It would be hard to explain the Royal family to Spock, who'd no doubt respond with something about how "that's not logical, captain".
And he'd be right, it isn't. But then humans aren't, valuing drama, ceremony and story telling in our leaders, all of which the royals richly provide. And that being the case there is some reason to split the colour and theatre of figure heads away from power which should, at least in theory, permit the government the space to do the job of governing.
There is of course another side: the degree in which national identity is closely entwined with that of the royals. The BBC presenter noted how every monarch since William the Conqueror in 1066 had been crowned in Westminster Abbey, which would represent nearly a thousand years of unbroken national tradition.
But what nation? I would not be surprised if there were phone calls to the Beeb about how there were separate Welsh and Scottish ruling families, and that this near millennium of coronation applies solely to the English.
For while Royals do a good job at connecting to all of the home nations there is an undoubted bias towards one in particular. The wedding service was performed by the head of the Church of England, in the capital of England, in English, as part of an English line of royals, wrapped up by that rousing chorus of William Blake's, a homage to England's green and pleasant land.
Bah! you're probably thinking: they're Germans or Greeks, not English!
I'm not sure how important that is, given we are all mongrel mixtures, but if it were think of this. Diana and Kate, the last two brides to marry those directly in line to the throne, both came from solid English families and so William and Kate's children will be at least three quarters English.
And if I had to bet I'd say that when their time comes to pick up the royal standard, maybe for that millennium in 2066, their list of titles will include King or Queen of England.
What a week it's been for news! An American finds his birth certificate and a British couple got married (plus other stuff in other countries). At JP HQ the tension was almost noticeable.
One found oneself conflicted. The head said stuff and nonsense switch off the TV and go for a bike ride. The heart said ok, how about heading up the Kings Road and then see what one can find?
Alas one found that half of London if not the World was there too with the Mall reputably full, and one feared that by the time one got there one would find the famous balcony empty. But by leaping over the railings of Green Park, some neat elbow work and a last minute sprint one was able to say one was there for the kiss.
But now one has a conundrum as the head and heart have very different views on what would be a suitable caption for the photo above. So this is an opportunity for one's readers to come to one's assistance by suggesting suitable words.
One would be most grateful, and hopefully even amused!
Ok, maybe not one of the Thunderbirds, but still pretty cool.
Its the RNLB RIB on the Thames rushing to rescue someone - probably one of the Devizes to Westminster paddlers as this pic was taken on Sunday and it had to weave its way between kayakers. Fortunately I've heard no story of tragedy on the Thames so I'm guessing all systems were A-OK by the time they arrived.
And on the space theme, its the last ever Space Shuttle launch on Friday - big event!.... hmmm... Friday... big event.... that rings a bell.....
Isn't there some sort of event happening in London on Friday?
Today I - well maybe you can guess how I spent today, and it isn't interesting at all so here instead are some of the kayakers paddling the final few miles of the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race.
And for once they wouldn't had to worry about freezing wind and soaking rain but instead de-hydration and sun-stroke, for almost the whole of the long Easter weekend was fine - apart from the thunder and lightning that blew in Saturday evening and would have been visible to anyone watching the Chelsea game.
Anyhow, congratulations to all those that finished, particularly the overnighters and paddlers from Putney!
It's been another scorchio day, but one that threatens to be bad for ducks (amongst others).
Partly this is because storms are forecast with lightning bolts that could turn these ducks crispy enough for pancakes, spring onions and cucumber etc as per Baydog's suggestion.
Mostly this is because of smog, which is a real problem with London's traffic and the heat. EU pollution rules allow 35 bad days a year and Marylebone Road has already had 36.
So the Government has issued a warning that ducks should do their 8 km run first thing in the morning, then stay in doing more work until get totally cheesed off, make a cup of tea, toast some hot cross buns and put their feet up to read a good book.
There are many ways of spending the Sunday before Easter. St. Mary's church had palm leaves and a real donkey for their service, but my morning involved a run along the riverbank.
Only 8 km, unlike those doing the London marathon, which was also today. 36,500 runners pounded the streets on what turned out to be a lovely day, and there were a multitude on the river too, like this great flock of kayakers.
Later in the afternoon there was also this solitary coracle, otherwise known as the bike boat bloke.
After the sun had set, the moon rose.
And so another weekend is over, and another week begins.
Tonight I gave myself a treat between work and family commitments, and went the QEH on the South Bank for a performance of Steve Reich's Drumming. It was totally, epically, brilliant.
Drumming is one of the greatest works, if not the greatest, to come out of the minimalist movement, full of hypnotic repetitions and phasing between players, here on drums, marimbas and glockenspiels, plus three vocalists / whistlers / piccolo.
Its tribal music: not from those dancing around open fires on the plains of Africa (though inspired by that), but for the urban tribes - those who live in communities of steel, glass and concrete.
Outside the evening was still warm, t-shirt weather in April, and the space outside the South Bank complex was filled with people while above us turned the London Eye.
On the way home, along a path lit by the moon (ok and also the odd street light), I lingered to watch a heron go fishing, its beak flashing into the dark waters.
Next year, as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, there's to be a royal pageant of maybe 1,000 boats along the Thames. And according to an otherwise rather good article on the history of the Thames in The Telegraph, the route was from "Putney to Greenwich". For political balance here's The Guardian's take on the event, and they give the starting point as Putney as well.
Fantastic, I think: I can practice my royal wave and as HM passes I can salute her in style.
Closer reading of the route showed alas this to be a flexible definition of Putney to mean, basically, Battersea, as shown by the official route below:
The event already has its own web site with Facebook page and Twitter feed (of course) where you can register your vessel.
I don't think they have this sort of thing in mind:
I think I will need a bigger boat if I'm to join the fun.
More on the theme of coffee at sea with the story of the cafetiere and the ARC.
"Twas many moons ago", said the ancient mariner, eye gleaming bright.... ok, actually it was just over seven years ago that we set sail from the Canaries on board the Ocean Wanderer, destination the Caribbean.
The first few days were a bit choppy, you know the score, thirty five knots gusting forty five, pretty much on the nose, and it was making life in the forepeak rather uncomfortable. I remember being bounced from the starboard bunk, up to the ceiling, over the lee cloth, and back down into the port bunk (which fortunately was empty).
It was about this time that the one and only cafetiere got broken and it was a bitter blow indeed.
For the next two weeks we relied upon that granule stuff, but it wasn't the same. I started to wonder if there wasn't some sort of alternative that the wit of a sailor could put together, starting with using paper kitchen towels, which were advertised as being strong even if wet, as a make-shift filter.
Without wanting to go into details it is fair to say that results were disappointing, with the result tasting rather too much of wet paper.
However it made the arrival at St Lucia all the sweeter to know that the next day we could say goodbye to the instant imitation.
Of course I didn't expect the breakfast area of the hotel to be overrun with swarms of cockroaches, but ah! that coffee tasked good.
Updated: an interesting article about coffee on today's Guardian here.
Over on Five O'Clock Somewhere Carol Anne has given us bloggers more time to write about cuisine, which is just as well as my muse is being stretched thin by the pressures of work and general Life with a capital L.
I was just wondering what on earth I could write about while finishing off my Sunday morning coffee when I realised I literally had an idea in my hands (assuming that cuisine includes drinks).
The home made weekend cappuccino made by the steaming grunting Gaggia is indeed one of the great things to savour. Unlike the rushed caffeine injection of the week this says there is time to relax, put one's feet up and read the paper.
And hopefully, like today, the sun will be out, its reflections glinting on the waters of the River Thames flowing by, and the bare branches of the trees will be tipped by the faintest spray of light green.
Updated: I see that Taru's been working on her coffee machine too and posted a picture that also included a very appetising chocolate something.
Now that is a great idea, so as an addendum here is an expresso with some Montezuma dark chocolate to nibble on:
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