So Pearl the Squirrel has been quiet because I've been away. My husband had work in Ireland and I tagged along, first Belfast, then Dublin, then the west country (Galway, Roundstone, Westport). The Irish people were incredibly friendly, the Irish food (especially the seafood) delicious, and yes, it did pour rain a few days, but we still had a bit of good weather to enjoy the countryside, which was indeed a lush green.
The downside of the trip was that I got sick the very first day and it wasn't until the day before we came home that I felt anything close to myself. That first day I stayed in bed all day long, and the bright spot was that it was the last day of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee festivities, covered minute-by-minute on BBC television. I was totally enthralled with watching the Queen go from activity to activity, in coach and carriage, with her son and daughter-in-law and without her husband (who was in hospital, also sick). I was amazed by her stamina, amused by the announcers who kept trying to attach emotion to her nearly unchanging expression ("She seems to be missing her husband." "She seems touched by the crowd's attentions."), and struck by the fact, watching everyone curtsy and bow to her as she left the church, that we curtsy and bow to no one in the United States. Her citizenry seem to genuinely love her—many slept out overnight to be able to stand and watch her coach pass by them on the Mall or to see her wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
There were myriad souvenirs of the event to be had—I got a lovely bone china mug from friends, so I can honor the Queen with my daily cuppa— but one of the best has to be this limited edition color guide to the Queen's 60 years of perfectly coordinated outfits, created by Pantone and Leo Burnett London. For more information, including an explanation of the meaning behind a few of the Queen's color choices, visit Pantone's blog
God Save the Queen!