On one hand, although technically things slowed down after the wedding – simply because the big day had passed – on the other hand, it didn’t completely feel like it.
I’ll tell you why, but first… take a gander at the picture that Timo took of me in Paris a couple weeks ago. We were on the Bir Hakeim bridge, near the Eiffel Tower and he was taking photos of friends visiting Paris for the first time. I jumped in the frame, half-jokingly, but he didn’t miss a beat and snapped a few.
I’ll tell you what, that guy is getting good.
Now… let’s talk post-wedding stuff…
Paris Airport Run
After just a couple of days, it was time for Justin & Jacquelyn Burton to head back to the USA.
Their parents are missionaries in Venezuela, but they had been in the States and were all planning to meet up for a few days before heading back to South America.
They hadn’t seen a castle during their quick trip to France, so we left early and stopped at Chambord Castle, one of the truly iconic French castles and only 10min off the highway.
It was early morning and the sun was still low when we arrived, but it cast a wonderful light on the sheep grazing in the gardens.
In all my time here, I’d never seen that… it was just wonderful. It’s an initiative to not only help preserve a regional species, but also to manage some of the grounds in a more eco-friendly way. Cool! 😎
After taking some photos, we zoomed off to the airport just north of Paris and sent these two young people on their way. What a treat to have hosted them!
I am, at heart, a royalist.
As a Canadian growing up in the 70s, there was a portrait of a young Queen Elizabeth II in all of my schools and many of my classrooms, during the younger years. We didn’t have a portrait of the current Prime Minister… it was someone whose influence would outlive the politics of any given day.
There was, therefore, no question as to what I’d be doing on May 6th. Fairly early, I was parked in front of my laptop, open to the Royal Family’s YouTube channel, where the day’s events would be live-streamed, and my family was rather indulgent.
Remember, my Italian in-laws, residents of Belgium (another constitutional monarchy, with its own Kind and Queen) were visiting with us. They’re barely even aware of their own royal family, let alone the British Royal Family, so it was an act of love to sit in front of the laptop as long as they did.
A Quick Word on the Screenshot Pics I’m including…
- I was amazed by extent to which the ceremony is rooted in the text and principles of the Bible. As my mother-in-law said several times, “The words are good, let’s hope he truly lives them.”
- I was moved by William’s tribute to his father, and the tender moment of affection they shared.
- As a handcrafter, I was in awe of the hand-stitched screen that protected the King from sight at the moment of his anointing.
- The top-down view of the Abbey was magnificent.
- To see members of the RCMP leading the Gold State Coach, under a Canadian flag on the Mall was special. Really… does anyone do pomp & pagentry like the British?
- Finally the view of their majesties, crowned and receiving credit from the hundreds of servicemen and women in the back garden of Buckingham Palace.
It’s special to feel a sense of belonging to this very unique event, by virtue of my Canadian citizenship and membership of a Commonwealth country.
Back to Belgium
On Wednesday, Liz’s parents returned to Belgium. There are direct low-cost flights from the city of LaRochelle (about 1h45m south of here, on the coast). It’s extremely convenient, because the flights allow them to arrive right in their hometown.
Since we were but a kilometer or two from the ocean, we decided to head out for a bit. We didn’t cross the bridge to the Île de Ré as we had in 2017, but we got in some ocean time.
Having grown up in Saint John, alongside the water my whole life, it was good to get back to smelling salt air. Sophie too is very much a sea-creature and thrives on salt air & a stiff breeze.
With Liz, we pic-nicked by the ocean front and managed to find a fistful of sea-glass amongst the pebbles. It wasn’t as finely polished as the sea-glass back home, but mostly because there were more pebbles than sand at this particular beach.
After lunch, we headed out to a spot where we could walk the beach a bit further and there we were in for a visual treat: A collection of Carrelets.
I’d seen photos of them before, but had never seen them in person. They are little platforms that lower a 4mx4m square, flat fishing net at high tide, in hopes of bringing up a catch of either eel, large shrimp or mullet.
A last minute royal note:
My step-father (dark glasses) and my uncle (beside him; both retired RCMP officers), got to meet Princess Anne this week in Fredericton.
Very, very cool!
Online English Tutoring
I picked up some part-time, English online tutoring this week and it’s a pretty slick system. Subscribed students from around the world can log on to the platform 24/7 and be connected to a first-language English speaker who can either help them work through pre-prepared content or just free-talk to practise their spoken English.
If you have an educational bone in your body, are patient, love to help people, and would like to pick up a few (or a lot of) hours/week Click here to become a tutor, working either with kids or adult learners.
I’m honestly very impressed with their platform. Without having to go look for them, I’ve been able to help 40 English learners this week… very cool.
Thank you for including us in your day!
God bless you & yours!
The answer to your question does anyone do pomp & pageantry like the British? I believe it is a resounding no and like you, I was glued to the screen…the evening dress rehearsal was also wonderful… a moment in history I was pleased to witness 🙂
It’s amazing how those big events bind so many together in a common experience… whether near or far. I love it!
Me too 🙂