Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Big Fab Gay Wedding

In Photo Albums on my FaceBook page, you may see one called Althorp Wedding. I've gotten many quiries about it. Below is an e-mail I sent to my closest friends upon arriving blearily back to the London hotel after the 3 day event...but I was still bubbling over. It explains a bit...but it's only the tip of the iceberg...


The economic/social stratus playing field was leveled by the extravagance of this wedding. It has been 4 days of intense and spectacular partying. Even the literary set when asked how they would describe this to the folk back home told me they'd not found the words yet and that all they could come up with is 'you should have been there'. I thought of all of you often and wish you had. Those of you in NYC or who get the NYTimes save me a copy of this coming Sunday's wedding section. Yes, the first gay marriage coverage for the NYTimes as well as the first wedding ever at Althorp. The reviewer also said he was speechless and had to come up with something. 'Over the top' was heard often in the beginning then we all just went with the flow. The groom and groom leaving the day after (which was the picnic in the stables/harpist on the hay bales) with champagne glasses in hand and pink helmets on their heads in a bubble blowing pink army tank only one 'over the top' images.

Althorp was amazing and felt like our own...which was nice of Earl Spencer who stayed in his room(s) most the time. We would arrive daily by private Mercedes Benz vans around noon and leave between midnight and 3am. People came from 5 continents, 20 countries and over 2 million miles to attend. 168 at the rehearsal dinner, 308 at wedding/dinner/dancing/Dejie singing and 308 in large dark sunglasses at the rainy picnic. I, for one, was glad that they saved the stables for last - it's where the Princess Di exhibit is. We were also allowed that day to stroll to her burial pond/island which Charles Spencer and his kids rowed over to that morning for a private moment.

We were told by one of the handsome security guards (of which there were many) that over 10 days of preparing, 3,000 meals were served to the workers. Basically, the decor was black and white stripes/toile and pink peonies/roses. Tho, the wedding which took place in the grand staircase and was overlooked by generations of Spencers and Princess Di's portraits and Uma Thurman, had light green and purple hydrangeas which matched the incredible little shepherdess and coachmen outfits (designed by John Schneeman,Tony winning costumer of the famous Yellow Dress) of 6 children who lounged on the bottom stairs...then the boys were on the landing (only a photo will describe Andrews outfit - fabric alone was $25,000.) where two marriage ceremonies occurred performed by Parliament magistrate and Harvard's Professor of Religious Morals. They were both very humorous, and slightly political. And tho, we were initially told no photos at the wedding...what with all the paparazzi and video cameras (which were in our faces ALL weekend) the happy crowd snapped throughout. It was pure magic...and when an opera singer sang with the children's choir at the top of the stairs with the chamber orchestra...well, it as healing...though, not enough to make my coughing stop.

Miraculously, however, my singing was fabulous in the 'dinner tent'...created especially for this. Here is where the toile appeared...even on the and white toile/sugared pink peonies. There were 15 minute speeches that make everyone weep from both grooms (oh, and the toasts during the rehearsal dinner were amazing). We had to wait for sundown to have the next marriage ceremony (Jewish) Again, fabulous and humorous and weepy. Then dancing until 3am...hence, all the sunglasses at the 'picnic'.

We were also told that for every one and 1/2 persons there was a waitstaffer. Lots of security, event staff (amazing and amazingly good looking), and again professional camera folk who were with us the entire weekend. Hugo Burnand photographed Charles and Camilla's wedding...and moi. And again, even they remarked they'd never seen anything like it.

Andrew and John are so loved by so many people. And the entire weekend was their love-fest. Amazing, amazing, amazing.

Stace and I are back in London. It felt interesting to watch the Princess Di Wembley concert to room service knowing it was in our backyard and that just that morning we'd been at her childhood home. Tomorrow is our last day and it will be a rainy one. Otherwise, the weather has been perfect.

I love London. Who wants to move here with me? The pianist said I could get gigs :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

And here is another 'Sometimes' that has been playing in my mind during all the recent Holidays. It was going to be my Happy Thanksgiving Day card but it works just as well as a Happy Valentine's Day thought.

Years ago, my roommate of two cities, Don, taught me this song which we would harmonize on in the kitchen(s) and we even sang it at his brother's Annapolis wedding. I'd never known it to be performed and even had the composer wrong though I think the story is the same. If I'm correct now, Henry Mancini's little daughter wrote this slightly awkward though touching poem for her father and left it for him on his piano. He set it to music. (I've been telling people for years it was Andre Previn and daughter) Anyway, just Googled and discovered that my head must have been turned when the Carpenters performed it. They have a lovely version on YouTube.

Let Karen sing it to you....and thank you for being my Valentine :)


Sometimes, not often enough,
We reflect upon the good things
And those thoughts always center around those we love.

And I think about those people
Who mean so much to me
And for so many years
Have made me so very happy.

And I count the times I have forgotten to say,
"Thank You", and just how much I love them.

-Mancini & Mancini-

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Poem for the Election and New Year and heck, Life.

Several years ago, my brilliant, fun, tasteful and well-travelled friends, Jules and Linda created a Christmas card from a poem they'd seen on a poster in the London Underground. It spoke to me and I framed it where it still hangs in my livingroom. I've since found that this poem has spoken to a lot of people...see Wikipedia - Sheenagh Pugh.

The poem is entitled 'Sometimes'.

Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care enough,
that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen; may it happen for you.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year...'08

OK - I have overcome my resistance of having a blog in fear that I will turn it into a diary which I kept both as a child and faithfully in my early '30's. The latter was read by a friend who no longer is...

I do want to say, dahlinks, that I hope everyone has a great '08 and that all reduce their fears little by little each day...and those without fear continue to show us the way, amen.

I woke up Jan. 1st 2008 chirping. I've managed to keep the feeling for 3 days. Perhaps, the fact that each New Years across the globe was fairly terrorist free (yes, I'm foolishly still shaking the dust of 9/11 from my psyche) , and that I was away from responsibilities and the misfortunes of others close to me was cause for my elevated sense of well being. Or maybe that feeling of family that comes from old and new friends couped up in a mountain home was simply good to feel again over a several day period after so much running around, working, playing and traveling that I did in '07.

Oooh, I'll have to blog those fun things of the, it's back to the responsibility of workin' for the rent...