April 29, 2011

Clippings: Royal Wedding Edition

Well...I dutifully arose at 5 am, wandered over to Little Gidding in my best pjs and a pathetic hat (by British standards), with a jar of marmalade and a bag of crumpets. We were groggy, but there was coffee, and, like I said, crumpets (and scones! How Stearns can make scones at 5 am is beyond me, but goodness, I loved her for it!).  Thoughts about the wedding?  #1 no one dresses for weddings better than the British. #2 The "address" (sermon) was just lovely--and to think someone publicly proclaiming--all over the world—that marriage is a sacrifice and that we receive the most love when we give love. I mean, that was cool. #3 I love choir boys. I want to have a whole choir of scruffy rosy-cheeked boys of my own. #4 Her dress was lovely, but a bit uninspired, right? Don’t get me wrong: it was really, really beautiful. But haven’t we seen lace sleeves and a full skirt a million times before? I liked the lower neckline, and the silk of the skirt was just gorgeous—fluid instead of stiff, with a subtle shine. The pleating was the best—and I would say the most marked characteristic of the gown. #5 I just love Jerusalem. I've had it running through my head all day, and was evening singing it in the buss stop (no one was around) (I'm not that crazy.) #6 Harry was so cute looking back at Kate processing in and whispering to his brother with a big grin that she looked beautiful. Yes, we all giggled and squealed. #7 Um…do you know any other 85 year old woman who looks that good in yellow? The woman is amazing. #8 I just found out that the lace for her wedding dress was done in a traditionally British technique called Carrickmacross. So now I have to go research arts & crafts lace making techniques. #9 I was on my way to work by the time they got to Buckingham Palace, but, goodness, the video of the kiss was adorable. #10 I really hate commentators.

+ Speaking of love and weddings and all... I loved the Fug girls coverage of the Royal Wedding--from slideshow retrospectives of Wills, Kate, and Harry to a scene by scene account of the Lifetime Original Movie Will & Kate, to their live-blogging of the great event this morning (which was, in turns, thoughtful, hilarious, and informative.)  Dear Fug Girls: will I ever be as funny and awesome as you?

+ More Wedding Fashion goodies: all the bad hats and dresses rounded up in one place. ("Samantha Cameron broke with royal wedding tradition, choosing to turn up at the Abbey bare-headed. ...A Labour MP has since come out to criticise the move, while social media sites are rife with discussion on her decision to go hatless."--OMG people!). People Magazine rounds up the best hats, including my favorite, the Princess of Kent, and her DIL's, Lady Frederick Windsor. Also, more on the dress. Ok, ok.  It's gorgeous.  I love it.
+ How cool is Sonia Delauney? I am officially obsessed. (And I've had my eye on that tableware for months now.) Her graphic prints and Edward Gordon's Cherry Trees are my spring/summer color/pattern inspirations. (Bottom left, and top right, above)

+ One of the 5 million things I checked off my to do list last weekend was take my favorite green shows to the shoe repair. It grieves me to no end that there is no real shoe-repair anywhere near me, and that I have to take things to the dry cleaner where they don't know whether the cobbler has plastic tips (bad) or rubber ones (good). So when I found out about this non-profit shoe-repair school, I jumped with glee. One more reason to move home: real cobblers.

+ Julie Davis has her new column up on Patheos, about Gilgamesh, one of my favorite works of the canon.

+ Smile: it's still Easter.

+ I can't wait to get my hands on Nigel Slater's new book, Tender: a Cook and his Vegetable Patch.  Here's a quote from the WSJ review:
He plants seeds because he gets "a buzz from watching green shoots poke through the soil, from looking after them as something precious and vital," and because cooking with vegetables that you have grown yourself "gives not only an extraordinary sense of completeness and a simplifying of the food chain" but also "a chance to experience a profound respect for an ingredient—something we are unlikely to feel for an item picked up . . . in a supermarket."

Not to mention freshness and the superior flavor of varieties of easily bruised or highly perishable produce that can be grown at home but are not practical for mass distribution: think juicy, tender homegrown tomatoes as opposed to the bruise-proof, cardboard store-bought versions. No starry-eyed greenie, Mr. Slater admits that he still buys the bulk of his fruit and vegetables. But by carefully cultivating the small growing space available at his home on what he describes as a "scruffy" London terrace, he is "having fun" and "eating some great food."
 And above is a photo from the book of his asparagus risotto.

+ I can get lost in those super huge high definition photos of great buildings. Especially when they are libraries. Oh yes, especially libraries.

+ The new Vivian Maier site is live, and it is fascinating. (There are even a handful of color photos, though most of her work was done in black and white, like the one below.) More on Maier.

Vivian Maier, October 1979

(I had to include something about JPII. Will provide more links about the Beatification later, but yes, I will be getting up for it, and yes, I love JPII, and yes I am jealous of the three people I know who are going, and yes: it's way more exciting than a royal wedding!)


  1. No mention of the uniforms? Irish Guards for William (he is, after all, the colonel) and Blues & Royals for Harry (of which he is a real honest member, presently attached to the Army Air Corps). It's not every day those full dress uniforms come out....

  2. Oh, no, you're totally right. I did say at one point when people we complaining that Wills blended into the carpet that they were being silly and that NO ONE does Dress uniforms as well as the British. They were both stunners.

  3. I pretty much agree with all your wedding observations, especially about Harry, choirboys, Jerusalem, and the dress. I heard that the Royal School of Needlework (their workshops is in Hampton Court) did the embroidery on the edge of Catherine's veil. I also give the Archbishop of Canterbury's cope a major thumbs up, although he could have used a general trimming, esp the eyebrows.

  4. Colleen2:21 PM

    Ahem. Carrickmacross is an Irish lace technique, not British!

    I really hope that her dress spawns a new fashion for lace sleeves, because I'm really, really tired of strapless wedding dresses. Seriously, when I got married three years ago, I went to four dress shops, and saw only one dress with sleeves. If I wanted sleeves, I had to have the dress specially made, or buy a dress made for Mormons. I see a lot of weddings in my capacity as a musician, and almost all of them have had strapless gowns for years now. In church. Ick.

    And yes, choir boys and British military uniforms are absolutely lovely.

    I had the pleasure of sitting next to a little girl at Mass this morning whose mother is English, and who got up early to watch the wedding. "An ordinary girl became a princess today!" she squealed. Every six-year-old girl's fantasy, right?

  5. Maggie, here is a link to purchase a kit to make your own Irish lace, in case you're interested.

    I thought the dress was stunning, and I liked how it was elegant and traditional. I wouldn't call it uninspired. And I'm with Colleen... I hope it brings back lace sleeves. I had a hard time almost 8 years ago finding a dress with sleeves, and it hasn't changed.

  6. My office mate and resident British military expert informed me that the uniforms were special "state ceremonial dress," a cut above mere "full dress." Leave it to the British to have fuller dress uniforms.