Friday, April 29, 2011

Tying the Windsor knot

Westminster Bridge will be a touch more crowded today, I think. Wills and Kate's big day, and London is chokka with staunch royalists, gawping tourists, frowning security people and more different sorts of uniform than you can shake a stick at - and everybody a bit frazzled and hoping that the day will go well and that the worst that might happen will be a downpour during the parade afterwards.

We'll be watching from home, as we did for the last Royal Wedding - though only just. In London the day before for a garden party at the Inner Temple, we went afterwards to Hyde Park for the fireworks display, which was fabulously spectacular. Or I suppose it was: the memory of the display was almost immediately superceded by the experience of being one of a massive crowd of over half a million, in the dark, in a vast park full of trees. We were swept along willy-nilly, feet almost off the ground, with no control over direction, and fetched up eventually against a high metal fence that some people climbed over, spikes notwithstanding. We edged along till we got to a gate, and then made our way to Paddington station to catch the train home to Gloucester.

When the platform number clicked up on the display board, there was another great stampede, which puzzled us as we followed along in a more leisurely fashion - to discover that the running mob knew better, and had already filled all the carriages to the gunnels. We weren't allowed on board and had to wait hours for the next train, which turned out to be the milk train, stopping at every station along the route, and taking more than twice as long as the usual service. Oh, that was a tiring trip for us country mice, after an early start and all day in a super-crowded, hyped-up London!

We got home in the early dawn with just enough time to drive home, have a much-needed bath and a cruelly brief nap before the Charles and Di show began. The timing for this wedding suits us much better, watching live from New Zealand this time: a full evening's viewing and to bed soon after midnight. Looking forward to it - fingers crossed for a perfect day for everyone concerned.

1 comment:

the queen said...

Whereas I will wake up at 3 am to watch it live. And Paddington was my station when I stayed by Dorset Square, a few blocks down Marleybone.

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