Friday, July 20, 2007

All Things Bright and British

Mary's graduation went swimmingly on Wednesday. It was not, unfortunately, in the London Guild Hall where it usually is, but rather in a somewhat dreary University of London student center. But there were lots of fun academic robes and maces, and everything was presided over by the Most Honorable 7th Marquess of Salisbury. Who, it later turned out, is a fairly annoying right-wing Tory in the House of Lords, but still, he's a Marquess, and we don't have those in the land of the free.

After the ceremony Mary's mother took us out for sushi, and then for dinner we drove with her father up to Essex for dinner and Morris dancing in a pub. We were met there by a crusty old English veterinarian Mary used to work for, and who was, I suspect, James Herriot incarnate.

And then, if things weren't English enough, there was a black tie graduation ball at Hatfield House. I was sort of expecting Hatfield House to be the local community center, but it turned out to be the home of aforementioned Marquess of Salisbury. And his home is a Tudor/Jacobean mansion, owned most notably by Henry the VIII. Queens Elizabeth and Mary grew up there, and supposedly Elizabeth was sitting underneath an oak tree in the courtyard when she found out that Mary had died, and she was now queen. The dinner and dancing were in the oldest part of the grounds, the original 15th century Great Hall. It felt a little odd to be doing the Macarena underneath the antlers of a deer shot by Henry VIII, but we Americans, we adapt.


Jewel Dakini said...

Sounds maaaaaaaaaaaaah-velous! I am glad the two of you are living it up properly! And, thanks for the pictures; they are so lovely.

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