Monday, May 28, 2012

A Right Royal Knees Up

You might have heard by now that England is about to have a party this upcoming weekend! Yes, we are going to have a "right royal knees up" to celebrate "our" queen's Diamond Jubilee with several days of events and two holidays. Queen Elizabeth II is only the second monarch to reach the milestone of reigning 60 years, the first having been Queen Victoria, so it's a huge accomplishment for her and definitely worthy of a party.

I give you a heads-up: this is a photo heavy blog, but if you only began to know how many things I cut out, you would thank me! Let me show you just a small, small taste of the "souvenirs" that are in the stores now, ready to become collectibles down the road.

We start with china and pottery.

Here is the official Royal Jubilee designed ware, but there are scores of others out there.
You could buy a different cup and a plate to use for every day of the month, should you care to celebrate all month long.

Emma Bridgewater has done a whole line you can see by clicking here,

as well as Cath Kidston whose collection can be found here.

Fortnum and Mason has an extensive line, including teapots,

Jubilee Majestic Marmalade with diamond shaped pieces of orange peel sprinkled with gold leaf throughout,

specially blended tea,

and coffee,

as well as a musical biscuit tin that plays "God Save the Queen." The queen was quite taken with this item when she visited the store in the spring, and so was I, so two tins came home with me.

You might prefer this tall tin of pistachio clotted cream biscuits,

or fudge for a gift for you or someone special.

Paper goods are everywhere, including these cupcake thrones,

royal crowns for all the participants,

"Right Royal Trivia" games,

and even pinatas,

or Jubilee crackers.

You can easily satisfy your sweet tooth with special biscuits/cookies,

in characters,

or party style, or

you might decide to entertain with this teapot cake.

Harrod's 2012 annual bear is in the spirit, but he is currently sold out according to their website,

so maybe a waving queen would strike your fancy instead,

or some "keepsake" pillows,

tins of mints,

or one of the ubiquitous tea towels found in every store. 

I think the temporary tattoos might be fun for the party, and I kept wondering why no one had thought ahead to make a Christmas ornament....

but of course, they had.

Two of my favorite items are a Royal Scrapbook

and I wish you could flip through and see this one---a Royal dress up dolly book. Love seeing all those royals in their undies!

So what did I buy? Well, unlike during the Royal wedding frenzy when I bought way too many cups, and now wonder where to display them all, I've used restraint this time. 

So far, I've bought the musical biscuit tin,

and this lovely ornament from Harrod's

and my craziest find of all.

Royal sunglasses for the weekend, as modeled by "Princess" Jordan!

Hope you'll be watching along as we celebrate--either in person or on TV!

Do I need to pick up a little souvenir for you?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cemetery of Angels

This post will interest my Houston friends more than anyone. I had the opportunity to take a tour of one of Houston's treasures this spring, and my friends and I were amazed that we had never seen or heard of this locale before now. 
We took a guided tour of Glenwood Cemetery, which was founded in 1871 and located in what was then a rural spot on the rolling banks of the Buffalo Bayou.

Classified as a romantic cemetery, the winding roads and gently rolling terrain today provide a beautiful setting for walkers, joggers and bicyclists, as well as being the tranquil resting place for many notables.

Although not as famous as London's Highgate Cemetery or Pére-Lachaise in Paris, it, nevertheless, is one of the most beautiful places I've seen in a long time.

Its roster of those interred reads like a Who's Who of the history of Texas and Houston. Locals will recognize many names on the tombstones, and I encourage you to check into the tours provided by Preservation Houston. At the least, pick up a brochure and guide at the office before striking out.

Bordered by Washington and Memorial Drive, the cemetery covers 85 acres, of which 18 acres are reserved for future development, so yes, you too, can be buried here.

In the shadow of downtown Houston, the cemetery is beautiful and so verdant, and boasts some of the oldest oak trees of Houston.
The cemetery is often known as the Cemetery of Angels, so without much comment, here are a few of the angels keeping watch.

An avenging angel guarding the grave of a murdered occupant.

And one of the most famous monuments of all, the Angel of Grief.

I highly recommend you take the time for a stroll--walking shoes advised- and see for yourself one of the most historical and beautiful locations in all of Houston.