I have an eye for details, somethings no one will notice, I will for sure, which will make others take a second look. It can be a small object in a corner of a photo, a detail that does not really fit in the picture, or a sequence of shots that will make me wonder about or notice how different it is from similar shots.
This week was the State Opening of Parliament at Westminster, it was very strange and so different. Because of the pandemic, it was a very paired down affair. Everything was done by car instead of by coach with mounted escorts and honour guards and bands along the way. Also instead of going down the Mall to Admiralty Arch, the cortege of cars, Land Rovers, turned into Horse Guard parade and crossed it. Again arriving at the Victoria tower of Parliament where the Sovereign’s Entrance is located, no honour guards. Everyone was wearing a mask except the Queen. Her Land Rover had her Personal Standard on the bonnet at the front. She was dress in what is called civil outfit instead of in her Robes of State and no decorations. Same for the Prince of Wales who as Heir to the Throne now accompanies Her everywhere and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall follows. He wore Morning dress and no decorations. The parade inside Parliament was sparse, when usually there would be lots of people everywhere, almost no one. Only one trumpeter and Lord Cholmondeley who is the Lord Great Chambelain carrying the Imperial State Crown on a cushion. His family have this job from father to son for generation. His ancestor was Sir Robert Walpole the First Prime Minister of Britain around 1721.
The speech was on a table next to the Throne instead of being given to the Queen. Everyone in the House of Lords was keeping the 6 feet apart and so the room was nearly empty. The Members of Parliament walked down the hall to the House of Lords in single file and only a handful were present.
At the end of the ceremony the Crown was carried back and placed in the State Rolls Royce to be conveyed back to the the Tower of London where it is kept. The Comptroller sit next to it and it must be clearly visible to the people as it travels back to the Tower, treated as a living symbol.
When the Queen’s car arrived at Buckingham Palace once past the central gate it turned right down the front of the Palace instead of going through the main gate into the courtyard. I wonder if this is because the Palace is going through major renovations at this time and she lives mostly at Windsor Castle. All the wiring and plumbing is being replaced, some of it goes back to 1910.
All in all still a beautiful ceremony but on a much reduced scale.
The rest of the week was busy with all manner of things to do around the house, being Spring time lots of cleaning, our cleaning lady is doing the 18 large windows we have all around, which is a big help. Our landlord came to clean the garden on three side of the property and that is also a big job.
Our Island is a sand bar of red sandstone, this means that all construction material including gravel, sand and stone like granite etc must be imported from the mainland by ship who dock about 1000 feet away from our home. The ships usually come in late afternoon and in the middle of the night. The unloading is a very noisy process and a dusty one to boot, parades of truck wait to be loaded, etc. The area use to be until about 30 years ago heavy industrial with a railroad freight yard. All that disappeared and has been replaced by parkland and condominiums. Only a very small area is left for unloading of these construction materials, which is unsuitable for what the neighbourhood has become.
Another beautiful day, it is only 14C or 57 F but this means that its flip flop and short season already. Some even go swim in the sea, I find them brave and of strong constitution. In the full sun light with little wind it feels much warmer.
We have also been asked to not cut our grass now, let the dandelions grow and bloom, for the sake of the bees and pollinators. At the moment we have carpet of yellow everywhere.
It really does not look like we will get our safety bubble this Summer after all, again this week we had an incident a few blocks away from our home, one selfish person went to work in a daycare and infected all around her. The Premier Dennis King was immediately on YouTube which he uses to speak to all Islanders and he was livid, pointing out that health regulations are here for a reason and the actions of one person impacts everyone else. Our Chief Medical Officer Dr Morrison looks frustrated and tired and who can blame her, with her small staff they have been performing miracles each day with testing people and vaccinations. You really have to wonder about some people.
Friday night we had a party and in Island style at the Club, several people showed up and because this is a small place, everyone knows everybody else and all went to school together. Lots of funny stories about younger days. In this group are prominent citizens of our town.