Queen Week

ljwb.co.uk

Sunday, May 27, 2012

With the upcoming Diamond Jubilee to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 60 years in reign, I imposed a kind of “Queen-week” on myself. My knowledge on the history of the British royal family and the current monarch originates from shows like “The Tudors” , the recent films, The Queen (2006) and The King’s Speech (2010), and stories my mother has told me about Princess Di. While all my information about here comes from media, according to the 2009 docudrama, “The Queen”, Her Majesty has never granted an interview.

The challenge of defining the Queen sparks the most interest in me. She’s neither a celebrity nor a politician. She didn’t choose her fate or run for office, yet her station nonetheless depends on opinion polls and focus groups. What does that make her? A symbol? An advisor? A reminder of the past?

Because I couldn’t answer these questions and couldn’t form an opinion when pub nights end with a discussion of the much-debated monarchy, I decided to engage with the Jubilee instead of completely avoiding it. In my classic style, this won’t be by hosting a barbecue or waving a Union Jack outside Buckingham Palace, but by reading Sally Bedell Smith’s biography, Elizabeth the Queen and trying to formulate my opinion of the royal family. Check back this week for my thoughts!

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Dew on the Roses

Thursday, May 17, 2012

After many hours of studying, finding a new favourite spot in the library, and remembering that I simply can’t function without flashcards, final exams are finished. Our last exam was this morning, and yesterday I just had to get out of New Cross for a change of study scenery. It was a rare sunny day in London, so I chose Blackheath because I knew it was close by train and near Greenwich Park. Since Greenwich Park is so beautiful, I was convinced Blackheath would be perfect.

In my finals daze however, I got slightly confused about where I was going once on the train and ended up in Bexleyheath, about 15 minutes further out of London. These things always happen for a reason. I still didn’t understand exactly where I was so after stopping for a cup of tea and a delicious doughnut I set out to find a park. I stumbled upon probably what was one of my favourite finds in the greater London area, a place called Danson Park. I gathered by reading lots of signs that it was once the grounds of the Danson Mansion House, which now serves lunch and afternoon tea.

My first study spot was the perfectly hedged, English garden in the centre of the park.

English Garden–Danson Park

English Garden–Danson Park

After an hour or so there, I moved a bit further north to sit by the pond and eat my packed lunch (see, I’d prepared for such an adventure!).

Danson Park

Danson Park

I sat on a bench in the garden dedicated to a beloved grandmother. The inscription said, “God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December” (J. M. Barrie). That’s a difficult thing to remember sometimes—especially when the rain never seems to end or I’m anxious about coursework. To remember why I’m here and the incredible things I’ve experienced so far…those memories should get me through any number of Decembers.

And now a final picture from our end-of-exams celebration this afternoon.

Happy MMBs finished with exams!

Come again another day

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Remember last May when we were wearing little sleeveless dresses and doing this?

Senior wine tasting–May 2011

Or the May before that when we were wearing little sleeveless dresses and doing this?

SAI Initiation–May 2010

Or the May before that when we were wearing little sleeveless dresses and doing this?

Ghana–May 2009

Well. This May we’re in London. We wear this.

Aching just a little for spring in Atlanta and my Scottie sisters graduating this weekend.