Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It's Pimms O' Clock!

The first I knew of the Royal wedding was months ago when I was asked in Wal-Mart by the Cashier if I was attending it. I said I couldn’t find a hat to wear so I doubted if I would bother. The Cashier, bless him (or strike him dead for his stupidity) asked – in all seriousness if I knew William personally. I said, ‘If William knew me, do you really think he would be marrying Kate?’ I could see the agony of the man as he totally believed what I said and was trying hard not to disagree but he also wanted to be honest. What he really wanted to say was ‘Now you are being silly, you ugly old trout’ but he was nothing if not gullible and polite, an unfortunate combination of traits that were clearly getting him nowhere.
I can’t tell you how often I used the ‘can’t find a suitable hat’ excuse over the last few months when I was asked about the wedding. It is a pity Princess Beatrice didn’t decline her invite at the 11th hour on that basis and give the hat back to lady Gaga!
When I went to the UK at Easter, shops were heaving with Union Jack paraphernalia – some nasty and tacky, some very tasteful. I really like the vintage stuff. I wonder if the Middleton partyware internet business had exclusive sales for the event. It seems a little unfair that they would have had the heads up on the date and everything! Insider trading! I bet their ‘Best of British’ range went down a storm at the buffet afterwards.  I wonder if all those themed ‘princess parties’ gave Kate some mad idea…
Nothing to do with the impending nuptials I bought a lot of red, white and blue. I did this for two reasons; one, because of my sudden patriotism since moving to the USA for all things British and two, because it is my turn to host ‘dinner club’ on the 4th July weekend. I had this wicked idea that I would deck the house out with the Union Jack for this USA national holiday commemorating independence from the British. The look of horror on someone’s face at a mere hint of my plan made me think I should put my bunting to more appropriate use on the day of the royal wedding.
I was invited to a fellow Brit’s house to watch the wedding in the morning. Being 5 hours behind it was to be recorded.  Unlike almost everyone I spoke to that day, I did not get up at to watch it live. I got up at because I was still a little jet lagged. I couldn’t resist  turning on the news for a sneak preview. I heard the voice over, describing guests at the Abbey, identify Sir Elton John ‘and other people’. The only other person in the picture was David Furnish but the commentator seemed at a loss as to what to call him! Gay Marriage is not legal in the state of North Carolina. I decided to wait til later to see ‘the dress.
My friend had gone to lots of trouble for the occasion, best china, bucks fizz (I had no idea why Americans were drinking mimosas and not bucks fizz! What are they anyway?) strawberries and scones, and digestive biscuits – a rare treat in these parts! There was a lovely atmosphere. Royalist or not, there was a sense of pride at the pomp and circumstance and tradition that we were part of, if only from a distance.
We watched the arrivals at the Abbey. The two Prince’s both with hair like their dads… Kate, with her stunning dress and veil. I was reminded of my sister’s wedding when my mother did a last minute run of the iron over her veil, leaving an iron shaped hole in the front. Sometimes the creases are best left - something for ‘Pippa’ to appreciate when she watches the wedding video!  (although the men might have liked an iron shaped hole where the chief bridesmaid’s dress had creased!) Kate arrived at the church and … the recording ended. Bugger! It had recorded in ‘programme slots’ and had not recorded the next slot, the actual wedding! No matter – there were always the highlights on the internet. The funniest voice over I heard was describing Kate and William leaving for their honeymoon as ‘just a normal couple’, she went on to describe their car ‘like a little dodgem car’! Perfect description for the future King and Queen and the Aston Martin they drove away in! I have just read in Time magazine that their wedding cake had 17 fruitcakes. Their wedding party had considerably more, with Prince Philip leading the way!
Most Americans are surprised by my indifference to the Royal Wedding. I guess they were equally surprised by my last minute change of heart. I had nothing else planned but decided it was too much of an opportunity for a piss up to waste. I had a bottle of Pimms, bunting and beer! I invited neighbours round for a ‘British’ celebration involving popadoms and all the trimmings, Chicken tikka and other Indian starters. A big jug (retro union jack design!) of Pimms and a cool box (American sized before you start tittering about girl sized portions – they have BIG cool boxes) full of beer and we were away. We had to explain that Indian food constitutes the national dish and explain what to do with the popadoms, onion salad and mint sauce. It went down a storm! As everyone brought children I started proceedings at thinking everyone would leave around . In true British fashion, five hours later, cool box emptied and without so much as a toast to the royal couple we waved goodnight to all. Can’t wait to wet the baby’s head!


  1. Nice one Jane.. quite restrained - no swear words..... quite right too, have to show some respect for Royalty. I've just finished reading all of your 2010 blogs, they are so well crafted..... very clever. Quite intense at times.... no wasted words.... everything fits together, like a complex jigsaw, satisfying when the final bit goes in to reveal the "whole picture" I think you could say I'm a fan ! Take care.

  2. I thought the marriage of Prince Wil-I-am and KT Mydletone was great!

  3. Itwas certainly a great day. No one can do pomp and glory like us Brits. It was't an iron size hole only a small one ,i was aplsolutly mortified that i had done it. Thankfully it was'nt noticed by many !