Monday, 4 June 2012

Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant day partying a la casa ...

Pageant Day dawned as you would expect of the British weather: damp and misty – it did blow away down here, being on the south coast ... the weather gets sent inland – and yesterday it did - on and up to London.
Pippa dressed for the
part - flowers made
from cupcake holders

I had been invited to a Jubilee Picnic with some friends at their house, and as they live in a Close – it was a street party with a difference ... marquees and gazebos erected to fit the garden spaces, tables and chairs risking the weather ...  everyone bringing a range of food – lots of selections, lots of – too!

I made three of these - someone else made
the delicious jelly one little boy thought so!
I made my favourite – spanakopita (Greek filo, spinach and cheese pastries), cocktail sticks of lightly fried onion leaves followed by a piece of pork fillet and capped with a piece of mango, then ‘spread about’ with carrot, celery and pepper sticks, radishes and baby tomatoes ...

Savoury buffet selection

Savouries, salads, cold meats, crisps and nuts, desserts, cupcakes, home-made coffee cake = delicious: I had two slices!, cheese board, chocolates  and everything in between!  

I had to buy the 'rubber band'! - quite
pretty and for a very good cause:
"Help for Heroes". Ces and Teresa's
son is out in Afghanistan.
There was a Royal Jubilee quiz, bingo tables, a raffle for a myriad of prizes ... then later on a karaoke, dancing, more partying and lots of extra food ...

Last year for the Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge the Close raised money for St Wilfrid’s Hospice ... this year Help for Heroes was at the forefront ... for fund raising – at one stage over £720 ...

Tv Big Screen, Prizes and booze 'tent'
with lots of chat going on ... notice the
Union Jack coloured paper chains
The booze table was outside in the prize tent, the big screen tv was there too ... though quite often obscured by bods talking, eating and drinking ... eventually I quietly slipped into their den to watch the pageant unfold - where clarity of viewing was easier.

JJ one of our nurses,
and Perla (see post)
I won a couple of prizes – the main one (chocolate) got taken back for the staff ...  they were exhausted, but full of the joys of diamond jubileeing ... 

... Terry had phoned his aunt from his narrow boat on their Pageant Journey ... his narrow boat had flowers on ...

Narrow Boats docked pre Royal Flotilla
and Pageant day ahead
... the staff and I were laughing – all the boats had flowers on or around them ... so we’ll have to wait and see what their boat actually looked like.

Still it was good of him to ring the Nursing Centre, so Shelagh could have a ‘quick’ word ...

Also to hear his news will be so interesting ... being a part of the flotilla itself.

China and Glass stacked in Dresser
for a non-picnic day!
The staff had kindly put my mother’s tv on for her ... how much she had seen I’m not sure – but I’ll take the newspaper photos in for her to see ... and chat to her about it over the coming weeks ... looks like the media print will get some added value/profit from me this summer!

Dessert Section
Did I mention William turned up at ‘my viewing station’ ... well he did – granted he’s a little younger ... being only 3 weeks old!  His parents, Sophie and Chris, brought him in to change him ... not a problem – as someone said all ‘his bits’ glaring forth ...

Cupcake selection
.... well one lot was cleaned up, lots of chat going on, time to nappy wrap again ... noooo another lot to garner in, wipe down, clean up and ready to tidy up .... nooooo here we go again ....

... repeat process (systems do repeat themselves don’t they?!) .... this time ready to wrap – noooo fountain appears, mop up, wipe down, ready to wrap .... noooo back to the beginning again ....

Looking down the room from buffet area
across the crisps, nuts and chocolate
.... clear up, nappy wipes coming to an end – bad ‘family planning’ me-thinks?! – ready to wrap once again .... nooooo big fire engine spray this time ... now everyone’s in hysterics ... I said – I think this is going in the blog – good ending to a happy Diamond Jubilee lunch ...

... this time they did get him wrapped up and ready to roll for the rest of his merry life ... dear William I hope you appreciate these tender remembrances ... welcome to this world!  By the way William ... your parents did authorise this retelling ....?!

The woodburner between the sofas
Linda, family and friends had done such an excellent job with all the decorations and Royal/ Queen memorabilia - many were in red, white and blue ... me I was in green!

My mother on Saturday had had a happy time watching Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez and Susan Sarandon - in "Shall We Dance" ... it had plenty of glitz and fun.

Union Jack cake stand

There is still so much going on – so much to tell you ... I’m going into Past, Present and Future 2012 tales ...

Til then – any thoughts you have on the parts of the Pageant your broadcasters might have scheduled for you ...  my thoughts and remembrances to follow ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Katie O'Sullivan said...

Love that cake stand! I listened to some of the river pageant broadcast on BBC America - from the people they spoke with it sounded like a chilly day for June! Looks like you had fun, tho!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The block party sounds fun!
If I ever take another trip to England I intend to take a ride on a narrow boat. Saw a special on them not long ago and it was fascinating.

Rosaria Williams said...

What fun! The menu sounds delectable for any occasion.

TALON said...

Hilary, it all looks so amazing! The flotilla must have been incredible! I did smile at all the nappy're so right - the systems do repeat themselves.

I've always admired Queen Elizabeth and how amazing she has been through all that she has experienced as Queen through six decades. And we're delighted to have her as our Queen. I'm only sorry my Mom (who was born in Liverpool and came to Canada after the Second World War) wasn't alive to celebrate her Jubilee.

Elise Fallson said...

Everything looks so wonderful, and mouth watering! Glad you had fun! (:

Unknown said...

Ha, you fooled me with William. Now, I have to go eat something. All this talk of food has made me hungry.

Emily R. King said...

Wow! What fun! Congrats on wining prizes. Chocolate is always nice to get. :)

Birdie said...

We are getting a lot of new coverage of the Diamond Jubilee here in Canada. Everyone looks like they are having so much fun! I am glad you had fun. :-)

MorningAJ said...

Did you do a Greek dish in honour of Prince Philip?

Old Kitty said...

Oh wow!!! Such fun and celebrations! Huge congrats with winning a couple of prizes too! Yay! My friend who actually lives on a narrowboat at Hammersmith saw the narrowboats bedecked with flowers too!

Glad your mum had a special Jubilee weekend - oh Shall We Dance is one of my faves - that tango dance J-Lo does with Richard Gere "Be this alive"! Sigh! Sorry, going off tangent there!

Take care

Jo said...

I hear it took quite a few boats 4 hours to get ashore at the end and 400 people were treated for hypothermia. Spoilt the day a bit I would think. Friends were on the London Eye which turned out to be a waste of time, after they got soaked to the skin, said they should have stayed home and watched TV.

Street party sounds much more fun.

Betsy Brock said...

Looks like a wonderful time! I watched quite a bit of the celebration on TV this weekend!

Bish Denham said...

So much happening! God Bless the Queen!

Karen Walker said...

How wonderful, Hilary. The movie your mom watched is one of my favorites. And I've so been enjoying whatever our news shows of the jubilee events.

Theresa Milstein said...

Looks like it was a fun time! Spanakopita is delicious. I've never tried to make it. How nice you won chocolate and shared it.

Golden Eagle said...

It sounds like you had a great time. :) I love the pictures!

Janet Johnson said...

What an awesome event! Definitely wish I could've been there to witness it. And too funny about little William. Ah, parenting. Full of surprises. :)

Chase March said...

Hi Hilary,

I watched parts of the coverage. It was a strange parade indeed and the broadcasters didn't quite know what to do with all the air time. Some of what they said was just ridiculous.

Of course, that being said, I'm glad the day went well and that everyone there seemed to be enjoying the festivities. It probably wasn't the same just watching it on TV. No party for me either.

Long shall She Reign!

Chuck said...

Good food, good decor, Good Jubilee, and entertaining baby...what more did you need? Fun post, Hilary.

Susan Kane said...

Wow, what a party! Wish there had been more coverage here in California!

Lynn said...

Well I just wish I could have been at your party - it sounds as if if was perfectly delightful. You describe it so well - I can almost taste everything.

Cheers to the Queen and her jubilee!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Katie - Linda will be pleased you've admired the cake stand! Sadly June can be like this .. but everyone seemed to get on with the fun ..

@ Alex - yeah .. the 'block' party was fun .. oh that's great - Terry will be pleased to know you're a fan of narrow boats ..

@ Rosaria - it was a happy day .. with good company and some delicious food.

@ Talon - flotilla and all - quite extraordinary .. and William's nappies - such a fun addition ..

Yes too many have missed the day - some like my mother I hope will be able to take in the events with some re-telling ... but am glad you praise the Queen - she is quite extraordinary ..

@ Elise - thanks so much .. I did have a happy time

@ Clarissa - oh great - William took everyone by surprise!

@ Emily - lovely to see you .. the staff were enjoying the chocolate

@ Birdie - glad you're able to watch some of the coverage of the Jubilee - and yes - it is a happy time ..

@ Morning AJ - no - it's just always been something I love to make .. it's easy, different and everyone enjoys it ... I hope Prince Philip makes a full recovery poor chap - drink, old boy - drink! As I kept telling my uncle too ..

@ Old Kitty - your friend must have had a ringside seat - what a brilliant place to have been over the weekend ..

Our party was just friendly and family oriented. My mother seems to be enjoying the change - and Shall We Dance - was a fun change for me too!! And I definitely agree with you re Richard Gere and it's earlyish here!!

@ Jo - I'm not surprised a few things went slightly haywire, especially bearing in mind the conditions - but most people didn't complain and just enjoyed the day - sad that it was so damp, but always a risk ..

@ Betsy - glad you and the family watched some of it on tv ..

@ Bish - you're right so much happening .. and long may she reign over us ..

@ Karen - delighted you've been watching the tv pageantry .. and that movie certainly made me switch off! It's an amazing one ..

@ Theresa - it was a great day - glad you know Spanakopita .. it's surprisingly easy to make; the chocolate went down well with the staff!

@ Golden Eagle - hope you caught some of the events on the news .. thanks re the pictures.

@ Janet - I'm looking forward to some more viewing of the flotilla - later on .. and little William - funny story it's making ..

@ Chase - being a broadcasting man - I think there's just been so much - that I agree with you .. they didn't know what to do ... but I'm glad I wasn't a presenter!! Challenging work.

I'm sure it wasn't the same on tv - and I'd have loved to have been on the Royal barge!!!! so the tv and family event was a safer option!

In total agreement - long may she reign ..

@ Chuck - glad you enjoyed the story line .. William makes it though with his early entry into blogging!

@ Susan - I'm sure the tv coverage is around somewhere and you'll catch it anon!

@ Lynn - my party was great - simple, straight forward, great friends and yummy food and no-one telling me to turn the tv off - normally I'd never watch if I'm out - but special occasions = allowable!

Lynn as you say Cheers to the Queen and our Jubilee .. and to you all - so many thanks for joining in the fun of the post .. Hilary

Rosalind Adam said...

Sounds like you're having a fun Jubilee weekend. The Queen looked exhausted last night at the concert. I do hope she's not overdoing it. And the poor Duke of Edinburgh must be very frustrated with his elderly body. Would that we could all have the energy of our youth!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ros .. I'm not surprised - they've done an incredible amount of work - would that I had that stamina, that work ethic, that respect for others .. that The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh do ...

Yes - poor old Duke - but it's a lesson for us all - drink lots of water and keep hydrated.

I sincerely hope they have some time off to recoup .. before the Olympics descend upon us! It's his 91st birthday next Saturday isn't it?!

Hope you both are enjoying the incredible Jubilee performances - just wonderful that the Brits can put on these kind of performances back to back ...

Cheers Hilary

T. Powell Coltrin said...

You won prizes?? So cool.

I wish I could be there. The celebrations sound like so much fun.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Teresa .. I know .. chocolate for the staff was the best! It's still going on - last afternoon coming up - just off back to my Mama ..

Everyone seems to be enjoying it .. it's been a wonderful few months - and we've got a few other things up our little British sleeves ..

Great to see you - cheers Hilary

Talli Roland said...

I love spanakopita - yum - and the street party sounds lovely. I stayed in and watched the pageant on the telly, as you know, and even saw some of the fireworks from the Palace last night lighting up the sky where I live!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talli - I'd noted you'd sensibly stayed in in the end .. mind you - you missed Prince Charles and Camilla by not popping down to Piccadilly?! but you stayed dry.

Spanakopita is delicious isn't it .. enjoy the rest of the Jubilee weekend ..

The booms went up from here .. then they all started in London .. and the fireworks looked amazing ..

Cheers to you ..Hilary

Annalisa Crawford said...

I loved the concert last night - and the fireworks. I'm a sucker for a good firework display at the best of times, but the camera view from above was spectacular... Shame the BBC decided to put the credits over the top of it though.

M. Reka said...

Such a lovely post, Hilary. What fun :) :)

Anonymous said...

Very cool block party! And where can I get a Union Jack pillow for our sofa? I had a Union Jack T shirt many years ago. I always liked the look of it.

Susan Scheid said...

And who was it ever thought Brits didn't know how to party? Sounds like a grand time was had by all.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Annalisa - I agree the concert was amazing and that firework display - short and to the point. I have to say I didn't notice the credits - I expect they'd over stretched their time.

@ Marinela - glad you enjoyed it .. thank you.

@ Steve - yes - the Close always do a good job .. I will find out re the pillow (Union Jack cover) and let you know!

@ Susan - it's good to have the family mix .. everyone gets on with it ..

Great to see you all - thanks for joining in the party at the Close! - cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I've read a few online articles about the jubilee.

Unknown said...

So glad you had a good time, Hilary. Our 'street party' took place in a howling gale and torrential rain - but a lot of fun was had by all. We Brits can't let the weather get us down. :)

Lovely pictures. You've made me hungry now.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susanne - we did .. it was fun - and I'm sure there's lots out there about the Jubilee and its various events ..

@ Shirley - oh in a howling gale and torrential rain - such a pity .. but as we Brits do - we don't complain about the weather .. we just get on and 'do it' ..

At least we had indoors and outdoors space to utilise - and the food was excellent ..

Cheers Susanne and Shirley - thanks for visiting - Hilary

Karen Lange said...

Sounds like it was a wonderful celebration! Thanks so much for sharing it with us; I almost felt like I was there, your descriptions were so nice. :) Suddenly I am hungry...

Have a lovely rest of the week!


Thanks for comment Hilary. What puzzles me and I can't seem to get across to people is this: Last week through being on Alex's blog I had 7 new followers. only 1 had a blog and have commented once, the others nothing at all, now this has happened over the years and I rather have 50 faithful followers than 526 who about 20 ever comment. Oh I admit it looks pretty impressive on my blog but it's not a true relfection of my blog.
If you can understand that I'd be grateful.
Have a great day.
Bt the way your coverage of the jubilee was great well done.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Karen - glad you enjoyed the post .. it's been an incredible weekend -- actually longer than that - I have a lot to write about ..

Lunchtime is still an hour away .. the coffee is not helping my rumbling tummy!!

@ Yvonne .. I thought I'd lost your comment - but it's on the previous post I see (this one) - I've replied over at your blog ..

But am glad you're enjoying my take on the Jubilee events ..

Cheers Karen and Yvonne - thanks for being here .. Hilary

Robyn Campbell said...

The narrow boats sound wonderful! I definitely want to go on one. The picnic sounds awesome. Your descriptions are beautiful, Hilary! Tell your mom I said, "hello!"

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I watched 5 hours on television, but I know it wasn't the same as being there. What a great thrill to live to see this day.

A Lady's Life said...

You had a wonderful jubilee :)
Our weather was wet and cold so we did not go out but I made a salmon mousse and it was to die for.
I never knew I could make it so now I will more often. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Robyn - many thanks .. I hope Terry will be down soon - so I can find out more information .. it was a fun party over at Linda's house .. and I will tell my Mum re hellos from around the world ..

@ Joylene - well I wasn't there either - and it was an extraordinary event ... but I enjoyed my spasmodic watching as the flotilla pageanted by ..

I've got the newspapers to read some more about it - extraordinary event ..

@ A Lady's Life - we've had a great Jubilee weekend .. the weather wasn't brilliant, but not as bad as this weekend.

Salmon mousse sounds delicious - I love doing things like that .. they are yummy! Others had done mousses, coronation chicken etc and I always try and make sure I do something that no-one else would do ..

Cheers Robyn, Joylene and A Lady's Life - great to see you .. Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

I love hearing about all the celebrations! I watched the flotilla on Sunday but had to go to work on Monday and Tuesday and couldn't find an online video of the carriage procession.
Congratulations on your prizes :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deniz - I think we all enjoy hearing about the amazing Jubilee - just sorry you were working on Monday and Tuesday .. the carriage procession was short and sweet - but always wonderful to see those elderly carriages used to their full extent .. they look so different in the Stables ..

Cheers to you - Hilary