A pop-up book from my childhood
Today, the 2nd June, is the 65th anniversary of the Coronation of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
I was eight years old and remember it well. We went to see the event in our local town hall where three television sets had been placed at the front of the hall, with rows of seats just like in a cinema. However, the screens were tiny in those days, around 14 inches, and they were hazy with what was called ‘snow’ as the reception was poor. But it was still a wonderful event
This illustration of King Edward’s crown, only used for the actual crowning of the monarch, is from one of my royal souvenir books
Children were given pottery Coronation mugs, but my dear Uncle gave me a china one and I still have it. In fact, I have two, as he gave another to my mother, hence being able to show you the back and the front …
We were up very early this morning, around 4.20am. We had coffee, sitting in bed, and listening to the dawn chorus. I absolutely love early morning in spring.
About an hour later, around 5.30am, I popped into the garden to take this photo of the walnut tree with the sun (from the east at that hour, of course) shining through the leaves. Soon, this lovely pinky colour will disappear and it will be just like any other tree with green leaves.
I was showered and dressed before 7.00am and, using the little courtesy car from our local garage, we popped down to our local Co-operative store as there were a few things I needed to get. It really is the ugliest little car I’ve seen in a long time, and I’ve been thinking about that: someone must’ve designed it to look like it does. It didn’t design itself. Perhaps it was designed by a committee? Anyway, the manufacturer must’ve thought it looked nice for it to go into production. Or perhaps they thought that they’d have a go at making a really nasty-looking vehicle just to see if it would sell by the garage-load, proving that Mr and Mrs Joe Public really do not have any taste!
Actually, it looks more like a van than a car, i.e. a van with windows. Perhaps that is the reason it looks so awful? Fill in the sides and you’d have a van, i.e. a dual purpose design! Never mind, it gets us from A to B but if I wanted to drive around in something as utilitarian as this, I’d buy a van in the first place. Thank goodness it’s only on loan. I can’t wait to get our own car back!
Back from the Co-op we had breakfast. Husband had already had porridge when he got up, about 5.00am, so it was just a very light breakfast, about 8.30am. I had fruit and then we each had a warm croissant with apricot jam.
I then did a few jobs, hanging out washing, making the bed, and then I decided to make mushroom soup for our lunch.
I’ve mentioned my recipe before, and it’s so easy – just a couple of onions, a potato and some mushrooms, chopped and sautéed in a little rapeseed oil, boiling water added (sufficient to cover the vegetables) and vegetable Oxo or bouillon added, simmered for 15 minutes, parsley added (if you have any), a little crème fraiche added (I use low-fat crème fraiche) and blended using a stick blender or in a liquidizer. We had it for lunch with crusty baguette and various cheeses, olives, tomatoes, and an apple and cider chutney (and there is sufficient for another meal.) But tasty or not, I apologise for the look of mushroom soup! There isn’t any way you can make it look pretty!!!
While the mushroom soup was simmering, I made a rhubarb and ground almond cake. This is like making toffee apple cake but substituting rhubarb for a couple of dessert apples. You simply cut the rhubarb up into bite-size pieces, saute them in some butter and add muscovado sugar. When you have mixed up your cake and put it into a prepared tin, you put the cooled rhubarb mixture on top of the cake mixture and then bake in the centre of the pre-heated oven, around 160C for about 45 minutes.
For this cake you need 6 oz caster sugar, 6 oz margarine, 3 oz each of ground almonds and plain flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 3 eggs. Make as you would a sponge cake, creaming the sugar and margarine, adding the eggs, and then adding the flour/ground almonds/baking powder which you will have mixed together. It couldn’t be easier.
When it has cooled, remove from tin and sprinkle a little icing sugar on top and serve, either on its own or with cream. I don’t have any cream at the moment, so we had a slice each with a cup of tea this afternoon, and it was really light and moist.
The rhubarb, being heavier than the cake mixture, sinks into the cake but that doesn’t matter. What matters is the taste, and it’s lovely. It really is a pudding-cake, nice to eat warm with custard, cream or ice cream, or to eat cold with a cup of tea.
While I was enjoying my tea and cake, the Red Arrows screamed overhead. Today is the Torbay Air Show with lots of events, but we don’t care for crowds so have stayed at home. Last year it was reported that there were around 150,000 people watching the event from various vantage points and on the sea front.
I should’ve had my Nikon ready, but I’d totally forgotten that the Red Arrows were due this afternoon, so not a good photo, taken with my compact camera, but it’s always exciting when you hear them come screaming over the house.
To get this view (above) – again not good – showing the Red Arrows with the cannisters of red white and blue smoke, I needed to stand on the loo seat of our upstairs bathroom and hang out of the skylight window! If we are prepared to do this we get a view of the sea! Many boats were out there today, enjoying the fine weather and the aerial displays.
And now I’m looking forward to seeing the film on TV this evening about the four acting dames: Dames Eileen Atkins Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, and Maggie Smith. What a change it will be to have something (hopefully) interesting to watch as Saturday night viewing, across all the channels, is usually spectacularly awful.
Until next time.