Saturday, 18 June 2016

Queen's 90th Birthday Parade in London

What a day today, the washing machine broke down yesterday with all my wash from a week in it, it got wet and nasty and had to be washed by hand today! Socks and undies and 18 larger items: shirts, trousers, skirts and dresses for work and dancing all hand washed, rinsed, wrung out and hung out to dry. Our bathroom resembles the 1940's with elderly drying racks everywhere.

It was bound to happen though, that Bosch was 14 years old! New one coming Monday thank goodness and blessed that we are able to replace it so quickly too, thanks.

Above is the cream and cheese puff pie with spinach and leeks which was cut into squares for the picnic in Oxford prior to punting, see previous post.

To cheer up a wet and chore-logged day let's look back at last Sunday which although also VERY WET indeed was a very special day. I volunteered to be part of the parade which was to entertain the people who were having a picnic on the Mall in aid of all the societies that the Queen is patron of.
As the Queen is patron of the RSCDS- Royal Scottish Country Dance Society- we were asked as local members of said society if we wanted to parade with a banner or even dance?!!

Well of course I was ll up for dancing but alas the organisers decided only 6 YOUNG folk could dance and they had to do the Gay Gordons- hardy very Scottish Country- to a bizarre set of tunes from the 1990's.  The rest of us volunteers, there were 20 of us excluding the 6 youngsters- wore pink t-shirts and were part of the section of the parade depicting the 1980's and marched with all sorts of varied banners, I was next to the Lawn Tennis Association for example.

We left home at 6 am and JJ kindly drove me to a place as close as possible, we arrived at 7 am and I walked to the GATE 7 near the CLIVE steps and statue.
 The queue to be ''checked in'' on arrival at Gate 7. The blue-green tshirts are the M&S staff who are going to serve the lunching public on the Mall.
Horse Guard's Parade is to be our ''holding area'' - brings back memories of the Beating the Retreat last year when we were DANCING here!!!

Pipe band members. The middle chap let me stroke his hat made of black ostrich feathers, it was surprisingly soft and very light, much lighter than it looks!
These chaps have BEAR-SKIN hats, black bears.
 Close-up of the required security bracelet- the pink one!

 Lots of bustle and some rain.
 Our tent, we each had an allocate chair as there were many hours of waiting, but no tea or coffee at all!!! None for 11 hours! That was the hardest bit, First the urns did not work and then they ran out of milk. A sorry tale this. We were consoled with M&S brownie bars instead.

 All 7 parade sections had their own colour and their own section in the tent.

Almost the BEST bit: a cuddle with the Gruffalo!
 The youngster in yellow will be dancing just behind us and in front of the golden 90 for the Queen.
Here's Jimmy and Catriona talking to Alison . It's raining quite a lot so we were all provided with these clear plastic ponchos. Idiotic me is the only person in sandals- thank you BBC weather forecast at 11 pm the night before which said light but rare showers for London!- so I kept a cotton long sleeved top and a fleece under my t-shirt as I was FREEZING!
 Lots of standing around in the rain while things are arranged just so.
 There's Elaine's parents and Iris too. Brian and Jane walk next to me.

The young ones lined up ready to DANCE! This was the first parade, the one before our lunch.

We all kept on smiling even though we got very very wet and on the second parade after lunch, the Royals were all in the Royal box as we paraded past it and I waved like a maniac and PrinceWilliam waved back! The Queen looked regal in a lovely fuschia ensemble with a lovely hat.
AND as if on order, the rain dried up and the SUN came out so we paraded  the second time WITHOUT our plastic ponchos.

It was all on the BBC live and you can see Jane Rose but I am next to Brian- who you can half see, who was next to Jane of course and  I was in the middle and cannot be seen. 

Bye pink team it was time to go home.

Copied from facebook page to show what it looked like when the sun shone the second time we paraded.

And here we all are the RSCDS pink and yellow team! See me grinning at far right, second row!
And you see my sandals too..... such wet feet, so funny.

And yes that was QUITE A DAY!!! Arrived back home about 19:00 hrs after catching the tube and then the Oxford Tube and was met by JJ at Lewknor to be driven home the last bit in comfort.


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