Summer has arrived in London. One of my friends who grew up here said it would arrive overnight at some point and we'd go from cold and rainy to hot and sunny. She was so right. That night was last Monday. Monday's attire included a fleece and rain boots. Tuesday I was hot in a t-shirt and capris.
Charlie and I have been outside almost nonstop ever since. This child lives to be outside. We went to the park near us for his sports lessons, we went out back to our shared garden and Friday we went with friends to have a picnic after school Friday in Hyde Park.
This weekend Charlie went to another part of Hyde Park with his daddy, back to the shared garden twice and once to Queen's Park, which is a couple of tube stops away. Despite my constant pestering with the sunscreen, he has red cheeks now.
My parents also arrive soon - a week from tomorrow! They will arrive on the 3rd day of the 4 day Queen's Jubilee weekend, celebrating her 60 years on the throne. I think it's going to be like the 4th of July on crack around here. For FOUR DAYS. Brad has two days off from work for it! I've always been a big royal watcher, but I think I may have a bit of Queen fatigue by the time it's all over.
There is already British flag bunting tied on anything that stands still. There will be street parties, carnivals and festivals. And of course a big parade featuring the Queen herself. All the pubs and restaurants are planning special events and menus and cocktails. You can buy all sorts of themed food and party goods at the grocery and department stores.
Since the Queen has corgis, The Corgi is something of a mascot for all the festivities - on posters, bus banners, taxis etc. Every ad is Jubilee themed right now. I think my favorite ad is this huge sign at our tube stop for Old El Paso (the only salsa you can buy here). Bring on the Jubilicious Weekend. Salsa and Street Parties! With a hand that is presumably the Queen's (wearing a diamond bracelet), holding a soft taco. I love it.
After the Jubilee I assume everything will shift into full-on Olympics mode. That's going to be wild, all the tourists and visitors in town. Most of the events are in East London and we are in West London... but when not at events, people will be touring and most of the attractions are West. Not to mention it's where most of the hotels are. Charlie will be out of school by then so I'm going to have to figure out how to keep him entertained for 2 weeks while avoiding the crowds and public transport.
Some people here have been able to lease or sublet their flats for a week or two and make a killing. Like several times what they pay in rent or mortgage. They are cutting town, avoiding the chaos and taking a nice, long relaxing vacation. Doesn't that sound nice?
We will of course be here with Brad fighting a wicked commute and probably working insane hours, per usual. Most people we know are working from home during the Olympics. That is what is being encouraged by the Mayor at least. It'll be a cluster! Especially for poor Brad, who will be expected in the office.
Oh, and for those of you who care - word on the street is that the Queen will step down in 2013 after this huge, monumental year of hers. Whether she will be replaced by Charles or William is a matter of some debate. You know, between the ladies that work at my nail salon.
So anyways, that's what's going to be going on here. I ordered a new camera for my mom to bring over with her, so I will be back in full on photography and blogging mode soon. These photos are all from my iPhone. Not having good photos makes me less likely to blog I suppose. I'm excited about the new one - I think it will take better photos in low light, which was my only complaint about the old one.