I arrived on Tuesday, June 5th. This was the final day of the weekend’s four-day Diamond Jubilee celebration and the grand finale “Thanksgiving” celebration. I was completely zonked from flying across the pond all night but decided I had to at least see a bit of the pomp and circumstance. So I made my way to Hyde Park figuring there had to be something going on. I was right.
The park was filled with local vendors selling “Happy Sausage”. Strawberries and Cream and Back Bacon Sticks among other things. There was a big stage and four monster big screens showing the concert that was underway. All of the acts were local UK stars and were awesome. I made my way to the middle of the park and had the thought that since I’m so close to Buckingham Palace why don’t I just walk on over and wave to Elizabeth. As I’m walking out of one of the pathways there were hundreds coming in the opposite direction. They obviously knew something I didn’t know. There were many dressed from head to toe in the Union Jack flag and others just carrying commemorative flags and others with fake Kate or William or Harry faces on the backside of their heads. I asked someone why they weren’t headed to the palace. After a long pause and a few odd looks at their friends I’m told “Mate, there is no possible way to get anywhere near the palace.” Ok, I’m a stupid American. I’m naive. There were literally millions in the “mall” which is like London’s version of Magnolia Lane at Augusta. I turn around.
When I get back to the park I find that they are going to show the entire procession and views of all the horses, military, fly overs with WWII planes and such on the screens. If they were looking at this as a practice session for the Olympics they are ready. Everything seemed to go without a hitch. I got a kick out of all the ceremonial carriages accompanied by all the horses and guards. I really wish we had Royals. I guess we’ll just adopt William and Kate since they are from Cambridge and go with that.
I walked around and took some pictures of the crowd (below) including many who had a full-blown picnic going on with Champagne, cheese, crackers, sausage and flags.
Walking back from the event to the hotel I find a couple of guys that look like true Londoners and force them to let me take a picture with me. You can see they are very happy to do so from the look on their faces. I think one is thinking “Bloody Hell, why did I wear this outfit today. Americans can spot me from blocks away.” And the other is thinking “Bugger. I need a nap.”. I’m thinking “Why is the guy on my right grabbing my arse? Stop it!”
Running Update: So sad. No running to speak of. I’m in week 3 of recovery from Sports Hernia surgery. It really does stink to be over here in London and not being able to run around and see some sights while doing so. Instead, I walk. And walk. Today I walked more than two hours through the fancy shmancy neighborhoods near Regents Park. It is actually amazing what you see when you slow down and walk. Goats in some school’s yard taking care of the grass. Figaro old school cars along with the Maseratis, BMWs and Mercedes in virtually everyone’s drive. Kids playing cricket in the park in their matching white pants and white sweaters. And dogs. Lots of people with dogs. And no leashes. What is amazing is not one dog seemed out of control or came over trying to maul me. They just marched right along with their owners. I literally saw 20+ different dogs like that. Running begins again in earnest later this month and I’ll write again after my family joins me to bounce around London and Paris for a week. Cheers!
Still Only 34 Months and 26.2 Miles to go…
P.S. Here are a few more shots I took from the Jubilee and one I love that I just found on the Internet that shows the Queen really does have a sense of humor. I should send her my blog.