5 June 2012

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got to admit to being an out and out Royalist. It might have something to do with the fact that on commissioning I swore my allegiance to the Queen, her heirs and successors and not some spurious government or President, that was elected for a four year term and whose policies and politics I have nothing to do with. She also personally signed my Commission!

On the 25th Jubilee I was on parade in an Armoured Personnel Carrier in Sennelager as a Captain with the rest of the Army of the Rhine. As the Queen stepped on to the dais I popped a cork of Champagne through the cupola of my vehicle and shared it with my crew. I missed the 50th Jubilee as I was at sea doing my best to complete my circumnavigation. I was determined, therefore, to do my bit for the Diamond Jubilee!

I dare say Hanna’s neighbours thought us mad to have decorated the house and garden with flags for the Queen across the water. We planned it all when the sun was shining and needless to say being a good Staff Officer we had Plan B should it rain.
On the board I wrote what the Queen had in 1953 and what we were to cook that day.

A suitably decorated classroom.

The weekend started with me running a Diamond Jubilee Cooking Course in an Adult Education Centre on the Saturday, from 1000hrs till 1400hrs. The attached photos say it all. The cooking course was a smashing success and I was fortunate to have some very nice people as my cooking students who all spoke good English. If anything we would have wanted more time to just sit and chat after our meal.
The menu of the day was:

Tomato Soup with Parmesan Croutons, garnished with Crème Fraîche and chives.
Salmon Filets with Green Asparagus and Hollandaise
Coronation Chicken
Spiced Pilau Rice
Roasted Vegetables with Cous-Cous Salad and Harissa style dressing
Eaton Mess

The Garden Tea Party on the Sunday was a cold affair, but thankfully not a complete washout. The guests all rose to the occasion, we drank a toast to the health of Her Majesty and christened a new bear!
No one failed to find the venue for the party!

Doing my best to keep it British we served:

Best English Tea (from M&S)
Cucumber sandwiches
Tuna sandwiches
Egg and cress sandwiches
Ham and Cheddar sandwiches
The cake, needless to say was many Victoria sponges, or my version of one, all the above made by yours truly.
Anna even wore a Union Flag in her hair!

The tea was a welcome way to get warm!

Pimms was ready to serve to the guests when they arrived.

This bear, which I made was christened Dennis on the day!

The Union Flag proudly flew over the garden.

Even leaky tents did not stop us having fun.

Germans find standing at parties a bit odd and so were a bit self concious!

Members of the Phileas Fogg Club

Huddled together for warmth

The cold did not stop people having interesting conversations, which had to be in English if I was in ear shot. But I did notice who didn't play the game!! ;-)

This cake is scrummy!

Nothing could dampen their spirit's!

Thankfully Moni, the daughter who lives next door, allowed us to use her veranda!
Strangely the white bread sandwiches, particularly egg and cress and cucumber were best liked and the first to go, followed by the brown bread Tuna and lastly the cheddar and ham. I have now found a suitable new tent to buy to replace the older leaky ones, for future events and intend to have an annual garden party to coincide, perhaps with the Queen's Birthday. Next year though I think it should be a barbecue, then we can all stand round the fire and keep warm should it be cold and damp again.