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7 June 2012

a day of knights

thanks to the queen and her longevity in reign, we had a great time celebrating her golden jubilee this past (long) weekend. not only did we get monday off, but also the tuesday to keep the jubilation rolling. there were tons of things on all over london throughout the weekend, and no doubt street parties and the like all across the country. a lot of the festivities were streamed live across the world too - seeing as the queen is still technically the head of state for about a zillion countries.

on sunday, we woke up early(ish) as mamma had been looking forward (so much!) to going to see the thames pageant, and had planned the day to the tee. except.. i woke up with the sooorest neck, and was struggling through my morning. we headed off around 11 and walked along the southbank trying to find a spot to see the flotilla clearly. after about 20 seconds, we realised this was mission impossible. there were a gazillion people already there, some who had camped over night, every one of them dressed to the nines in red, white and blue or union jacks and flags. it was insane! we carried on walking until we reached the oxo building which had been cordoned off for local access only, and set up camp and settled down for our packed lunch of chicken wings and tuna sandwiches - how british! behind us was a lawn area and big screen with royal malarkey being played on loop. this turned out to be a really great distraction to the fact that it was only midday, and the boats weren't due until ten to FOUR. after about an hour (*lets be honest, it was less than that), my neck was giving me major grief and - to be honest, i was so bored of waiting that we left mum there with her new friends from surrey and went home to watch it on bbc1. how bad is that! mum assured me she was ok, and i knew she really wanted to wait and watch despite the cold and rain, and would have been more annoyed at my complaining the whole time, and displeasure with the weather and wah wah wah... she really enjoyed herself! we had suuuuch a drama getting home, and by the time we did the flotilla was literally kicking off. the bbc live presentation was really good though, so we did really get a bit saddened to have not been there. mum came back soaked to the bone. a quick cuppa and a delicious pad thai later, and she was back to her normal self.

on monday we headed off to westfield stratford city for a spot of shopping. we hoped to get there before the long weekend crowds, but i don't think we succeeded. after a good solid three hours wafting about and looking at sewing machines (mum's determined to buy me one for my birthday this year. i'm in love with the bubblegum pink one from john lewis) we met up with boyfriend and headed home. we had intentions of going to the jubilee concert on the mall that night, which was due to start at 7:30. with confidence that it would be as manic as the day before, we decided to not get there early, but to get there on time and take our chances. 

as we were walking through admiralty arch, we saw the (literally) millions of people crammed in there already, and thought that there was no chance of us getting any kind of view, least of all be able to hear any of the concert. i could not have been more wrong. all up and down the mall there had been big screens and loud speakers set up every 20 metres or so, so evvvveryone could get in on the action happening at the palace. the deal there was: 10,000 people had been invited to the concert from a ballot the public could enter (i entered, but didn't win a ticket sadly). of that 10,000 a proportion had also been invited for a picnic at the palace that day, and of that group another 40 or so had been invited to sit in the royal box.. so jel! 

a huge stage had been built over the fountain at victoria memorial, and a stadium for the 10,000 had gone up around that. we could see exactly none of that, only what was being shot and streamed on bbc (around the world, again!). we noticed that the mall itself was quite full, but the pathways on both sides seemed to be moving quite steadily. so we started to walk around and found ourselves about half way up the mall! to top that off, we had a great position in front of a big screen, and not toooo many people stood and sat around us, so room to relax and 'dance' the night away.. which we definitely did! check out this line up, and tell me that you wouldn't too: robbie williams, jls, jessie j, ed sheeran, gary barlow + cheryl cole, followed by sir cliff richard, sir tom jones, sir elton john, dame shirley bassey, annie lennox, grace jones, stevie wonder + will.i.am, maddness playing on the roof of the palace, and the amaaaazing finale of sir. paul. mccartney! he's a beatle, incase you didn't know! he played, i swooned. it was love. we stayed until the fireworks and  amaaaazing light display (they turned the palace into fricken artwork and used it as a maaaasive projector screen!) were over and done with, and then made the epic journey home, knowing it was nearly midnight and we had an early start the following day as we were off to the country for some fresh air!

i will update you on the country travels tomorrow, as i am sleepy and this has taken a while (distracted by telly) and everyone is bored of me tap-tap-tapping away. it has been an amazing few days, and next on the agenda is paris next week so there will be tons of tales on my return from there!

lots of love, e x