Thursday, June 9, 2022

Yippee--the Platinum Jubilee!

I could not, NOT do a post about the Platinum Jubilee! It's the most exciting thing to me since Harry & Meghan's wedding (which I'd rather not talk about). 

I wanted to be there so badly. Butch even tried to arrange a trip to surprise me for my 70th birthday. Alas, it was not to be. Seriously, no time. We've packed our calendar with trips, trips and more trips. 

Soooo, I had to settle for the next best thing---watching on tv. Well, until there was barely any coverage without subscribing to some other streaming services that we do not currently have. I had to accept that all I was going to get was the bits of news reporting from London and then a 2 hour special called "Party at the Palace." It was really good, starting with a performance by Queen and ending with Andrea Boccelli. Still, there were hours that I didn't see. Disappointed that I missed the bigger celebration--it was Diane to the rescue!

Diane is my friend from Nottingham, England who is in my book club. Since she was going to be in town, she requested to host book club in honor of the jubilee. She knows how I love everything England! When she has book club, she always prepares a cream tea. I know she does it just for me! Remember, I am a tea snob! In case you've forgotten, you can read about it here

Diane "crosses the pond" about 3 or 4 times a year--usually with friends in tow. This time she brought our fellow book club member, Nina, who we were all meeting for the very first time! 

We arrived to this:
She had her house all decked out! I love that she even included a couple American flags in her decor.
And the tea table---oh my! Luckily she had friends to help! They spent the day making egg salad, chicken salad, smoked salmon, ham & cheese finger sandwiches, sausage rolls, cream puffs, lemon cake and so many other things that I can't recall right now. But my favorite--always--were the scones slathered with strawberry preserves and Devonshire  cream--otherwise known as clotted cream. But maybe people don't like the sound of that. I do. Think of me saying it with a slightly, snobby British accent. "Clotted cream!" Okay, don't. I don't do accents well. Anyway, they were divine. I had to hold myself back. As it was, I had two (technicaly l one, since it was two halves)! So, so good--my favorite part of any tea. And yet, I've never made them. Hmmm, I really need to do something about that.

Diane served red or white wine and also made a "spot" of tea. I think Stephanie and I were the only ones to have a "spot." When we were getting ready to leave, Diane mentioned that no one had had the Pimms. What? I didn't know about it. It looked so pretty---full of fruit. I didn't know what it was, but do recall hearing of it from books. So I looked it up. It's basically a gin fruit punch with lots of fruit--a gin fruit cup of sorts. Now I'm really sorry I didn't get a chance to try it. I don't think anyone really knew about it, because if I know our book club, they are all about trying a new drink!

On to pictures of the gang:
From left: former member, Nancy (we're hoping she'll come back, but she does live pretty far away. She's the reason we have Diane with us!), Nina--our first time meeting her although she's been a member since the lockdown, Nancy, Stephanie, Diane, me (donning my London scarf and "red phone box" earrings), Pam, Pat, Connie, Bridget--Diane's Nottingham friend, Karolyn and Pauline--Nina's sister. 
Same picture, but I wanted to make sure Elizabeth was in it too. She's in my spot between Diane and Pam.
The British girls: Nina, Diane, Bridget and Pauline. We were all so happy to meet them! I'm pretty sure we overwhelmed them!

We had a lively book club discussion--our favorite No Honour was really eye-opening. It's about honor killing in Pakistan--current day. Shocking!

After our book discussion, we discussed our 2023 trip back to England. In 2018, we took our book club (well, six of us) to Diane's house in Nottingham. We had so much fun that we knew we wanted to do it again. Before we could, Covid happened. Now we're ready. 

We ended the evening with Nina presenting all of us with some thoughtful gifts:

Doesn't the matching box liner look so British! I know, I get distracted by little things! The bookmarks have our initials on them. The sentiment is very appropriate with Nina's inclusion in our book club: "A new chapter begins!" Amen, sista'! 

Oh, and we invited Bridget and Pauline to join us. But, now, thanks to Nina, gfits are required for admission! 

PS Notice the flags and napkin? I snagged them from the tea table. Or in British-speak, pinched or nicked! Potato, potahto---anyway you say it, I swiped them for my scrapbook! 

What a fun night! Thanks, Diane!

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