Today’s Daily Prompt asks
Tell us about the last thing you got excited about — butterflies-in-the-stomach, giggling, can’t-wait excited.
A few weeks ago I walked for fifteen or twenty minutes to see a friend, who was having a few difficulties with Windows 8. When I arrived she offered me a cup of tea and gave me the Telegraph Magazine (or whatever the Saturday supplement is called) to look at while she put the kettle on. She pointed out an article about an exhibition at Buckingham Palace.
While she was making the tea I checked the dates the exhibition was running for and decided that it was possible that I could go to it. A website was indicated as a source of further information. The exhibition was of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, who acceded to the throne in 1952, but was not crowned until June 1953.
My husband did not wish to go but was prepared to fend for himself for a week and to take me to and from the local station. I looked into the prices and arrangements for visiting the exhibition and organised myself a trip to London. As my mother is always happy for me to stay with her, I checked that she was free and booked my rail tickets and my exhibition ticket. I also arranged to meet (on different days) two friends I have known a long time.
The travelling was uneventful. No missed connections or other difficulties. It is still over six hours door to door with four changes. The train does overtake the vehicles on the motorway it runs alongside, though!
Even to travel to the Palace required a bus and a train. I wrote about my lunch and people-spotting en route in a response to an earlier Daily Prompt. I had hoped that my cryptic remark about where I had been might have sparked some interest. Perhaps my readers were half asleep or not particularly interested – or maybe they could work out where I had been!
The tickets were timed and in my excitement I arrived too early to be allowed in. So I went for a walk and returned at a more appropriate time.
The visit to the State Rooms and the exhibition was well worth the effort. Being on my own I could go round at my own speed listening to the audio-guide and spend extra time where I found something particularly interesting. I took up the options to hear more about selected paintings and about the photography of the coronation. I was also particularly interested in the embroidery and books on display.
I had visited the Royal Mews as a child, but had never been inside the Palace before. I was very impressed with the organisation and presentation of this “visitor experience” – to use the jargon. (I have enjoyed visiting plenty of stately homes in the care of the National Trust.) It was a very hot day and I was glad of the opportunity to purchase some liquid refreshment before leaving the palace grounds. I refilled the bottle the next day for my journey home. It was not the best shaped water bottle available to me, but I was feeling sentimental!
It is something I shall be talking about for a while. One of my distant cousins also has a visit booked and we hope to compare notes later in the year.