Something from the weekend…. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee long weekend

So these long weekends eh? I feel like I need another weekend to get over it! Still, I am terribly grateful to Her Majesty for giving us the extra day off…. but I wish Mr Evans had thought to organise some better weather. Anyway, with a whole four days of weekending, I managed plenty of outings, relaxing and housey stuff……

The weekend’s proceedings started on Friday, as I enjoyed a lovely long walk down the river to meet Adam at Waterloo….. we were going to see the Enlightenment Cafe in the Old Vic Tunnels. After a lovely sit in Jubilee Gardens, lots of pic snapping and a yummy picnic, we got ourselves some cocktails at Cubana before heading to the venue.

In the depths of the tunnels underneath Waterloo Station, we found Last Theatre’s new production, The Enlightenment Cafe. Designed as “a Victorian world for aesthetes, geeks, bon-viveurs and inquiring minds”, the event featured a Victorian Psychiatric Clinic, The Institute of Victorian Dating Etiquette, Gin Distillation and a Speed Debating Tournament, amongst many other original diversions. I loved the mixture of the theatrical and scientific, especially where we got a chance to chat to some of the ‘visiting minds’….. most notably Kathryn Harkup (Chemist, Vampirologist and Poison Scientist) who enlightened us in the truths about zombies, vampires, how to despatch them, and how to poison your enemies.

Face paint Union Flag at the Enlightenment Cafe

Puzzling at the Enlightenment Cafe

We’d planed to catch up with some housey things for the most part on Saturday, knowing that we’re away next weekend and then I’m off to Paris too. So we just took a wander down to the supermarket for some provisions, but on our way spotted how jolly St Katherine Docks looked all ready for the River Pageant. Nearly all the boats there were decked out in pretty, colourful bunting, and the effect of the criss-crossing pennants was just wonderful. We also found a pop-up food market there, where we sampled and purchased rather more fudge and cake than we possibly should have!

Back at home, I spent the afternoon doing the cross word, painting my nails (specially for the Jubilee weekend with red, white and blue bunting!), pottering about the flat, and spending a good few hours making a yummy cottage pie for dinner. It was well worth all the time and effort as usual and we feasted on a pretty large portion each before winding down in front of True Blood and then hitting the hay.

Boats and Bunting at St Katherine Docks for the Jubilee Pageant

Pop-up food market at St Katherine Docks

The Dickens Inn complete with bunting, Union Flags, and beautifully British flower boxes

Rather Regal Moet display at Waitrose

My Birthday pressie, all boxed up with hundreds of stamps arrived!

Nails polished for the occasion

I spent the first half of Sunday trying to busy myself whilst waiting to go out and down to the river….. It was nowhere near nice enough weather for me to want to go and stand down there all day to get a front row view, so I beavered about all morning, feverishly tidying and cleaning as if the Queen were actually coming over for tea. I was so nervously excited that we finally gave up waiting just after three so that we could take the two minute walk down to the Tower of London, where the official end to the Pageant was to be. Of course, as we rounded the corner, we could see thousands of people backed up onto the bridge, but we did manage to make it down to the moat of the Tower to get a decent view of the river and see the little rowing boats come along. By the time the bigger boats were arriving, it had started to rain, and it was through bleary eyes and steamed up specs that I saw Her Majesty pass in the stunning Spirit of Chartwell. I was thoroughly drenched by the time I got home, so it was a pot of tea and into the PJs!

My dear friend Michelle had also arrived from the USA, so she came over for the first of many catch-ups after the pageant, and Adam made us a naughty feast of pizza, garlic bread and chips to yum up as we chatted the evening away!

View from the Tower of London down to the River Thames for the Jubilee River Pageant

Waving to Her Majesty, wearing one of my vintage British stamp rings

Monday was party time, as the lovely Claire and Matthew hosted a Jubilee bash at their gorgeous new home. There was jelly, cake, crisps, bubbly, and THE QUEEN (actually a little waving model), so we filled ourselves silly with party food and had a jolly good catch up with lots of the other guests. On our way out East to the party, we got a good glimpse of the Olympic Park, so Michelle and I plotted to visit one of the viewing places at some point during her stay.

We left in time to get back home and out again to the lighting of the Jubilee Beacon at the Tower of London. It wasn’t easy to find where it was going to be, but we eventually found a small cluster of people on Tower Bridge ready to see it. We seemed to wait ages, and then out of nowhere it was lit right in front of us…. I can’t deny it was a little smaller and lower than I’d envisaged, but it was a momentous occasion non the less!

And whilst on the bridge, we decided to take a walk along, to see the new lighting and take some pics, before heading homeward to bed.

The Queen waves as she oversees the Jubilee cupcakes

Party food (I can’t pretend this was the only plate I filled)

Siobhan wields her chocolate finger/ party ring sword, trying her best to look mean

The Jubilee Beacon at the Tower of London

Tower Bridge lit up all special like

Lights on the River Thames

Big lights on Tower Bridge

By Tuesday, I was flagging big time, so I opted to forego the rush to the Mall for the carriage procession and fly past, and watch it instead on TV. We spent most of the day lazing about, although we did pop out to the cinema to see Prometheus….. It was plenty entertaining but full of plot-holes, so I fear the big Alien fans will be disappointed!

We made a lovely supper of asian fish parcels with rice (recipe to follow soon), and then slobbed away the late evening in front of the TV before an early night to set us up for the three day week.

I do hope you all had a wonderful Jubilee weekend too!

Ems x


3 thoughts on “Something from the weekend…. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee long weekend

  1. Pingback: The end of the year as we know it….. 2012 in review |

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