Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Queen Victoria's Birthday

Queen Victoria's Birthday, Empire Day and My 200th Post. Well it used to be Empire Day when I was at school and there was still some Empire left. The Empire was in it's heyday when Queen Victoria reigned and the little cup below has printed around the edge "Queen of an Empire on Which the Sun Never Sets". Queen Victoria souvenirs are hard to find and usually out of my price range but I love the few I do have. The little cup is from the Golden Jubilee 1887 and the mug from the Diamond Jubilee 1897.

Sometime in the over 100year history of the mug someone has cared enough about it to mend it with a little metal cage and new handle. I love it and now It's mine to care for.

I think my first love though has to be this solid silver bangle from Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee 1887. Hallmarked Birmingham silver 1887 it also has a little hard to see inscription 'From A.J June 87.

I have worn the bangle a few times as it has a very strong clasp but mostly I just leave it on display.

Also have a penny with Victoria's head dated 1895 and a little metal badge given to me by a neighbour, it has V.R Jubilee on but no year.
I found the little book of Patriotic poems published in 1908 during the reign of EdwardVII at a garage sale for 10cents.

When I was at school Empire day was always a half day. In the morning we would sing all the patriotic Empire songs such as 'The Maple Leaf Forever' and the Welsh national anthem and lots of other British songs most of which are in the little booklet. Then we went home to get our bonfires and fireworks ready to celebrate as soon as it was dark. I' m sure we would have song some Australian songs too but I don't remember which ones.

Congratulations to me on my 200th bloggiversary. I think I promised my 200th to Charlotte and Emily, didn't know it would clash with another important day. Next one girls, really 201 will be the best one.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Royal Wedding Fabric and More

Made by Makower fabrics I bought a metre each of the navy and the white royal wedding fabric (with the unfortunate W.C initials) from Peter Jones dept. store in Sloane Sqe. The red fabric, I have had for years and it has the initials C.D and is from Charles and Diana's wedding. Not sure what I'll do with the fabric yet, might just keep it as it is. The red C.D fabric has been made into curtains in my Diana room. I also have the C.D fabric in navy as a valance at the top of my bedroom curtains. Not sure I have a spare room for a William and Kate room, they might have to share.

On my long 'to do' list when I arrived in London was to visit a Kath Kidston shop. Very pretty fabrics etc. and very expensive. I bought half a metre of this London fabric. It's a heavy furnishing fabric but I could make a bag or cushion perhaps. The blue fabric, not as shiny and bright as in the pic. is to make my own Kate engagement doll.

The Kate doll in Hamley's Regent st. for 35pounds was very dissapointing, the Franklin Mint doll is very nice but too expensive so I must try to make my own.

A wedding souvenir shopping bag and another paper doll. Now I'm looking for a paper doll in the wedding dress.

Have always wanted some of these brass buttons with the Royal crest, maybe from a police or fireman's uniform and look where I bought them.

This antique shop is just across the Thames from Hampton Court Palace. Many years ago, when I lived in the U.K for a few years this was a Chemist shop and I worked there as an assistant. I only worked 3 hours a day 4 days a week to cover staff lunch breaks. The pay was so poor I don't know why I bothered but the job was such fun and perfect as I had school age children then. I sometimes served people who lived in the Grace and Favour apartments at the Palace, even a Countess once. I was always very willing to deliver prescriptions to The Palace but the pharmacist always kept that job for himself. I used to ride my bike to work and prop it against the wall where those mirrors are now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Some Wedding Souvenirs

Before I show some souvenirs I must tell about another very good start to my flight to London.....I was upgraded to business class for the first leg of my flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi, the longest leg. And what a treat that was. I had a sort of little cubicle to myself and my seat turned into a bed and I was able to sleep away the long hours. No idea why I was chosen but a big thank you to Etihad Airlines. I din't think my pic. does justice to this Lilliput Lane limited edition of Westminster Abbey. The little plaque on the side has the names and wedding date of the royal couple. The model came very well packed in a large box and was too expensive to post home so I bought a bigger bag and got it home safely.

The bigger bag then allowed me to buy this teapot. Still had to leave my coat and a pair of shoes behind-well who needs a coat in Sunny Australia?

I bought the lovely wedding cushion on my day out to Windsor Castle. I had to throw out the insert so I could fit it in my bag. It is a standard 18" size and I bought a replacement in Kmart.
This morning I'm off to a nearby large shopping centre where one of my well trained spotter friends has alerted me to some Royal dolls.
More souvenirs soon.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Home From The Wedding

Arrived home from my wonderful and exciting Royal Wedding trip on Sunday and am still recovering from a bad dose of jet lag and now trying to find space for wedding souvenirs. Had to buy a larger bag to bring them home.
Charlotte and Emily were very pleased to have me home again and haven't left my side since my return. I was lucky and didn't have to stay overnight in The Mall to get my front row spot. I walked down from my hotel at 5.30am with my little stool and was very lucky to get a perfect position.

And here is the beautiful bride, I thought the dress perfect and I waved and cheered with the rest of the crowd.

The Queen looked lovely in yellow and special cheers for her.

And a thank you to Bridget, a very nice young woman who was standing next to me in the crowd and emailed me some of her photos. Bridget took this one of the Queen, I took one the same but mine was fuzzy.

Here I am cheering and waving at the balcony. I was almost at the front in that huge crowd and once again I was lucky, I am not very tall but a tall young man behind me grabbed my camera, took some photos and then handed it back to me. Everyone was so nice that day, tall young man thank you, whoever and wherever you are.

My daughter and a neighbour watching the wedding on T.V in Australia saw me walking down The Mall. I was wearing a new coat which I had shown to both before I left home. Sadly I had to leave the coat behind to make space for souvenirs.
An equally exciting part of my trip was meeting up with blogger friend Gattina in Brussels. Gattina met me at Brussels station and took me to Brussels 'Grand Place' and what a friendly and interesting tour guide she was. We then sat at an outdoor cafe and how sophisticated I felt drinking coffee and chatting to Gattina. I think blogging wonderful to make the world such a small place. More of this later.
I travelled to Brussels on the Eurostar, only a 2hour trip from London and because of my confusion when booking my ticket I only had 2 hours in Brussels but Gattina made sure I packed a lot into my 2 hours. Thank you Gattina.