Monday, April 25, 2011

"10.51 ????!!"

I am not, as most of you will know, a royalist but when my Italian friends and students ask if I will be watching this Friday's extravaganza, my reply is, "Yes - for the sheer, British precision of it."

When I explain further, my students do not believe me when I tell them that everything is timed not to the minute, but to the second and when I show them the timetable of events, they are even more incredulous.

"10.51??!!  Mamma mia!" they shriek when they read that the bride will leave for the Abbey at that time.  "But why not 10.50 or 10.55?" 

"Because everything is worked out with military precision", I reply, hiding, I hope, a smug, British smile.

In a country where an event planned to start at, say, 9pm can begin as late as 9.45 pm [if you are lucky] this  obsession with punctuality that the British seem to have does, at the very least, raise eyebrows and when everyone has finished being incredulous, they express a certain admiration.

Then I shrug my shoulders like a Sicilian and ask them to indulge my compatriots on this one day:  we are not good at very much any more, but nobody does precision like us!

Meanwhile, I am ready with my Royal Wedding sick bag:

12 comments:

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

I'm surprised at my reaction. I can't wait! I'll be up way before dawn to watch all the festivities from start to finish just as I did 30 years ago. I'm hoping this one takes.

Leslie: said...

Ah Pat! A friend and I are having a sleepover and getting up at 2 or 2:30AM here in Western Canada in order to watch the shebang live! We're going to nibble on scones and crumpets and drink coffee to help keep up awake! I'm actually thinking of getting us each a dollar store tiara to wear, too! lol My late husband and I did the same thing back when Di and Chuck got married. It's HISTORY in the making!

Kia said...

Ciao, I quite enjoyed your post today, and I am laughing so hard at the "obsession with punctuality that the British seem to have". Let me explain: I am Italian, BUT I am always on time. :) And so is (almost) all my family. On the other end, I still have to meet someone that knows what punctuality is here in the UK. LOL! Our Scottish friends are always late! And two of our English ones are so so so late all the time, that they always get on my nerves. And when I say late, I mean that you invite them for dinner at 7 pm and they do NOT show up before 8 or 9 pm. And never call to tell you that they are late! Unbelievable!
Have fun watching the Royal Wedding! :)
Greeting from Paisley.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Looks like people don't agree with you Pat ..;-) Oh yes this will be timed to the precise second if they could.

I am happy for them .. they want to get married .. brilliant , and he cannot help it if he is the Queens grandson, or the Princes.. he is after all a Prince too!

I am not normally late for anything .. but I do know what you mean .. when I go dancing . it starts later than given time, .. don't mind a few minutes or so .. but not 20 minutes .. but can you imagine if I had been the one to show up late .. all eyes would be on me.

Liz said...

Younger Son's girlfriend recently spent time in Switzerland and she said they are obsessive about time-keeping. If a train is a minute late they complain!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

British punctuality :)

PinkAcorn said...

Love the sick bag..where can I get one?

James Higham said...

I begin this comment at 22:09 and finish it at 22:10.

rosaria said...

A sick bag? Wow! NOw, that's being prepared for every eventuality. LOL.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Sorry about the late reply, everyone - storms and power cuts here yesterday are the cause.

Hope you enjoy it, Betty. I too hope that it's a happier marriage. Hi, Leslie. History, yes but I wonder in what way? Maybe William will be remembered as the last heir to the throne. I think you should go for the tiaras! Hi, Kia and welcome. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences here. I can only speak as I find in this little corner of Italy and I would add that some of the things about Italy that drive us crazy are also the reasons nwhy we love it so much. Here people may not always be on time, but they always have time FOR a person and that is surely more important. Hope you enjoy Friday too. Hi, Anne. Well, everyone is entitled to thir opinion. Enjoy Friday. Hi, Liz. That's interesting. Hi, LindyLouMac. Hi, Pink. On the designer's website - Lydia Leith. Hi, James. Smile. It's the British sense of humour, Rosaria.

elleeseymour said...

Heaven forbid if it doesn't go to clockwork. Whose head will will roll!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Ellee. I've been wondering that myself!

Counters


View My Stats