Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Jubilee Highlights

So, I have heard there are some who complained that the BBC's coverage of the Jubilee events wasn't as great or awe inspiring as the event deserved. Personally, I loved every second of it. Sure, some of the reporters where insipid twits, but they didn't take away from the grandeur and majesty of the occasion. The ships on the Thames lived up to the inspiration of the painting by Canaletto. You can interact with a picture on CNN's website that not only shows the changes over time but the atmosphere that the event captured... if only they could of had that golden radiance of sun, but it is real England... not idealized painted England. Shame on you Canaletto for giving us unrealistic weather expectations. At least it was nice for the concert!

I also learned many interesting facts, which you will probably think odd, but I found fascinating, because, you do need some filler for almost five hours of boats.

Of Rivers:The Thames used to be wider and shallower, which makes sense with urban sprawl and the creation of bigger ships. This occurred in 1858 after the big stink, which led to the instillation of sewage pipes.

Of Boats:
The Queen loved her ship the Britannia, where everyone used hand signals instead of shouting orders. Whether this was to give the Queen a sense of calm or was a way to employ mute sailors, they didn't elaborate. The Spirit of Chartwell was astonishing. It looked like a floating opera box with a full garden! The little cover for the Queen was gilded and the columns had a faux Bernini air to them. Also, Anne still seems to not be forgiven for the whole, my dog killed my mom's dog incident.. notice she was on a crappy boat all by herself, she didn't even get to hang with the Middletons! The boat that captured the grandeur more than any other and looked like it was straight out of the painting by Canaletto was the Gloriana... which if anyone wanted to get me as a birthday present... I'd be happy to accept it. The main thing I lept thinking was, dear lord, those people must have really sore backs, mainly I was thinking this, I'm sure, because I threw out my back last week and am still recovering. Ouchy.

Of Bridges:
Richard E Grant, that most wonderful of actors, I can't really decide which movie of his is my favorite... Gosford Park, Jack and Sarah, Dracula, but perhaps I'll go with dream Justin from Ab Fab, was on the Westminster bridge to recite some poetry. He was all Union Jacked up... he should have borrowed something from Ginger Spice, he was in Spice World after all. Millennium Bridge was the "arts and crafts" bridge where twenty artists where making dubious art on doors and ipads, which didn't fair well when the weather took a turn for the worse. One of them was striving to be like Turner. No sir, it was nothing like Turner. How did they pick these people? I really want to know. The only one that looked halfway decent was the one that got destroyed by the rain. Also, did anyone ever realize how turquoise Tower Bridge is? I know they must have repainted it for the occasion, but still, that's really really turquoise.

Of Barrowman:
Captain Jack and bell ringers yes! Though, by the end he might be totally deaf because of that floating bell fry.

Of Ben Fogle:
Ok, so they keep making a big deal out of this guy. I'm an Anglophile and I had to look him up... so, basically, Ryan Seacrest and Bear Grylls in one.

Of Celebrities:
And today, playing the role of John Gielgud, is Lord Sterling, who initiated the building of the Gloriana. But seriously, he looks like John Gielgud.

Of Dogs:
Dutch barge dogs are the cutest! And Gigi is the cutest Keeshond on the waters.

Of Flags:
If you are going to do a semaphore tribute, please have someone who knows what they're saying, because otherwise, it's lame. "Look, they're waving flags, no one knows what it says." Also, I kept thinking of the Monty Python sketch of Wuthering Heights in Semaphore Code, and laughing to myself.

Of Happy Queens:
How the Queens face lit up at the National Theatre's tribute to her with War Horse. I don't think I've ever seen her smile more. The Queen does love her horsies. Want to make her unhappy? Wear beige, she doesn't like it at all.

Of Sharks:
How cool was Jim's story, the old Navy man, about being blown off the ship and using a dead shark as a life preserver and then living to tell the tale and be here for the Jubilee!?! You don't get more awesome than that! That is a blockbuster movie in the making.

Of Weddings:
The Queen was invited to a wedding and she went! Personally, this just amazes me and is so special. I can't see sending an invite out here in the states to the Governor, let alone the President, and not just getting a response, be getting them showing up for 5 minutes!

Of Music:
Robbie, Tom Jones and Madness brought down the house. Oh, and of course, Rob Brydon and Peter Kay where fabulous hosts for the concert... if only Rob, Tom and Robbie had performed together! Islands in the stream... Though the back to back performances of 'Delilah' and 'Mack the Knife' gave a bit of a murderous bent to the middle of the show. Madness also had a rough start... ie, don't let Chaz sing. But the special effects on the side of the palace, astonishing!

Of Fireworks:
Have you ever seen the like at the end of the concert? I thought that palace was on fire!

As for the ceremony in St. Paul's... there's only so many hours in a day and I am trying to see how long I can make this Jubilee last... so far, the flotilla alone was three days!


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