by the amount of times Jesus Christ as Lord is referenced. There is still a church in Britain.

Choir singing again. The BBC informs me that Prince William and Catherine will be known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Reminds me of a couple I know who met in Cambridge. :)

Ah! The hymn "Jerusalem". Great song!

More prayers, then "God Save The Queen". I always like when the camera goes to her during that song. She's the only one not singing, which is proper. By the way, I can't stand it when people applaud someone and the person (or people) they are applauding, applaud as well. You're not supposed to do that! Applauding yourself is a form of narcissism. Okay, I'll stop sermonizing now.

The pastor who gave the address said that "every wedding is a royal wedding". While this is true from a Christian perspective, the vast majority of weddings don't come with millions-strong audiences, trumpet fanfares, or world-class choirs to sing along. Not that there's anything wrong with that. The choir thing, anyway. That would be nice. Don't really want the other stuff.

The wedding couple and parents and witnesses have gone off to sign the various registers.

Back now. Another song, trumpet fanfare, and the Duke and Duchess reappear. On their way back down the aisle. I do love her dress.

They're outside. Wild cheers. I wondered who had William's hat. Of course, a horse-drawn carriage. Everyone arrived here by car. Bells pealing madly!!

A stylish carriage, with two footmen on the back. Somehow I think I remember reading Catherine's allergic to horses. Wonder how that works...

The Queen, still inside, the Abbey, is smiling broadly. She just had a birthday recently. Happiness all around.

The couple has made it to the Mall. Thousands outside. Still no rain - and the sun's actually shining now!

The carriages have arrived at Buckingham Palace. An appearance on the balcony is next. I think.

Behind the carriages, more buses. Some enterprising person who's riding a bus should make t-shirts that say "I Got Invited To The Royal Wedding, And All I Got To Ride Was A Bus!"

The Queen, Prince of Wales, et. al. have arrived.

I've seen clips from Charles and Diana's wedding, and then it looked like the Mall was packed with people. Today, not so much. Everyone else must have gone on spring break.

I'd write more, but I really need to get ready for work now. As for the balcony appearance, I predict it will go something like this: They came, they saw, they waved, they kissed, they waved, they left.

Everybody have a great day! Thanks for indulging my rambling.


Yes, I'm Awake Now.

Nine years ago, I spent three happy months in the United Kingdom. British history is something that has interested me for a long time. Miss this? Are you kidding?

Monday, April 18, 2011


In cash. That's enough reason to go through old cards. Found last Saturday...

If I find any more, I'll let you know.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Night at the Theatre

There's a yellow rose on my kitchen table tonight, and there's a story behind it.

On April 13th, 1909, a civic arts theatre was opened in a small town in southwestern Illinois. Seventy-five years later, it closed. Another quarter of a century passed until, with the support of the local community, a team of dedicated citizens reopened the Wildey Theatre. It re-opened tonight, and I was there. The mayor gave a speech, oversize checks were presented, a short film was shown, and the local high school kids sang a couple of great songs from the musical Hairspray. One of them was "You Can't Stop The Beat!"

They brought the house down, those EHS students. They were really good - and anybody who reads this blog who remembers the shows at PHS (Go Tigers!) that is saying something.

The film that was shown was a sort of mini-documentary. There were pictures from the past, and a lot of interviews with local folks. It sounds like a lot of people had their first dates at the Wildey. Some memorable quotes from the evening:

The president of Friends of the Wildey: "The best fund-raiser was held last fall at the high school. The kids put on a performance that raised $10,000. What moved me was watching a group of young people work so hard to save a building that hadn't been open their entire lives."

Another quote from the tuxedo-wearing gentleman (complete with bow tie): "When the Wildey opened on April 13, 1909, the local paper reported that man in charge of the organization wore a tuxedo and 'every lady received a yellow rose'. After I came across that tidbit in the archives, I thought 'We have to do that!' And so every woman who walked in the door this evening was given a yellow rose!"

Among the upcoming events at the theatre are local music groups, stage productions and films set to be shown. The first film on the bill? Singin' In The Rain. (Sissy, I wish you were here. We'd totally go.) The next? Another classic, Casablanca. And lest anyone think old movies are going to be the only ones played, think again. Also upcoming are The Dark Knight and The Matrix. (Bud, I thought of you when I saw that. No idea why.)

I think I just found my new (old?) favorite place to go for something different.

Just a Note

I don't know why all of a sudden my posts have started being published all squished together. No matter how I space things, everything is put together. I swear I didn't change any settings. If someone knows anything about this, please help me. Right now it looks terribly unprofessional. Thanks. -BR

1861: And so it began, in Charleston

April 12th. Anderson will not capitulate. Yesterday's was the merriest, maddest dinner we have had yet. Men were audaciously wise and witty. We had an unspoken foreboding that it was to be our last pleasant meeting...I do not pretend to be asleep. How can I? If Anderson does not accept terms at four, the orders are, he shall be fired upon. I count four, St. Michael's bells chime out and I begin to hope. At half-past four the heavy booming of a cannon. I sprang out of bed, and on my knees prostrate I prayed as I never prayed before...Certainly fire had begun. The regular roar of the cannon, there it was. And who could tell what each volley accomplished of death and destruction? Mary Chestnut, A Diary From Dixie

Monday, April 11, 2011

Nothing against April, but...

Yesterday, the temperature was pushing 90 degrees and tonight the low is projected to be around 40. I know, I know, Minnesota readers. I have NO reason to complain. On the other hand, May beats March every day of the week and twice on Sundays. In other news, the trees are in bloom, Easter is less than two weeks away (finally) and I've managed to keep my Lent fast, which is really a NoCaffinatedSodaFast. This might not seem like a big deal to some, but to one who gets the vast majority of caffeine from sodapop, IT IS. No, family - I have not, nor do I in the near future intend to drink coffee, mocha, or any other beverage which would lead me to join The Dark Side. Chai tea lattes do not count. Last weekend, I met Boyfriend's parents. They were extremely nice and very easy to get along with. We had a late breakfast together on Saturday, then went furniture shopping. BF needed to replace his college-era futon and add another bookcase to his collection. After the necessary assembly was done, we did some sight-seeing and then ended the afternoon with an excellent dinner. This was followed by more visiting. This is sounding like one of MY family get-togethers, doncha think? With God's grace, we'll see them again sometime this summer. Also by the grace of God, I was told recently that yet another heart-melting, completely adorable munchkin would be joining the family by...well, Christmas is a safe bet at this point. No further comments are necessary other than "YAY!!!!! Can't wait to meet you!! Love you already." :) To tie up this post, April really isn't that bad. Just don't mention taxes, the American Civil War (or Abraham Lincoln or John Wilkes Booth), the R.M.S. Titanic, or Austrians with a megalomaniac complex. But seriously, my Second Nephew (sometimes called Buster) will turn one year old on April 30. He makes it all worth it. Love you, S! (And your older brother P. Love to your younger sibling was given in the previous paragraph.) Here's a selection from Ramona Forever, by Beverly Clearly - just for you: Ramona decided to go along because she wanted to talk privately with her mother. As they walked beneath the budding trees, she began by saying, "When Algie comes, I won't be your baby anymore." "That's right," agreed her mother. "You will be my middle child, with a special place right in the middle of my heart..." -BR

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Overheard Conversation

A harried mother saying to her husband: "We're going to lose a kid before the end of the day." Without missing a beat, he replied: "Promise?" "Promise." She said. Then they gathered the kids (a boy and girl) and left.