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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Jubilee Collection Goes Public

Some things make me this happy.
In a very late outing for ice cream in Hyde Park, Baby Sister managed to get most of her treat all down her dress last night. Not one to call it a day over sartorial issues, I pulled together a spare outfit with her cardigan as a top and Big Sister's cardigan as a skirt! Glee ensued.

I am grinning a bit like that today myself even though it means my sideboards are positively forlorn, almost barren.  Wait 'til you hear why!

I may have told you that I'm excited about the Queen's Jubilee. So you can imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this article requesting loans of royal memorabilia for a Queen's Jubilee exhibit. What? There might be a life for my goodies beyond my sideboard? People might appreciate them more than our dazed school friends who come over for play dates, munching their snacks in silence while staring at dozens of images of their Queen? I'm in!

I sent an email saying just that. Happily, the curator wrote back and said, "hooray! We'd like to borrow your things." Well, I'm not sure he actually said "hooray" (that was me at this end) but thus began an exchange to coordinate delivery.

And because I could give lessons on how to make a complete boob of yourself and I was VERY excited about my Queen collection being part of the official celebration, I zipped off a goofy email to my beloved (even signing it "Crazy Cat Lady in the Making."). I sort of suspect that people who amass oddball collections like I have might also be inclined to amass felines.  Which is really mean to all the nice people who like and own dozens of cats. They are probably out there sending snippy emails about kooks like me who breed four small people!  But anyway, just as I hit "send" on my silly note to the Mister, I watched it flash thru the World Wide Web to...the curator. Not to the Mister. So within minutes of telling this professional artist and exhibit curator that I'd be happy to share my things, I went from looking like a potentially interesting American collector of British antiques (albeit not as quirky as Jubilade), to a complete nut.

I am nothing if not myself.

When I recovered from the red-faced shame (and how I wish I could send this to "Young Miss" magazine's "Was My Face Red" column (remember that!?)), I managed to haul Baby Sister and my loot to drop off my goods.

And today I was interviewed about it!  Baby Sister and I met with an Oral Historian (and here I have to pause and say that I've met exactly three people through the exhibition project and they all have amazingly interesting sounding jobs!  When I've queried them about whether they enjoyed them as much as it might sound, delightfully, they said they sure did!  How nice is that?!) and chatted for about 20 minutes on tape.  It will be interesting to see (and now hear) how everyone's contributions get folded together. I cannot overstate how tickled I am already to have played even the tiniest part of the Jubilee celebration.

As with most conversations, I did walk away from my interview reflecting on even more things I might have said. My collecting has its roots in a desire to create a home filled with meaning and even more, souvenirs of our travels. But now that I have a chance to share the collection makes me even happier. I think of it as a very tiny way of giving back to the British. We've been absolutely embraced by Londoners. That I can do something little to help them celebrate something so monumental makes my day. And then some.

Wanna go with me to see the exhibit? It will give me another excuse to go! I'll do my best not to embarrass us terribly. If you can't make the show (which runs through June 24) you can be sure I'll tell you all about it.

And again, apologies to crazy cat ladies everywhere!

Also, many thanks to Baby Sister for being such a great little girl on a long, hot bus ride in mid-day London traffic, sitting through my interview coloring, and being all around super company. She doesn't (at this moment) share my enthusiasm for the project but she's been a real sweetheart to tag along on my outings for it so cheerfully. She got a few sweets out of the deal, but her favorite part was getting to experience the public art just outside my interview.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness! I am sad for your sideboards, but delighted that Londoners will get to see some of the enthusiasm they generate. I love the story of the email!