April 5th, 2002

caillebotte_man at his window

Event

BBC America is running a live broadcast of the procession in which the Queen Mum's coffin is hauled off to lie in state at Westminster Hall. I must say, it is quite a spectacle. It looks as though it is a lovely spring day in London, somewhat overcast (my favorite weather,) and the pearly light hanging over the towers of the city is delightful. The buildings along the route look to be mostly late 18th-early 19th century and are splendid. The music is enjoyable, though periodically interrupted by a rather obnoxious and probably fulsome voice-over describing exactly what we are seeing. For the benefit of the blind, perhaps. At noon, we got to hear Westminster chimes, and Big Ben bonging out the hour. Still, I can't help but think of the words penned about a hundred years ago by a poet whose name I have thankfully forgotten, on the occasion of the death of Queen Victoria:

Dust to dust, and ashes to ashes,
Into the tomb the great queen dashes.


but what the hell is the deal with that hat the queen is wearing? it looks like something from the bill sykes collecction.
caillebotte_man at his window

Rain?

All day yesterday the valley was covered by a dense layer of cloud, as were the mountains. The foothill ridges between them were drenched in sunlight. It is a common weather pattern here. In the evening, I went out and watched the clouds in the valley rise up and spread toward the mountain clouds, and the ridge entered a blue dusk filled with light mist. All night, the trees dripped moisture. Now, grey morning is blurry with fog. There is a good chance it will rain today. I'm sorry I have to go to sleep. It would be nice to go for a long walk in this foggy air.