Monday, 2 May 2011

All over

So that's it then. After weeks, if not months, of build-up, including countless television programmes about various Royal weddings and some very corny films about the "Royal romance", last Friday William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor and Catherine Elizabeth Middleton said their vows under the glare of worldwide publicity and married in Westminster Abbey.

The big advantage to this was that it gave this country an extra Bank Holiday, on a Friday before a Bank Holiday Monday. For me, because last weekend was Easter, and therefore a four day weekend, I would have only had to work three days, but because of time owing, I was able to take the whole week. So for the outlay of zero annual leave, I have had 12 days off! The downside is that I now have to go back to work tomorrow! At least it’s only a four day week.

So what of the wedding? Yet again, the UK has proved that when it comes to ceremonial occasions, then no-one does it better. William looked more nervous than anyone else, although I don't know why he chose to marry in his uniform of Colonel-in-Chief of the Irish Guards, rather than his everyday Royal Air Force one.

The bride looked lovely. I thought the dress was quite reminiscent of 1920s fashion, but I think that it definitely suited her. Her sister also looked fabulous and turned a few heads!

One of the heads that she appeared to have turned was the best man, Prince Harry's. Now the press are full of speculation. As for Harry, I don't know if his brother had insisted that he wear a uniform that looked like he'd borrowed it from someone else much bigger than him, or if he'd lost weight since he purchased it, but he definitely looked a mess next to William.

The good news is that the threatened rain never appeared, so the trip back to Buckingham Palace in the open top carriage didn't result in a soaking wet husband and wife. And despite the defence cuts, the rumours that the flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight was actually all that's left of the Royal Air Force isn't true!

The other thing that was nice was the fact that the whole family were there, having picked up my youngest two on the Thursday. However, Maggie spent a lot of the time playing with m'Julie's new toy, a toy which will hopefully mean I get some peace and quiet!

m'Julie is on my mobile phone contract, and she was due for a phone upgrade at the end of last week. I knew which one she was likely to go for, as every time someone has been on TV with one, or even seeing someone in the street with one, I've been told "See, he/she has an iPhone!"

So last Thursday, off we went to the Orange shop and m'Julie told them what she wanted. The guy behind the counter then informed m'Julie that they had just had a delivery of the new white iPhone, which weren't due for release until the following day, but that they were willing to let her have one that day. How she managed to contain herself, I'm not sure. Although she stood there and calmly said that she would like to go for that phone, I knew that inside she was jumping up and down and whooping like a four year old!

So that was what Maggie was playing with, as well as complaining that her phone (an iPhone 3) isn't due an upgrade until next May.

However, whilst they were distracted by weddings and gadgets, I was indulging in my new "hobby", making cocktails. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I purchased a cocktail shaker, something I'd been promising myself for years, and just about every evening since I can be found with various spirits, occasional mixers and plenty of ice, shaking like a demon. In fact, I think I've drunk more spirits in the past two weeks than I have in the last two years! My efforts have been greatly aided by Alex's Cocktail Recipes.

I guess that I will have to have one this evening to celebrate today's news. That the world's leading terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, has finally been tracked down and killed. It is a pity that they were unable to capture him alive so that he could face proper justice, assuming the special forces team even tried.

There will be enough on the worldwide news bulletins without me going into all of the details, but there is one thing that I am curious about. It appears that Bin Laden was living in a compound that was a mere 200 metres away from the Pakistan Military Academy, was about eight times larger than every other compound locally, had higher walls, topped with barbed wire, than any other local compound and had no telephone or Internet access, and yet the Pakistani authorities were not curious about this and had "no idea" that he was living there. Really?

I saw a television interview this evening with the Pakistani ex-president, Pervez Musharraf, who was objecting to the fact that the American special forces team had flown into Pakistan, attacked the compound and killed Bin Laden, but had not informed the Pakistani authorities of intentions until after the whole thing was over. Is he really that surprised, given that Bin Laden appeared to be living unmolested in the lap of luxury in a Pakistani town, that the Americans chose not to share the information prior to the attack, and therefore risk their target being tipped off and disappearing.

There was also another interesting interview this afternoon. A Pakistani official was being interviewed and again repeated that they had no idea that Bin Laden was in this compound, and then in the next sentence stated that he'd only been there a few days. When the reporter asked him how he knew that Bin Laden had only been there a few days if he had no idea that Bin Laden was there he became very evasive.

I'm sure that there's far more to this whole episode than we will know for about one hundred years, not unless wikileaks restarts.