Friday 6 May 2011

Cart-wheeling vergers, laughing policemen, happy crowds and the comment ‘I beat him to it’ ... oh yes and lock out! Royal Wedding Day Memories – a week later ... part 1/3

Broadcasting the Pageantry
Remember what we were all waking up to a week ago, or hearing the alarm go off at all funny times of day and night around the world .. so that 2 billion of us could watch That Wedding on television.

What do I call her .. Catherine, Kate .. she’s not a Princess – as she’s not born a Royal, hence the bestowing of the title Duke and Duchess of Cambridge ...

      - the Foreign press had been around for 5 days

      - Local press – BBC, ITV etc started to join the foreign crews
      - Press boxes outside the Abbey, at Buckingham Palace – costly press suites
       - Members of public camping out .. some bringing their children as they’d camped
         out for Charles and Diana in 1981 ...
       - Interviews with all and sundy ..

     Buckingham Palace public celebrations

        - Street parties, house parties across the country
        - Duckleberry village – duck racing .. and party on the Green (well that’s what I wanted to call it) – it’s actually Bucklebury the village where the Middletons do their local shop - see right..

       - St Andrews University where the couple met
        - Vast screens in town centres, outside pubs etc etc

        - New York – yellow cabs with the British flags flying
        - Outer Space – International Space Station ... Yellow, Red and Blue – celebrations .. not sure why the yellow – oh well ...

St Andrews Castle - since 1189

The North American, Australian, Indian and other nations totally hooked – but sure so were the Brits – or were we just looking forward to the day off – not me .. British all the way.  I was crying at 6.00 am when I got up to post my Y for Yoke – it was a burden .. the poor people were lying down – could I get them to appear standing up – yes, eventually!

The local butcher,
a guest at the Wedding
The twittering – social networks ... around the world .. had been in full swing for months ... the Royal Engagement – was the first to be announced on Twitter and Facebook – suddenly Monarchy had moved into the 21st century and they were going to take full advantage of its power ... becoming more accessible to the whole world.

The night before, Prince William and Prince Harry went out to meet and greet the public waiting outside Clarence House  ...  his Public Relations team weren’t ready .. but the Princes were and they went – engaging with the people who were waiting for the morrow.

My day continued  ... the tv was on – but I was ‘slaving’ away in the kitchen making sure the food I took to the party was freshly made.  Some I had par-cooked the day before, but I wanted it to finish cooking it so that it would be crisped up, and I had lots of fresh vegetable sticks to make ...

A slice of Spanakopita Pie
The Spanakopita pie .. buttered filo pastry top and bottom, with a filling of good quality spinach pieces, crumbled feta cheese, grated farmhouse cheddar, thick cream cheese and eggs all mixed together, with sprinklings of nutmeg, black pepper and a little cayenne ..  scoring the top layers of filo into squares, left to cook for an hour or so in a medium oven ...

I left the Spanakopita to cool, sliced it into squares (bite-sized), before arranging it on a platter; then I’d fried some pieces of onion in butter to get them a little caramelised, added some pork fillet cut into bite-sized pieces and fried those.

Prince William and Prince Harry
With another pack of filo pastry – I spread mincemeat (Christmas sweet mincemeat) over three buttered filo leaves (I should have warmed the mincemeat – because it was difficult to spread and rather thick in places) .. then rolled it up like a swiss roll – cut into slices and cooked, cooled on a wire rack.

The Spanakopita was done, the mincemeat whirls were gummy and cooked – but I decided they were too sticky and gungy ... too risky for fillings, false teeth etc .. so I rejected those.  The vegetable sticks had been unceremoniously put into a plastic bag for transport ... and then I had to assemble the pork, onion and mango squares.

I’d used a similar recipe in South Africa .. but couldn’t find it – so had to make it up – I put a couple of pieces of onion round a piece of pork , with a wadge of mango skewered with a cocktail stick – each put on a mini lettuce leaf and plattered up.  Actually as the ingredients weren’t mixed into mayonnaise .. it was better – and I found a ‘new recipe’.

Off I went to be with Mum to watch the Ceremony .. it was a good thing I’d allowed an extra hour .. it gave me a chance to watch from 10.00 or so .. Mum came too just as the Service was about to start.

Didn’t the Queen and Prince Philip look the picture of health at 85 and 89?  I pointed out Prince Philip, magnificently attired, to my mother and said he’d be 90 in June .. to which came an immediate riposte – well I beat him to it! 

So we watched in contented companionship ...

After the balcony scene .. I returned home to gather up my bits to drive over and join in the party at a friend’s house, where they’d invited the rest of the Close to share the day – a large screen in the garden in a marquee, food for Africa, good company, a Royal Quiz, a Raffle for the Hospice and a karaoke for the evening .. well that was my intention ...

The Tudor Rose, England’s
national floral emblem
The lady in the flat down stairs had asked what I was going to cook – I’d said I had no idea .. but I’d borrowed her cake racks .. so I thought I’d leave a few bits for them to have during the day .. could I get an answer – no – totally glued to the tv!  I tried two or three times - popping down and knocking loudly, before I went to my mother ...

When I got back – by hook or by crook – I was going to leave them some food – so I wrote a note and left the ‘tupperware’ outside for them to find at some stage!  Well the idea was kind .. the only problem was it was windy .. the back door at the garage level was open, my windows in the flat were open ... and the door slammed!!  My keys inside .. h e l p?!

Thank goodness for technological advances and people not interested in watching the wedding – the lads opposite .. got on their iphone internet and rang the agents – and hey presto 15 minutes later I was back in ... honestly I could have kicked myself .. as I’d wandered round filling up the bird baths with my keys in my hand .. so I don’t do lock-outs!  Talk about a brief moment of pit-like remorse and horror, to a great piece of luck!

On the evening of the wedding the
London Eye
 was lit in the
colours of the Union Flag
The party was fabulous and was I glad to get there .. Linda and I met up at the Nursing Centre, where her father died 2 years ago now ... and we’ve remained friends since .. and she comes up to the Centre to give ‘Tea Talks’ – and in fact had done a Royal Tea Party talk the day before ... so she had been busy.

After my excursions of the day .. I returned to watched the hour and half Review programme in the evening .. so I was able to see some parts I’d missed.

My next couple of posts will contain snippets that I’ve read, seen or heard – but probably will have been forgotten about in the Splendour of The Day ...  I’ve been talking to my mother about everything this week as she has been wide awake and happy to listen and engage in these memories.

So – Mr Postman – I haven’t commented about my mother too much during the A – Z Challenge ... but she enjoys peace and quiet, sometimes not wanting to talk or listen, other times wanting both.  We watched some snooker at the weekend .. which she enjoyed.

She’s always amazed at the wishes she gets from everyone around the world – THANK YOU - and we heard again recently from an amazing American mother and her daughter, Griffin, who were exceptionally kind to my mother when she was first ill (four years ago) – and they adored my Mama and Hardwick .. Mum remembers them!

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Betsy Wuebker said...

Mmmmm spanikopita! Love it. We make it in appetizer size over here. Pop it in your mouth! Would love to see your recipe and make an entire pie.

Couldn't escape the Big Day, could we? I must say I liked Kate's dress(es) far better than Di's. They're a lovely couple and seem to have their heads on straight. Bodes well for the Empire, eh? :)

We just watched the King's Speech (far behind on our movies) and I so enjoyed the characterization of the Queen Mum in her marriage's youth to her beloved Bertie. We always thought the Duke of Windsor was such a fop, you know, anyway. It made me realize how much she was adored for being so plucky and all.

And I've often wondered if the Queen has fretted about her Charlie all his life long. He's an odd one. Okay that's it for my opinions. :)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I watched an evening version with my 95-year-old MIL who said when the Queen and Prince Philip appeared, "I remember when those kids got married."

My MIL was born in the UK, came to Canada with her parents when she was a child. As a Jewish many, her father felt his family would be safer in the west.

Lovely ceremony. Kate truly looked like a princess.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Betsy .. I know that's what I think about Spanakopita .. I don't do recipes .. I make it as I set it out .. brushed each leaf of filo with melted butter and layered 4 sheets on the bottom .. then mix the spinach, cheeses, condiments and 4 - 6 eggs together - pile it in .. any extra I bake with out the filo .. and that's delicious too ... and layer the top with 4 buttered sheets of filo - score it .. and bake.

They did look stunning and it was such a lovely day - no nasties, no hiccups .. just a very British do and as you say they certainly seem to have their heads on straight.

I've yet to see the King's Speech .. one day! At least Charles and Camilla are happy .. and the boys pleased their Dad is content ..

Enjoy the pie .. give it a go .. cheers Hilary

Bob Scotney said...

The new Duchess has been photographed pushing a supermarket trolley yesterday while William is back flying at Anglesey,

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joylene .. she must have been so pleased to have you share the day with her .. lovely words .. and she is only a few years older!!

How sensible her parents were .. I'd hate to think what might have happened .. life would be very different for you ..

It was superb wasn't it .. and they look so happy together ..

Cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob .. were they - inside information??!! Good for them - so pleased they're so down to earth .. slightly surprised they weren't given left overs?! Bit stale by now I suppose ..

Cheers thanks so much for coming past - Hilary

Jannie Funster said...

Spanakopita! I LOVE that stuff! Good for one with the spinach. Caramelized onions, so tasty!!

Wonderful about your mom remembering Griffin and her mum, and watching snooker wide awake!


Sue said...

I hadn't expected to watch it or love it but I did. I didn't think of spanakopita though, that would have been superb! the bit that actually brought tears to my eyes was the (think I've got the right term) "proceeding" down the road toward the balcony with the police and horses, just taking it ever so quietly. I can't think of ANY other country in the world where that would have been possible. So many people acting in such a civilized manner, and we've been craving something positive too. And then the Hercules and Spitfires. Yep, that was really something. So pleased about your mother enjoying it, it's such a tough time.

MunirGhiasuddin said...

The Rose and the London Eye are both so beautiful. The pie looks delicious. I miss Mr. Kipplers Mince pies sometimes. They used to be filled with tiny bits of fruits and raisins.
The details that you posted are almost lkie being there. Thanks and Cheers!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jannie .. Spanakopita is the most delicious dish isn't it .. delighted to hear you enjoy it too!

I know Mum is quite incredible .. she remembers so much and is interested in so much. Watched the wedding wide awake too .. and then enjoyed the reminiscences about it too.

Lovely seeing you - so sorry to hear about your friend .. cheers and big hugs to BB .. have a great weekend .. Happy Mother's Day (ours is in March) .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Munir - lovely seeing you and to hear that 'I took you home' briefly!

Thanks - I struggled with photos .. so the Rose was a good one and the London Eye looked pretty.

Mr Kipling's Mince Pies - that crumbly taste .. yes I agree!

Good to see you and have your lovely cheers comment and the catchy cheers! at the end - thanks .. Hilary

Paula Martin said...

What an action-packed day you had, Hilary! Me - I just sat here glued to the TV all day :-) Loved the 'normality' of William driving his bride in the Aston Martin, after all the pomp and pageantry of the rest of the day.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Paula .. I'd have liked to have done that in some ways ..and for all these events - sit through quietly and watch it all unfold .. but then it was lovely to be asked out, so I took that opportunity .. and I always need to get up and see my Mama.

They do seem so normal don't they .. and driving the Aston Martin off up the road - just a typical British wedding .. perhaps a little bigger than normal, with a little more interest .. but other than that - just as most other weddings are.

cheers enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Rosalind Adam said...

So glad you enjoyed the wedding and that your Mum was able to appreciate it too. Looking forward to your facts that we'll have forgotten!

Anonymous said...

My, what a busy time you had. Glad you weren't locked out too long. Wonderful to hear about your mother. Tell her hello for me.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue .. even down under you got hooked in! It certainly has made such a difference .. something happy to talk about!

Actually you make a very good point about the 'silence' and just pure enjoyment .. no whistles or shouting to get attention .. it was bliss wasn't it and so civilised.

Then the Hercules and Spitfires too - that view of the planes flying across London and down the Mall always amazes me.

Yes - thanks it was good Mum watched ..and she would have loved the Spanakopita!

I've been having hassles with my connection .. so hence posting your comment has been a little delayed .. good to see you - cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ros .. thanks so much .. it's the things I 'twigged about' that amused me .. and some other bits and bobs that are of interest .. then it's - sort of in one place!!

The full videos and photos are out in the world in all their glory for everyone to see

Enjoy Sunday .. cheers Hilary

Karen Lange said...

Next time you throw a party I may have to stop by. That pie looks wonderful! You are a wonderful hostess, at your blog, and I am sure at your home.
Happy weekend,
Karen :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. many thanks .. I do love entertaining, cooking and hosting or just taking for everyone to join in .. love the fun and camaraderie food creates round a table or 'in party mode' ... I just love different things - delighted so many people are 'enthralled' by the Spanakopita ..

and I'm so awash with the 'wonderful hostess' comment here at this blog .. I love it - it's all good fun to me .. really appreciate this comment.

Thanks so much - enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Chuck said...

Sounds like you had as busy a day as the royal couple. Have a great weekend Hilary!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chuck .. good to see you - it certainly kept me busy .. you are too right there .. and my brief moment of sit-down with kisses - had the lock out!!

Cheers - you too enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Amanda Trought said...

Hilary, you definitely had an action packed day! Looking forward to your next posts. Amanda

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Amanda .. it certainly kept me busy .. but one I thoroughly enjoyed - preferably without the lock out!

Still glorious Royal Wedding - and had fun .. hope you enjoyed it, and that you've had a good weekend .. cheers Hilary

J.D. Meier said...

It sounds like you had a great experience and lots of memories to flash back on for a long time.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi JD .. it certainly will provide lots of talking points for the future .. and I hope people will refer back in due course.

Good to see you - have a lovely week .. Hilary

Inger said...

What a fun piece to read. Believe it or not, but since we don't have TV reception here, and my magazines have not yet arrived to describe the wedding, and I do not surf the web, except for blogs, this is the first thing I have read about the wedding. How fun for you and your mum and everyone else.--Inger

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Inger - that sounds an amazingly sensible way of life .. enjoy your magazine coverage when they do arrive .. the pictures are stunning.

Just incredible to think that 9 days after the event my words are the first you read - and delighted that you enjoyed the 'tale' .. we're all still basking in Royal Wedding fever - and are assaulted everywhere we go with pictures.

Still a fantastic day for us all .. or those interested!

Enjoy your week .. and lovely to see you - Hilary

MorningAJ said...

Oh Hilary - this is as close to the wedding as I've got because I did my best to avoid it. I'm just not a Royal watcher.

Loved the bit about the car and the charabancs though (yes, I'm combining several posts in this comment)

I'm glad your Mum is enjoying it. What did she think of That Hat?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi AJ .. well delighted to hear you read these posts - thank you!!

Also glad you picked up the bit about the charabancs .. they were/ are real "old buses" .. and had seen loads of life!

Sadly her eyes can't focus that quickly .. or hone in that quickly .. so I think I pointed them out - but the camera would move on - no point on dwelling there!! I'm sure Mum would have agreed totally with me!!

Thanks for reading especially with your non-liking for the Royals .. it's that history I love!! Cheers - Hilary