Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Big Day

Many of you reading this will likely be disappointed to learn that Josh and I stayed home and watched the Royal Wedding on TV yesterday.  Since it was a holiday here, we decided we'd rather sleep in and get to see the whole thing on TV than get up before dawn to stake out a spot along the procession route just to catch a glimpse of the newlyweds going past in their carriage.  Since the only other people we know here were all sick with colds, and we didn't want to spend half the day at a pub, we just made some celebratory pancakes and settled in on the sofa to watch the festivities.

We were fascinated (and often amused) by the hats on display at Westminster Abbey.  Many of them appeared to have been designed by Dr. Seuss.  While Victoria Beckham (aka Posh Spice) looked like she could take someone's eye out with hers, Princess Beatrice was hands-down the winner of the Worst. Hat. Ever.    There was also a big to-do about the fact that the Prime Minister's wife, Samantha Cameron, did NOT wear a hat.  It's essentially required for women to wear hats to weddings here -- and not just the Royal Wedding.  "Hat hires" -- shops that rent hats -- are a big business here. 

Just to prove we actually watched it, I managed to capture a photo of The Balcony Kiss:
After the TV coverage ended and the sun finally came out, we thought it might be good to get out of the house and get a little exercise, so we walked up the hill to Wimbledon Village.  We stopped in at the Dog & Fox pub, which has been there for over 200 years, for a Pimm's.  There were still groups of people there who had clearly been there all day -- including a large group of women wearing tiaras -- and several tables were reserved for later in the evening.  Any excuse for a party, right?

After we finished our drinks, we walked through Wimbledon Common towards the Cannizaro House, 300-year-old mansion overlooking the Common that is now a fancy hotel and restaurant.
Wimbledon Common
Back side of Cannizaro House
The house has beautiful gardens, which are open to the public:
We didn't have time to explore the entire grounds, but what we did see was just gorgeous.  We'll definitely have to go back sometime to see the rest.
wisteria and peonies (smelled heavenly!)
The houses in this part of Wimbledon are quite swanky, so we cut through the neighborhood to gawk on our way home.
We also passed one of the many street parties that were held all over London (and probably the rest of the country) to celebrate the Royal Wedding.
I was a bit envious.  It reminded me of all the great neighborhood parties we had attended back home.  Since we are currently living in an apartment, we aren't in much of a neighborhood, and we don't know anyone else in this complex.  I'm hoping that will change when we move into our rental house next week.  Our landlords said they were friendly with their next-door neighbors on both sides, one of whom sounds like the de facto social director of the neighborhood. 

It's hard for us to meet people here because we don't have kids, we don't attend church, I don't have a job (yet), and Josh works 35 miles away, so none of his colleagues live nearby.  And, of course, we are married, so we tend not to hang around in bars or clubs.  We seem to be either too old or too young to join most of the social groups around here, but I have seen a few local groups that might be interesting.  It would be a lot easier if all our friends and family could just move here with us!  But I'm optimistic that we will eventually grow a new social circle here once we've settled in.  And we already have a date to see the final Harry Potter movie with Jason & Bethie when it opens in July.  Looking forward to that!

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