Day 6. Sunday September 18.
Ted says his throat is not sore at all any more, and his voice sounds almost normal. That’s a good thing! We each have a slight cough, which is less wonderful. Not quite time to re-test yet, I think.
The one slightly worrisome thing – for me, anyway – about our bouts of Covid is the associated weight loss I alluded to yesterday. Ted is still down his couple of extra pounds, to 178 (81.1 kg). That’s about what he weighed when we got married, and he hasn’t seen those numbers in at least 30 years. I’m still losing weight, which is only good if you’re trying, which I’m not. This morning when I step onto the digital scales in our flat they read 120 lbs (54.4 kg), which I have not weighed since I was 18, before Ted and I met. That translates to an unintentional weight loss of 6 pounds in 6 days, despite eating our usual amount of food and engaging in very little physical activity. Full-fat yogurt and toasted crumpets with lots of butter beckon.
Managed to start and finish A Family Affair by Robyn Carr. Quite a decent story about how a family deal with the backlash of an unexpected death and secrets revealed.
Spent the evening watching cheeky irreverent British game shows (like Countdown), drinking more cups of tea, and eating smores fudge (Ted) and a Cadbury Wispa chocolate bar (me).
Day 7. Monday September 19.
Like the entire rest of the country, we’re glued to the BBC’s coverage of the Queen’s funeral today.
We felt proud to see the Royal Canadian Mounted Police heading up the procession away from the Abbey, and to recognize a few blue “wedges” (the dress uniform hat) of the RCAF among the massed Commonwealth military personnel, all carrying their arms (weapons) reversed in a sign of mourning.
The BBC commentator, after Her Majesty’s coffin had been transferred to the royal state hearse for transport to Windsor Castle, described it as a “solemn but not sad” ceremony. The prescribed pomp that surrounds such significant events, transcending centuries, is part of what makes the monarchy so comforting and stable for many. We saw very few tears among the thousands of people lining the route (when they were shown), but there was loud applause as the Queen’s coffin passed.
Ted found the entire event incredibly moving; he loves pageantry, especially the iconic and moving musical elements.
I found the live feed that the BBC shared during the 2 minutes of silence, of groups of people gathered in parks in Edinburgh, Belfast, and London, watching and remembering together, fantastically moving.
The BBC coverage was very subdued and unobtrusive throughout the day. There was backgound information and “play-by-play” during the outdoor processions, but once church ceremonies started the commentators backed away and let viewers simply “be there”. That said, having the media camera vantage points, including looking down from inside the soaring Westminster Abbey ceilings, was spectacular, and nothing we could ever have accomplished in person.
The more intimate committal ceremony at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor – which Ted and I toured in 2017 – felt like being allowed into a very private space, as indeed it was. This was the first time that members of the public witnessed the breaking of the Lord Chancellor’s Wand of Office, and its burial with the Queen’s coffin.
The slow removal of the sceptre, orb, and crown which the Queen was given on her coronation day from the top of her coffin to the high altar, and the descent of the flag-draped coffin into the chapel floor were, for me, the most emotional part of the entire day. I was dry-eyed until the singing of “God Save the King”, though, which for me leant such a sense of finality to an era that has spanned my entire lifetime.
Day 8. Tuesday September 20.
My weight slide has begun to reverse itself, much to my relief. Plus, we’re both feeling quite good this morning.
Our big excitement today is the opportunity to be part of an on-line forum with Viking Ocean Cruises. This is the second time we’ve been asked to do this; the prior forum took place during Covid when Viking were trying to gauge people’s interest in resuming shipboard travel. We love being asked for our opinions, especially by a cruise line to whom we have such loyalty and for whom we have such respect.
It’s time to repeat our Covid tests, with the hope that we’re all clear to attend the theatre tomorrow evening. If not, we’ll simply sigh and keep trying, since September 27th is our bigger target date.
I complete a test kit and take a deep breath while I wait…
…sadly, it’s still a fairly quick positive. I’ve been talking to people who say Day 12 is the magic number for the Omicron variant. That would be another 4 days, and another few things crossed off our London wish list. Since I’m still positive, Ted doesn’t even bother testing.
I’d really been looking forward to attending tomorrow’s world premiere of this new Sherlock Holmes musical; plays workshopped here sometimes go on to the West End, and we’d have been able to say we saw it first! Nick Lane, who has adapted the Conan Doyle novel, is a well-known writer whose prior adaptations of things books as diverse as Frankenstein and Alice In Wonderland have been really well received. I’ll have to content myself with this picture of the poster, and reading the reviews.