Time for the Crowning

Back during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, there were two crowns: the crown of St Edward, and, I think, the Imperial Crown. We went to see the crown jewels in the Tower of London in 1973. I’m not sure which crown King Charles will be crowned with.

Today is Friday April 28th, 2023. Kia ora!

Today is Friday and someone actually came from Access to do some cleaning. In the afternoon I went over to Seatoun to see my cousin who lives there and her sister who was down from Auckland for a few days. It’s been a lovely fine day, after a cold start. 

This morning I listened to a Lawfare podcast with Roger Parloff talking about the trial of the Proud Boys for insurrection in the January 6 riot; the verdict is now with the jury.  Roger Parloff is good value, in my view. After that, Charlie Sykes was joined on the Bulwark podcast by Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes for a weekly podcast to break down Trump’s legal woes. I found it very interesting.

It’s now Monday May 1st.

It’s been a busy few days!  We’ve had glorious weather, for autumn: fine and sunny, with little wind, but cold nights and mornings. On Saturday I was due to attend Singfest at Queen Margaret’s College from 1 till 4 pm.  JD insisted on taking me in, although he had an appointment at 1 pm. Consequently we left home early, and I wasn’t really ready. I missed having lunch! But I did prepare some snacks to take: crackers, biscuits and a drink bottle.  It turned out that the traffic was really heavy on the motorway. Plan B was for him to drop me off in Johnsonville, where I could get an Uber or a taxi; but there were huge queues for the Johnsonville turnoff, so we kept driving. Plan C was to use the Old Hutt Road, so that JD could drop me off and get back on the SH1 motorway, but there were huge queues for the turnoff to the Hutt Valley/Old Hutt Road, so that option was out too.  So we drove on the motorway, and he took the second exit and dropped me off at the top of Murphy Street.  I was happy to walk to QMC, but where to go?  I think I took Turnbull Street, hoping there would be a way through and all the gates to Thorndon School wouldn’t be closed. In the event there was a walkway, with a pink line painted on it; there was a gate, but it opened easily, taking me through to Hobson Crescent.  Thus I got through to Hobson Street, and so to QMC – extremely early.

Eventually the workshop began, in the atrium. It wasn’t a large space, and the seats were very close together. I saved a seat beside me for a friend of mine, who had offered to pick me up, but she brought another friend and they sat somewhere else. The workshop began with a warm up and a very energetic first song, with lots of clapping, foot stamping and dancing.  So all that would have been fine, if we’d had more room! There was some beautiful singing, though, and once again it was nice to sing with strong singers.  We had two breaks, and both times I went outside.  I moved my seat, partly as required for a gospel singing item, and partly to have more room. There was lots of standing. I must say, though, that although QMC claims to be accessible, they could do with far more handrails!  The only one I saw, that I used, had some ghastly mess on it, which soiled my hand and my handkerchief. I tried to wash  my hands in a drinking fountain, but I felt really unclean after that. I expected that JD would pick me up afterwards, but he had an unexpected visit from one of our sons and his daughter, and so wasn’t answering his phone.  I had hoped to go shopping in Thorndon, but my friend gave me a lift home. The traffic was still heavy – because SH58, the Haywards Road, was closed.  She was catching a plane early the next morning, so I felt really guilty about taking her out of her way. But I did get home, and had a cup of coffee and another snack!

What was truly amazing was that I didn’t get a frog in my throat!

The next day I went to church. It was a special occasion, with an special older lady being awarded Elder Emerita, and two baptisms. It was also Harvest Sunday.  In this day and age of plenty, where many of us eat too much food, and agonise over what type of food it is (vegetarian, vegan, organic, gluten-free, and all the allergies), we tend to take it for granted that we have plenty of food to eat. We’re not too worried about the quality or amount of the harvest, in fact many of us are quite removed from it, buying our food at a supermarket of a farmers’ market. After morning tea, there was to be a congregational meeting. The strategic plan (which I had had something to do with) was adopted, and those who were there got into the weeds of shared meals, faith pathways, and Te Reo classes. I put myself down for further discussion about two of these; I’ve summarised what happens at the Khandallah Town Hall for Te Reo Māori classes; I think the Minister has something more formal in mind. I have yet to hear from anyone about these proposed activities. I guess they go some way towards addressing some of my issues!  There is an introduction of Biculturalism in the Mission Statement, which is good.

This morning I was to go to my exercise class in Ngaio, but it seems that most if not all trains on the Johnsonville Line have been cancelled, and there are no bus replacements, so even if JD dropped me off, I had no way of getting home from Ngaio. The #25 bus joins Ngaio Gorge Road at Perth Street, so that’s not really an option.

There were 11,063 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Aotearoa in the week to midnight on Sunday and a further 26 deaths attributed to the virus. The 26 people added to the Covid-19 death tally brings the total number to 2762.

The number of people with the virus in hospital was 265 with eight people in intensive care.

Canterbury, Waitematā, Counties Manukau and Southern recorded the highest number of the country’s cases.

There were 12,383 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Aotearoa the previous week, and a further 20 deaths attributed to the virus.

Last week the Ministry of Health abandoned a long-awaited survey of Covid-19 infections, with a spokesperson saying it was no longer needed.

It’s now Wednesday May 3rd.

Yesterday I went to Bible Study (Acts 7, speaking about Stephen’s preaching and martyrdom).  This comes after Peter’s preaching, and before the incident with Philip and the eunuch, and before Paul’s Damascene moment. Stephen is so graceful, and perhaps typifies what had happened to Jesus Christ earlier; but he called those he addressed “Stiff necked”. That didn’t go down well, it seems, and Stephen was stoned to death. It struck me that there were great times of conversion, and baptism, contrasted with Paul’s persecution of the saints, before he became a servant of Christ. 

This morning I got up early to go to hymn singing. It was lovely, as it always is.  This afternoon I met an old friend and we had a lovely conversation over coffee.

That evening I read in the Guardian that 6 Libyans are facing death penalty for converting to Christianity. They’re a threat, it’s supposed.

It’s now Saturday May 6th.

Has it been consequential? I went to my other singing group on Thursday morning, and had lunch with a friend afterwards. On Friday someone came from Access to do some cleaning – wonderful.  For our evening meal, which JD was supposed to cook, we had a semi-instant pasta meal, where you didn’t have to cook the pasta first; you mixed in the sauce and heated it in the microwave. It was edible, but there wasn’t a great deal of it.

In the US, in summary: four Proud Boys have been convicted of seditious conspiracy; the hard-to-watch trial of Donald Trump for the rape of E. Jean Carroll continues; the evidence has now been presented.  This morning I watched an excruciating tape on Youtube about Trump’s evidence, where he claimed that a photo of his second wife, Marla Maples, represented E. Jean Carroll, having claimed that Carroll wasn’t “his type”, whatever that means. Trump’s and his lawyer Joe Tacopina’s attitudes are disturbing: basically, that Carroll didn’t react straightaway, by screaming or going to the police.  I imagine she was totally shocked, as a moment of fun and flirting, in a semi-public place, suddenly turned into a sexual assault.  Trump’s attitude seemed to be that any woman would desire him – she had no choice in the matter; she wasn’t given a chance to say “I don’t fancy you”. We’re brought up not to hurt anyone, but with some guys one has to be very direct; even then, some think that a woman really wants them, and that “No” really means “Yes”.  So that has been quite upsetting.

The news about Supreme Court judges having payments and benefits from wealthy right-wing donors just gets worse and worse.

In London, things are heating up for the Coronation of King Charles.  While this has been slow to excite people, here and abroad, many of us are getting excited now.  Many avowed republicans are keen to watch – for the ceremony; that reminds me of men who claimed to read Playboy for the articles. Ah well, the Brits will put on a good show, and it will be well worth watching, I think; there’s been a suitable gap since the Queen’s platinum jubilee, and then her funeral, a few months later.  People like ex-Tory Cabinet Minister Rory Stewart talked about hiring his Privy Councillor’s uniform (costume?), complete with feathered hat.  It seems, though, that Archbishop Justin Welby advocated that those watching the ceremony swear the oath of allegiance at home, or wherever they are. That has caused distress and people vowing that they won’t swear allegiance to King Charles. In the past, dukes had to swear allegiance to the monarch, so that he could count on their loyalty; “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”, said Shakespeare, who wrote several plays about monarchy. It evidently fascinated him. Welby has said some strange things lately, and there seems to be a huge split in the Anglican Church over the blessing of gay marriages. 

Anyway, most of us are keen to watch the ceremony, as long as we can stay awake!  What will the Princess of Wales wear? And will she wear a tiara? What will everyone else wear?

It’s hard to know what’s happening in Ukraine, apart from probable lies, suffering, and continuing brutality.  That’s it for now.  I hope to stay up watching the coronation tonight, although I expect by about 1 am tomorrow I’ll be happy to go to sleep, and watch the rest later.  Slava Ukraini! Ngā mihi nui.

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