Friday 29 April 2011

The Big Day

A toxic combination of overwork, a 'cold', hayfever and bad nights has left me in no fit state to do much blogging... However, I must mark the Big Day: the day on which, in 1863, the fascinating Alexandrian poet Constantin Cavafy was born - and the day on which, precisely 70 years later, he died. That doesn't often happen...
Oh all right, yes, it's also the day of the Royal Wedding, which is fine by me. I'm all for the monarchy (as against the alternatives) and William seems likely to be good news for the institution (unlike his father). And he and Kate seem a nice couple. It would be churlish - or republican - not to wish them well.


  1. We did wake up in time (5 AM) to see Prince Will leave Buck House, thus beginning the exodus of The Firm in all its slow-motion stateliness. Except for Camilla who never quite knew where she should be standing, or walking. But there they all were, on their best behavior.

    I did see a "Whew!" coming from Will as his carriage got back into the safety of the Palace, and before he stepped down and turned back to help his new bride step down and walk inside, careful not to step on her The Dress.

    But my favourite dress of the day was Kate's sister Phillipa's fitting her like a warm bunch of caressing & undulating hands.

    Take care, Nige, and stay warm and get better for your daughter's wedding next week. Cheers!

  2. Perfectly sums up my attitude. If it's possible to appear humble give such pomp, they looked and acted humble and I really admired that in them.

    I was about to ask who'd done that amazing portrait but I've just discovered it's by Hockney. Never realised that he'd worked with pen and ink. I'm off to discover if there's any more...

  3. Now, Nige, forgive me, but this is not the day for you witty British aesthetes and Dabblers to be getting in touch with your inner Oscar Wildes and Eric Idles. It was a magnificant show, perfectly performed, and clearly a font of pride and great excitement for millions of decent folks. I was riveted and much moved--even by the incessant blather about hats. God bless them all.

    Besides, didn't the bride look lovely?

  4. She did, Peter, she did - and it was a fabulous dress - and yes we do this kind of thing incredibly well, which is why we natives tend to be a bit underwhelmed by it all... I must look out, Barbara, for that dress of K's sister's when I watch the highlights - sounds quite something...
    Oh and Hockers is a dab hand with the pen and ink, Spine - amazingly sure touch - enjoy!

  5. Indeed. I've been reading up on it and what's more amazing is that he draws straight onto an etching plate.

  6. @ The Spine -- you are in for a treat!
    Lots of pen and ink.

  7. @ Nige -- Pippa's dress.
    Plus She has a spray tan to set it off.
    but you need to see her walk to get the full effect.

  8. ...Kate's sister Phillipa's (dress) fitting her like a warm bunch of caressing & undulating hands.

    My unspoken thoughts as well, even though I am over sixty and it was 5:00 am in the morning. What a looker!

    One more thougt: I could not help but cheer and salute whoever was in charge of security as the last carriage passed through the gates into the safety of Buckingham Palace.

  9. @ Peter.

    Did you catch the relieved "Whew!" that blew out of Prince William's mouth when they stopped inside the Palace gates and right before the newlyweds decanted into the Palace proper? That tiny gesture said it all. What live TV does best. And is never repeated, as are all the "big" moments, endlessly, wearing out the memories.

    Those big broads on America's "The View" decried Pippa & her lovely white dress. Screamed it was an affront, they'd NEVER let THEIR Maids of Honour wear anything remotely flattering...much less let her "steal the show" like that. What graceless cows.

  10. What you've got to understand is that we "British aesthetes and Dabblers" have a compulsive need to distinguish ourselves from the flag-waving Mall overnighters and, yes, colonial royal enthusiasts, by making dry wise-ass remarks even as we wipe away the secret tears and gawp surreptitiously at peachy Pippa. It's like a tic, don't pay it any mind.

    There is one genuine reservation in all the Kate-Wills-Pippa love though, which is that the paparazzi will now never leave any of them alone ever. Even now all possible honeymoon destinations will be being staked out for long lens spots. But Kate at least enters her gilded prison with eyes open, and seems sensible enough to stick (like the Queen and unlike Diana) to smiling and waving.

    It's no exaggeration to say that the British royalty in its current form depends on this marriage working.

  11. Thanks Barbara. I'll spent a good hour looking through that lot, though perhaps no so much at his drawings of naked men...

  12. @ Brit: I understand very well the looking sideways (with guilty pleasure) at The Royal Circuses like the wedding. My partner John Benn is an ex-pat in Canada. We have no problem with being damp-eyed cynical. Nothing is black and white. Life is mixed up and the merrier for it.

    @ The Spine: Hockney doesn't stint on pubic hair, does he? Draws what he sees as if his pencil or pen is touching his subjects. Wonderful stuff.

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