Wednesday, June 29, 2011

SW 19 and the golden ticket!

Our day started out so promising!
We hopped on the District Line to Wimbledon at just past 7, followed a cute "ball-girl" decked out in her Ralph Lauren Polo purple and green uniform up the hill to the join others in the official Queue. Within minutes we had our Queue card and grounds pass number. And then, one of the official stewards offered us a chance to upgrade with a ticket to Court 1....well I felt like Charlie with Willy Wonka's golden ticket... Court 1 for the Women's Quarterfinals at Wimbledon- OMG!

Finally, with exciting anticipation, we are in and our first stop is for official merchandise....second stop - Pimm's with strawberries and cream, of course!
As we make our way around the incredibly lush and manicured grounds we visit Henman/Murray Hill, watch a little of Lisicki and Bartoli's warm-up session, and settle in on Court 18 for some ladies doubles.

That is when it happened....just before 1:00 when play was scheduled to begin on Court 1...
the skies opened up with thunder and lightening that shook the ground. All courts were quickly covered, the roof was closed on Centre Court, and fans headed for the food courts. We were kept informed with the most polite and accurate weather announcements but after lunch and few more Pimms it was still raining so we gave up. But not without making plans to return next year!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday Morning Market

Just a few blocks from us, Pimlico Road is a six-year-old "organic" market, though Orange Square was once host to roaming sheep and donkeys as well as a local vegetable market way back in the eighteenth century. In 1764, a young Mozart penned his first symphony nearby at the tender age of eight. A statue of him, in all his frock-coated glory, stands proudly in the midst of the square.

The Saturday morning market, plus 2 quid for the Sunday Times, equals the perfect lazy Sunday morning breakfast for us. A red ripe Beefsteak tomato, two fresh farm eggs sunny side up (Rick likes his scrambled), a thick slice of cheddar, cherry smoked ham, toasted whole wheat bread with warmed honey comb, seasonal English strawberries, and a cup of skinny cafe' latte.....
It's just heaven!!!

Can you smell the English garden roses?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Has that much changed from 1985?

January 20 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan is privately sworn in for a second term in office (publicly sworn in, January 21).
January 17 – British Telecom announces it is going to phase out its famous red telephone boxes.
April 23 – Coca-Cola changes its formula and releases New Coke. (The response is overwhelmingly negative, and the original formula is back on the market in less than 3 months.)
.May 31 – Forty-one tornadoes hit in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario, killing 76.
June 24 – STS-51-G: Space Shuttle Discovery completes its mission, best remembered for having Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the first Arab and first Muslim in space, as a Payload Specialist.
July 3 – Back to the Future opens in American theatres and ends up being the highest grossing film of 1985 in the United States and the first film in the successful franchise
July 19- U.S. Vice President George H.W. Bush announces that New Hampshire teacher Christa McAuliffe will become the first schoolteacher to ride aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.
November 19 – Cold War: In Geneva, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet for the first time.
The Famine in Ethiopia continues; USA for Africa ("We Are the World") and Live Aid raise funds for famine relief.

2010 and 2011 will be full of exciting memories for you my dear! Happy Birthday!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

What is the Bundy Bell?

When you are an EXPAT living abroad the best thing a visitor can show up with is "a gift" from home. My sister would never think of visiting without a few bottles of her famous (but not sold in stores!) Whistlestop Marinade! With Ascot this week, our friends, Tim and Sandra, have had lots of Australian company and every single one bring them a treat basket with Vegemite (Sandra confesses she eats it on burnt toast), Tim Tam Chocolate Biscuits and Bundaburg Rum.
And this brings me to the story of the "Bundy Bell"......

Just behind the Eddy's back patio is a charming brick church with a tall bell tower and at certain times of the day the bells ring out the hour. It has become custom for the six o'clock bells to ring in cocktail hour with toasts and cheers at their house....thus the Bundy Bells! Rick and I have always subscribed to the American ballad "It's 5 o'clock Somewhere" but we have been known to show up at the Eddy's at 5:55 in anticipation of the Bundy Bells. There is something weird about salivating for a cocktail when the church bells ring......

Maybe it's really the anticipation of the "Meat on the Barbie" ??? Whichever, it's always a fun evening in Chelsea with good friends!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Trooping the Colours

THE QUEEN has had a busy couple of months what with a royal wedding, the state visit of Barack Obama and her husband's 90th birthday, but the fun never stops for Her Majesty..... today it was her turn in the limelight when Trooping the Colour marks the monarch's official birthday.

HM's real birthday, as pub quiz types will know, is on 21 April.

Make sure you visit a new blog site I have posted on my sidebar called William and Catherine for more scenes of today's festivities and updates on Kate and Will!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Who doesn't love a MARCHING BAND?

If this soldier looks annoyed it is because "someone" called him a Chocolate Soldier....that story is for another blog!

Beating Retreat on Horse Guards Parade by the Massed Bands of the Household Division has been an annual event since 1966 and is a spectacle of music and pageantry which is second to none. From a historic perspective, the ceremony should take place in the early evening but some license has been taken by moving it to a later time to further enhance the occasion with the use of floodlights. This year featured the US Army (looked like Air Force to me!) Band Europe with Jitterbug dancers - probably not what the British audience was used to but it sure was fun!

Here's a little history....The Beating or Sounding of Retreat has its origins in the 16th Century when it was used as a signal to recall troops to barracks at the end of the day. During campaigns, it was often difficult to gather troops together after a day’s fighting. Beating Retreat provided a signal to regroup, enabling a unit to be led as a single body to a safe encampment.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

'Braggin' Rights

Doug wins "braggin rights" on the 'Nawth Rivah'! He has been fishing off our dock for 5 years and has caught, and thrown back, a lot of fish and nasty eels but last Sunday the tides were right and he reeled in two 'keepahs'! This 'strippah' was 46 inches and 27 pounds. My sister, Sandi, thinks it is because we are too close to the Cape Nuclear Power Plant....first a mammoth seal washes up on the marsh (if you don't follow facebook you missed my pictures and rant about the seal) and then this huge fish??? Look at the shock and envy on the faces of the two fishermen on the opposite bank of the 'rivah'!

Doug and Christy treated the whole family to a cookout. It was the most delicious grilled fish I have ever tasted, even if it was radioactive!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

North River Arts Society

I can't think of a better way to kick off the summer than spending a sunny Saturday afternoon at the North River Arts Society annual Festival of the Arts in historic Marshfield Hills....this is their 33rd year. On display in an old barn and a school house is a lively arrangement of juried art, sculpture and photography exhibits. On the lawn is live entertainment from one of our favorite groups, Tall Richard and the Voodoo Kings Blues Band (kidding), and lot of kids activities. One of the best parts is being able to browse the artwork and meet the artists themselves.

Rick has had his eye on this photographer for years and this time we both fell in love with this tranquil river scene....perfect for an empty wall in our Rivah Cottage! If you would like to see more of Mike Sleeper's photography visit his blog......