Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Here Be Tulips

The tulips make me want to paint,
Something about the way they drop
Their petals on the tabletop
And do not wilt so much as faint . . .
        - A. E. Stallings

King Edward I of England, 17 June 1239 – 7 July 1307, married Eleanor of Castile in 1254, when he was fourteen and she twelve.  It was an arranged marriage, but they came to love one another very much.  She died in 1290 near Lincoln and her body was carried in a series of twelve stages to London.  Edward commissioned a series of “crosses” to mark each place her body rested on the trip.  Only three remain intact.  The last one, still intact, was constructed in what was a small village,Charing, though today it is not far from central London.  It is at a stop on the Underground called Charing Cross.  (Another oddity: Her title Infanta de Castile, became corrupted as the years went by and it is the name of numerous pubs - and also a stop on the Underground, Elephant and Castle.)  Here’s a photo I took of Charing Cross; it’s on the edge of a hotel parking lot off an mportant shopping street called The Strand, near Trafalgar Square:

Suddenly, there are tulips everywhere here in Minneapolis, and daffodils and blooming trees and shrubs.  Very pleasant to the eyes.  Soon, lilacs.

It seems I am not completely recovered from whatever illness struck me down on the flight to London back on March 23.  My lower stomach grumbles and misbehaves a lot, I have become lactose intolerant, and I may have developed an ulcer.  My doctor has ordered more tests.  Good thing my work requires me to sit quietly at my desk for hours every day with a bathroom just steps away.


Linda O. Johnston said...

It's always fun for me to hear of a piece of English history. And glad to hear that spring is finally springing, Monica! But sorry to hear you're still not completely well.

Betty Hechtman said...

I know what you mean about tulips. I'm in Chicago working my way to Malice and the tulips are in bloom here, too.

I hope you feel better soon.

Anonymous said...

As a lover of dairy, I'm so sorry you've become lactose intolerant.