Monday, April 30, 2012

2012: Week 17

The Queen at the Queen's House, Greenwich! (Not pictured: Her Majesty waving at me!)

I waited with a friend for about 45 minutes-- though it seemed shorter-- for the Queen to appear following a day of visits in Greenwich, London. I don't know if you can see from the picture, but it was absolutely POURING WITH RAIN. But the result was I got to see her after 13.5 years of living in the U.K.

PS: I know I already posted this, but to be consistent with the 52 weeks project, I'm posting it again.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The day I got to see Her Royal Majesty, The Queen

When we first moved here, 13 1/2 years ago, I naively thought we'd be tripping over the Royal Family in London. Let me assure you, that is not the case. I had a false alarm in 2005, when I THOUGHT I saw the Queen at the Marathon Expo, when I was collecting my number, but it was not to be. So I've never seen anyone remotely royal. I've never even seen a minor royal, like Princess Michael of Kent.

(I'm not counting the time I got my picture taken with the picture of the Queen when we earned our British citizenship last year. Or, for that matter, any millions of times I've seen the queen on money or on stamps. Those times don't count.)

That all changed today.

Queen Elizabeth II was in Greenwich to reopen the Cutty Sark, go the Maritime Museum and finally to have lunch at the Queen's House. The queen to which the name refers is not her, but instead to Queen Anne, James I's wife. But I do think it's a nice bit of symmetry when the Queen is at the Queen's House.

I thought I was going to miss all the hoopla, because I had an exam scheduled for the late morning, bang in the middle of all the visits. But my friend and I were on our way back when I saw a group of people waiting out front of the Queen's House. I also spied this police motorcade security detail, so I figured she hadn't left yet. We made a beeline over there. Thinking I had missed my chance to see the Queen in person in the morning, I was thrilled that I was actually going to see her in the afternoon.

It was a nice group hanging about at the end of the Queen's visit. I'm sure most people went to the Cutty Sark celebrations and then returned home. The rain also arrived with a vengence, so I think that also contributed to the "We're all in this together" spirit while we waited for Her Majesty to appear.

Among the group was this really sweet girl who wanted to deliver this bouquet of flowers. She was hoping the motorcade would stop at the end of the gate so she could deliver them. The police officer in charge told her that was very unlikely, but she still remained optimistic. (You might be able to get an idea of how hard it was raining by looking at the umbrella.)
After a 45 minute wait, which actually didn't feel that long, the Queen finally emerged from the Queen's House and got in her special Range Rover with the special flag, indicating that she's inside. Here they are, making their way up the path in front of the Queen's House. She is in the back seat, on the left-hand side, wearing red and a fetching hat. My heroine.
I didn't take a picture of her actually passing by, because I wanted to concentrate on actually seeing her and waving, as opposed to taking a picture. Prince Phillip was on our side, and I have to say, he looked very good, particularly after his heart scare at Christmas.

So I've now seen the Queen, and in her Diamond Jubilee year to boot. It was worth getting absolutely soaked to do so. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

2012: Week 16

The Cutty Sark sails again!

For this week's picture, I'm featuring the born-again Cutty Sark clipper ship in Greenwich, which had a preview for locals on Saturday. After a very long and expensive restoration project-- not to mention one devastating fire-- it was fantastic to see it in all its glory again.

The Cutty Sark reborn was definitely my highlight for week 16.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Rain, rain, go away.

We have started referring to the British drought as "The British Drought" (making the motions of quotation marks while we say it) this week because it's been raining. A lot.

This is a snap from today of Thing 1, a train, rain and The Shard. #nofilter

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

2012: Week 15

2012: Week 15 by MAStapleton
2012: Week 15, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.

My first wisteria! After 6 years and 2 different plants, I am VERY proud.
In Greenwich, where we live, you can't move for all the beautiful wisteria that's around. There's the Wisteria House on Gloucester Circus, there's the Wisteria House on Hyde Vale, there's the wisteria awning you can walk under on Crooms Hill. For years we've wanted our own wisteria too.
This week we were finally rewarded. It's a very small start, but I couldn't be more happy about it.

Friday, April 13, 2012

2012: Week 14

A sunset in Norfolk by MAStapleton
A sunset in Norfolk, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
We spent Easter weekend on the coast of Norfolk. Even though it wasn't beach weather, we still enjoyed being able to walk to the beach from our rental. This was a snap I captured on Saturday night.

My grandfather loved taking pictures of sunsets on the Flordia beach after he retired. Until now, I never really understood the appeal of a sunset snap, but now I think I do.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

2012: Week 13

Trafalgar Square, on a beautiful spring day. With added attraction of new Fourth Plinth!

It's been a fantastic week for spring weather. I found myself basking in the sun in Trafalgar Square two days in a row, which was brilliant because (a) it was warm enough in March to do so; and (b) I don't often have the time to do it. But I did, and I'm glad. Happy Spring, everyone.