This is where we were yesterday, parked in front of the television watching the Queen's funeral. We turned on the BBC at about 9 a.m. and it stayed on all day. I wasn't even sure our broadcast television still worked. We haven't watched it in probably a year, having been entirely occupied with Netflix and other online streaming. When I was watering the Russians' plants with the ladder over the summer I'd often climb the wall and hoist the hose near the satellite dish that serves as our antenna, and it seemed possible that I'd knocked it out of commission. But no -- when I turned on the Freeview box and switched the TV over, there was the signal, strong as ever.
Anyway, the funeral was quite a pageant, wasn't it? It was interesting to watch all the royals gathered together, along with various world leaders. The ceremonial aspects were fascinating, the careful processions and various traditions, and it was all so dignified I felt a little guilty for blogging about Dockyard Doris yesterday. It must feel so strange for Charles to hear everyone singing "God Save the King," and to think, "That's ME!"
All during the ceremony our little solar queen sat on the windowsill next to the TV, waving away.
When things got a bit too churchy for my taste I went outside and trimmed the pelargoniums, and did some watering. (It's still pretty dry here, despite our occasional recent rainstorms.)
Finally, as the coffin began to process to Windsor Castle at about 1 p.m., I took Olga to the Heath. I figured the funeral was mostly over. Olga and I went to the cafe at Golders Hill Park, as is our new routine, but she wasn't exactly brimming with energy. She just finished her course of antibiotics for her dental infection and I wonder if it's bouncing back a bit. (It won't be healed by drugs alone, which is why she needs that surgery to remove her incisors -- scheduled for tomorrow!)
Anyway, I was shocked when we came home around 4 p.m. and the funeral was still going on! I didn't realize there would be a second service at Windsor. We watched the hearse inch along the Long Walk, crowded with spectators, and saw the queen's pony, Emma, and corgis, Sandy and Mick, awaiting her return.
Seeing the Long Walk reminded me of my own trip to Windsor, way back in July 2003. I was there for a conference with my boyfriend at the time, and we stayed in a lodge in Windsor Great Park, and walked the Long Walk all the way to the castle. Here's one of my photos from back then:
As you can see, the Long Walk is aptly named.
And here I am with Queen Victoria outside the castle:
Hard to believe that was almost 20 years ago. "We Are Not Amused."
Anyway, I didn't watch the Windsor ceremonies in great detail because I was working on some other projects around the house. I did see "the Breaking of the Wand," which has apparently never been televised before. Dave was unimpressed. He said: "It's like a pool cue, and he didn't even break it! He just separated two sections that were barely attached!"
Today, it's back to normal. The Queen has passed into history.
On an unrelated note, some of you who also keep blogs mentioned that my blog no longer shows up in your bloglist. There's been some sort of Blogger problem related to feeds. In all likelihood you'll find that my blog is still there, but it has dropped to the bottom of the list. (On my own blog this happened to several longtime bloggers.) I posted about it in Blogger's help forum and this morning the problem seems to be fixed, at least on my end.