Friday, April 29, 2011
watchers, wedding, parties
While these people are watching a game of rugby I photograph their shadows which cross the touchline.
One of the surprises during today's Royal Wedding is the fly-past above the Mall when the newly augmented Royal Family appears on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, though it might have been predictable, is the fly-past of a Lancaster bomber flanked by a Spitfire and Hurricane. The sight of these aircraft always tugs at the heart. So too, the cheerful crowds lining the streets and the familiar forms of the ceremony itself. The words of The Book of Common Prayer remain precise and resonant "... was ordained for the mutual society, help and comfort, the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity." Though in the long run it is seldom achieved, the ideal of matrimony are not expressed much better than that.
Street parties spring up here and there. In Sutherland Road, there is a barbecue, trestle tables have been set up and pennants hang in front of some of the houses. The smell of burning sausages teases the appetite. In The Grove there is a tea party (not the American variety). People chat and offer slices of cake to one another. Eleven years into the new one there is a sense that the old century is still alive, though without its horrors.
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Love this shadow photo.
I enjoyed it too.
I think you touch on a significant point: the expressions of the wedding service are an ideal not a prescription. The use of "shall" in the more common version surely implies proscription as a result of failure. I didn't watch any of it intentionally though it was impossible to escape on subsequent news bulletins. It is of course right that an ideal should be invoked and that everyone should be happy on Day One at least. But I kept on wishing for just a touch of reality: human beings are fallible and the length of time implied is long. Perhaps it is too much to talk about happiness glimpsed, temporarily lost then re-glimpsed. The alternative is to write about it I suppose.
Among the criticisms with which I agree was the dreariness of the music (Jersualem excepted) which prompted the irreverent remark of a German newspaper that perhaps they were rehearsing for The Queen's funeral.
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