Sunday, May 1, 2011

Back To Reality

We’re coming off a high here in Blighty. First the best Easter holiday weekend on record, followed by a lovely wedding that we had the choice of ignoring and just enjoying the day off, or vicariously celebrating without the hassle of dressing up, splashing out on a gift and sitting through the boring bits of the church service. (I don’t know about you, but I had lunch and smoked a cigar on the balcony while all the singing and readings were going on.)

This was my first Royal Wedding and I thought it was good fun. And it was nice to see that, at the last minute, the country stepped up to the occasion. There had been a good deal of apathy leading up to the event, but a respectable number came out or tuned in for the occasion and I, for one, was glad to see it. It was charming to see the British actually celebrating something; mostly (especially lately) they are so dreary. While there are always a few people standing on the sidelines carping about irrelevancies and generally trying to spoil someone else’s good time, for a great number of people it was a grand spectacle, centered around two young people who are (ostensibly) in love and starting a new life together. Not the sort of life anyone else on the planet enjoys, but that’s hardly the point.

I did my part to attempt to cajole my workmates into the mood by making a string of wedding bunting earlier this week and draping it around my desk. I had extra, and offered it to my colleagues but there were no takers. So I took it down on Thursday and strung it around my balcony so we could be the only ones in our block of flats to even remotely acknowledge the wedding.

I admit I was more into this than most people I know, but it’s not my fault, I am saddled with a double whammy: first of all, I am an American—and we all know how doo-lally they are when it comes to the Royal Family—and I am a naturalized citizen—who tend to be more devoted to their adopted country than many of those who are to the manor born. Given that, I think merely stringing up a bit of bunting showed admirable restraint.

But today, it’s back to business as usual. We had to de-string the bunting, take out the recycle and do a bit of shopping before being able to sit, relax and do nothing but look forward to the May Day holiday, which will provide us one final day off before we head back to our respective offices. For now, however, it is a splendid spring day and the flowers are about at their peak, making for an enjoyable day off.

It’s not all sunshine and light, though; the excesses invoked by festivities of the weekend made it impossible to find my preferred balcony beverage while we were at the shops, so I am forced to resort to wine as an accompaniment to my postprandial cigar.

Sometimes I wonder how I stand the hardships.


  1. Life is hard, Mike!

    Glad you enjoyed the event, we watched then joined neighbours for a picnic on the village green. I debated hanging bunting but my English husband said no. Probably too much for him, even though he thoroughly enjoyed the wedding.

    And all the time off was fab too! We have just returned from visiting family in Texas and landing at Heathrow to such warm temps certainly helped with the homesickness.

  2. Yes, it's a hard life, but I persevere ;) Glad you were able to get back in time for the big event--would have been a shame to miss it.