Today, April 21st, is Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday, and I wanted to celebrate. After a walk around the Pond in which I visited the nesting goose again, I made a quick batch of scones and put together a tea tray using my Paragon Coronation teacup.
The cup is decorated with roses for England, thistles for Scotland, daffodils for Wales, and shamrocks for Northern Ireland. On the bottom of the saucer it says “To commemorate the CORONATION of HM QUEEN ELIZABETH II Crowned Westminster Abbey June 2, 1953.” I love the pink, yellow, and green colors and the center with the crown and Queen Elizabeth’s cypher.
While I had tea on my chaise longue with the sun pouring in to our large bow-front windows, I read my new book Long to Reign Over Us, published to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s becoming the longest reigning monarch in British history last September. I really do admire the Queen for her steadfastness and loyalty, her dignity and elegance. There is probably no other leader on the planet who has served so long and faithfully. The Queen does not get to retire, although she may be slowing down a bit and letting the younger royals carry out some of the duties. She is an inspiration.
A week ago I wandered off the paved path at the Pond and followed the dirt path along the south shore of the Pond. There, to my amazement, I found this goose sitting on a nest in the open on the little hill above the Pond. I had always wondered where the ducks and geese hide their nests, as I’d never seen one before in all the years I’ve walked at the Pond. I’ve been back twice, including this afternoon, and each time the lovely mama goose is sitting as calm as can be on her soft nest in a slight depression in the ground. She let me approach quite close. I spoke to her in soothing tones. I will visit again, and it will be so interesting to observe this process and see the goslings in a few weeks. I’ve known many sets of goslings over the years and have watched them grow up–so fast!
Here’s the male goose, who came up out of the water.
This year it’s spring clearing rather than spring cleaning in our house. Since the beginning of March, I’ve been working in earnest on our house clearing project, with Peter’s help, before the spring weather is too nice to stay inside. The task is enormous as I’ve lived in this seven-room condo for thirty-one years now and have more than filled the rooms and the storage rooms in the basement. My first year of retirement I didn’t want to spend too much time sorting through old paper and things, but now I have to face it–if not now, then when? We are considering moving, and we will be completely stopped in our tracks unless we can deal with the stuff. I want to be free of it–in order to move to Maine or Cape Ann or just to enjoy our space more if we stay here.
Most of the rooms are actually quite organized and tidy, if a bit over full. I’m actually very good at organizing, when I’m not overwhelmed with too many items for the existing space. The bedroom, for example, is always calm and orderly, and I regularly give away clothing to the thrift shop, not being too sentimental about clothes. The kitchen, since our renovation ten years ago, is organized and functions very well, though it’s a small, urban kitchen.
I have a great deal of china, but all of it has a home, and I use it and enjoy it every day.
I’m lucky to have two large pantries. This building was built about 1910, a gracious era, and it amazes me that they would include a butler’s pantry, another walk-in pantry, and a huge built-in china cabinet in an apartment in those days. Last year I devoted time and energy to de-accessioning some of my less favorite china, so the butler’s pantry is quite neat now.