Friday, April 29, 2011

Weddings then and now

click photo to enlarge
On Wednesday 29th July 1981 we put our two year old son into the seat on the back of our tandem bicycle, and, with panniers full of food, drink, baby sundries, camera and a copy of Pevsner's, "The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire", we set off from our house in the city of Kingston upon Hull to cycle across the Humber Bridge and explore the countryside and medieval churches of North Lincolnshire. That day was not quite like any other day for two reasons: firstly it was an extra Bank Holiday and most people had a day off work, and secondly, in London a wedding was taking place - that of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. It was with the avoidance of the publicity, euphoria, TV and radio coverage, street parties and the rest of the hoopla associated with that event that two committed republicans (and their son) chose to spend their day in this way.

Today is the day of another royal wedding, but this time I have no all-day excursion by bicycle or any other form of transport planned. That's not because my advancing years have turned me into a monarchist eager to gawp at the TV coverage as I wave my Made in China Union flag. No, this time I'll be tending the garden, doing a few domestic chores and tidying up after having spent a few days away from home.

During my recent trip I stopped briefly in Horncastle. This small Lincolnshire town is generally known for two things: firstly, it was a Roman town, and secondly, today it has more than the average number of antique shops. The latter are a variety of establishments that cater for a wide range of pockets. My photograph shows one in a nineteenth century bulding that looks like it has seen better days. However, the owner had brightened up the faded paintwork and crumbling masonry with a royal wedding display featuring flags, flowers and champagne. The other window showed a few wares for sale and evidence of political allegiance in the form of a poster urging people to vote for an Independent candidate. I took my photograph of the facade and moved on, and as I did so reflected that I hope anyone whose wedding is on 29th April 2011 has a long and happy marriage. And, from my republican standpoint, if the newlyweds happen to be a future king and queen perhaps they'd like to consider the probably beneficial effects of abdication on their marital bliss!

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 40mm
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/30
ISO: 125
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On