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A rather special April

April 27, 2011

Not only is this the greenest April anyone can remember here, but it has also seen the latest Easter. And to cap the general atmosphere of celebration and new beginnings, I seem to recall that there’s something or other happening on Friday… Oh yes, the Royal Wedding. Well, it’s not cool to be excited about the wedding of Prince William and his lovely bride. Luckily I gave up my fleeting aspirations to coolness some time ago, so I can go ahead and be excited. Hurray! Lord knows, there is not so much good news in the world that we can afford to ignore it when it comes our way. And a wedding, so full of hope and love and best intentions, is good news whether it’s a prince getting married or anyone else. Our invitation to the Abbey seems unaccountably to have been mislaid in the post, so we shall be watching the shenanigans on telly and toasting the bride and groom with a glass of fizz and a box of Marks and Spencer Royal Wedding souvenir shortbread biscuits. The naff souvenirs are half the fun, of course.

It would be nice if the bride managed to put together a bouquet of home-grown British flowers, rather than having roses flown in from Africa or some such. There is an abundance of flowers in bloom at the moment, out in the fields and woods. On the banks of the river last week, I saw that our wild primroses are flowering, earlier than usual,

and the modest cowslips, too.

While out in the woods this morning (a glorious morning, still and sunny, full of birdsong) I walked across banks of wild violets,

and spotted the first bluebells, which I have never seen here in April before.

Wouldn’t a bouquet of wild flowers be absolutely charming for a royal bride? Alas, it would not be possible: I imagine that la Kate will need sturdier flowers that can withstand several hours under the lights of the television cameras. Still, one can dream.

Then there’s the cake. Apparently they are having two: a traditional one and a chocolate biscuit cake. The latter is a childhood favourite of Prince William’s, we are told. I think it’s rather sweet to ask for something so simple and childish on such a terrifyingly complex and grown-up occasion. Back on the home front, I did contemplate making some cupcakes for us to enjoy while watching the wedding; but decided not to as I made a huge orange cake for Easter last weekend, which we have not yet finished.

Not only that, but when we returned from a lovely Easter weekend with Granny, we found that the two china hens in our kitchen had laid chocolate eggs for Easter!

I can’t tell you how good that chocolate tastes after six weeks of Lenten abstention. It seems very odd to be tucking into Easter eggs with May about to come in, but this has been altogether a rather special April. And for us, it finishes with a friend’s ‘Cool Britannia’ birthday party on the evening after the Royal Wedding, and a cousin’s Christening at the weekend, so it really is going out (we trust) on a celebratory high.

You might also enjoy: Happiness is cake in the garden

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. April 27, 2011 2:25 pm

    Hooray for weddings! Hurrah for love! I must confess to feeling equally excited about the royal wedding and the Vancouver Canucks winning the hockey playoffs against the Chicago Blackhawks. I guess I now have equal footing in Britain & Canada, with something to celebrate on both sides.

    And you’re absolutely right about the flowers. Never any need to ship flowers as there’s always something in the garden you can wrap up in ribbon to call a bouquet. Thanks for the lovely pics as always.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 27, 2011 2:44 pm

      Thanks for making me laugh! 🙂 Clearly you have indeed returned to your roots in ‘Canadia’, but I’m glad you still appreciate the goings-on in the old country. Lovely to hear from you.

  2. April 27, 2011 4:16 pm

    Lovely photos as always, DB. The bluebells in our garden here on the north coast are coming into bloom too, which is amazing. We can’t watch the wedding as we don’t have TV here, but we’ll raise a glass of bubbly to William and Kate as we celebrate our own wedding anniversary and our middle grandson’s birthday which fall on the same day. 🙂

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 27, 2011 10:48 pm

      Clearly the happy couple have chosen a highly auspicious day on which to tie the knot! I hope that you enjoy the day.

  3. April 27, 2011 10:18 pm

    Well we’ll be celebrating here – who wouldn’t, with a day off work and school and the perfect combination of wedding in the morning and allotment in the afternoon? We might manage some homebaking as well, plus the guilty pleasure to which I’ve treated at least the female members of the family – the so-bad-it’s-good American TV film ‘William and Kate’.

    Thanks for the recommendation about St Andrews. It’s always good to hear direct. I’ve been lurking on The Student Room forums to pick up information. Do you know these? If not, let me lead you astray by directing you to http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=203 for St Andrews, and access to other university threads. Your maternal heart will be broken by the plight of eg the medical applicants who don’t get any offers. It’s a tough university world out there.

    History of some sort is likely to be the choice, but there’s time yet for a few changes of mind.
    (apologies if you get two comments from me just now – something went technically wrong while I was posting the first, i.e. I hit the wrong key on my laptop and pouf!)

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 27, 2011 10:54 pm

      That film does sound a bit of a laugh. You probably need a crowd of teenagers to watch it with for best effect. I haven’t come across the student forums before: I had a peek and it makes me feel very glad to be beyond that stage, though I guess we may have it all to look forward to again in a few years with our own boys. Good luck with it all!

  4. Deb permalink
    April 27, 2011 11:49 pm

    I absolutely agree. With all the sad and violent news around the world, what is the harm in being interested in such a happy occasion? It seems that many people are complaining about all the interest in the wedding, but why not? Everyone can share in the happiness of these two people, and feel all the better for it.

  5. April 28, 2011 1:46 pm

    Beautiful flowers! I too have just been writing about the Spring blooms. 🙂
    I had a bouquet of wild flowers and herbs for my wedding a couple of years ago and it did droop a fair bit by the afternoon, even though I only picked it at lunch time, so probably not suitable for Kate’s big day, though it would be so much nicer as you say.
    Your China hens are divine and truly the stuff of fantasies with their chocolate eggs!

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 28, 2011 5:58 pm

      Ooh, I’ll pop over and read your post in a minute. Your wedding bouquet sounds perfectly lovely – and I bet you knew the significance of each flower and herb too, which would have made it extra special.

      My hens – yes, I am very fond of them. Much easier to care for than the feathered variety! I used to live near an Emma Bridgewater pottery shop, so I would snap up good seconds like these in the sales.

  6. April 28, 2011 11:25 pm

    I haven’t watched any of the hype leading up to it but I’ll be toasting them tonight; wouldn’t miss a minute of it! I remember watching Charles and Diana at a friend’s house, champers and nibblies nearby….gosh, those 30 years have fled but we’ve enjoyed some lovely times!

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 30, 2011 3:48 pm

      I remember that too. It makes me feel suddenly rather old. This wedding has a much more hopeful feel to it, I think.

  7. April 29, 2011 9:01 pm

    And I love that papier-mache egg, you so cleverly added to that cake still! Lovely and cheerful pictures.

    I had a glimpse at the ceremony this afternoon as well. Sigh. Sometimes one needs a festivity like this – it’s always been like that…

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 30, 2011 3:51 pm

      Thanks. The egg is a vintage one which came from an old lady I knew as a child. I think it might be Victorian: it’s made of scraps pasted over cardboard. I love it.

      Personally I adored the wedding, the happiness, the community spirit, the general atmosphere of joy. We most certainly do need such things these days!

  8. maryz permalink
    April 30, 2011 4:17 pm

    Looks like Kate’s bouquet was of traditional, local flowers after all. I checked with google. 8^)

  9. April 30, 2011 7:34 pm

    I saw the wedding after all, thanks to a kind invitation from someone at church. I thought the bouquet was lovely, very simple and natural-looking.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 30, 2011 8:55 pm

      Mary and Perpetua, yes, the bouquet was perfectly charming, as was everything else. I was completely smitten from the moment she stepped out of the car! Then Parry’s ‘I was glad’ finished me off completely. What a joyous day.

      • May 2, 2011 4:23 pm

        And the sun came out on cue! The dress was fantastic choice. Such a nice couple. It couldn’t have been any more perfect. Wish them all the best.

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