Leo & Karen’s California View – July 2012
THE QUEEN’S Diamond Jubilee took precedence over everything. An estimated two billion people stopped what they were doing and joined in the festivities, from Canada to New Zealand, from Ghana to the Falkland Islands. Anglophile Americans were enthralled. CNN Piers Morgan, ABC Katie Couric, the BBC, all gave continued coverage. A flotilla of boats with more water coming from the Heavens than in the Thames; entertainers from Sir Paul McCartney to Sir Elton John; from Stevie Wonder to Dame Shirley Bassey; Sir Tom Jones to Sir Cliff Richards plus 260 technicians to help put the show together; 100,000 smiling, happy, jovial spectators, paying homage to HM Queen Elizabeth II and proof positive of an idea that all peoples on this planet can get along and believe in each other.
It’s not about rich or poor, it’s about love and caring for one another, that’s what Karen and I saw. My old buddy, Jeff Hudson from Torquay, phoned asking did we see the Red Arrow’s, Spitfire, and Lancaster bomber flying over to the music of the Dam Busters march by Eric Coates and did I remember flying in a Lancaster when we were 14 in the ATC (Air Training Corps). “Remember,” I said, “How could I forget, as that behemoth of steel loudly rumbled down the runway. We thought it would never lift off the ground it was so heavy, we barely cleared the trees and that was without bombs!!”
Jacqueline Furness phoned from Hemel Hemstead stating the boys and girl scouts had built this massive bonfire that could be seen for miles around, complete with a fireworks display. PJ Gardner from Brixham phoned to let us know that the whole town was celebrating as was every other town in the UK. Not to be outdone, we celebrated with a good cry while watching on the telly.
Then on to the absolutely fabulous Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village for the crowning jewel, the Diamond Jubilee Garden Party put together by the BABCLA and the British manager of the hotel, Michael Newcombe, with BABC Paul Wright, Gillian Campbell, Joanne Lichtenstein and an army of volunteers.
It probably should have been called Buckingham Palace West, it was so lavish. A garden party with a 500 foot long water fall on a brilliant sunny day. Ladies galore all dressed for the occasion and looking gorgeous, including Suzanne of Rosie Lee Imports of Ventura and Jean of Oh, Fancy That in Tarzana.
As Gillian Campbell reported: “the BABC LA greeted their members with their guests to an incredible celebration of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. Set against the very blue, blue waterfalls in the garden, waited on by red jacket waiters carrying Pimms and served by Chef Alex of the truly British nourishment of Welsh Rarebit, Fish n’Chips in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Coronation chicken sandwiches, cheddar cheese and the Chef’s own brand of Branson pickles (delicious it was!) and much more!
“Dame Barbara Hay addressed the attendees with Virgin Atlantic Airways staff and Paul Wright, President, flanking the stage. Red, white and blue was the theme, with billowing white chiffon, red and blue ribbons making sure that nothing blew away, and the raffle of round trip Upper Class for two to the UK on Virgin Atlantic, four night stay at the Four Seasons Park Lane, to be whisked away to the Four Seasons Hampshire (private car no less) and then two days at the Four Seasons Dublin made one very lucky winner extraordinarily happy. Christopher Guy and Solange jewelry from Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, added to the very festive day which also included fabulous Silent Auction items to show that Britain is Great!” No one left disappointed as it was a spectacular event. www.bbcla.org for photos.
Just as celebratory, and perfect timing, as its long overdue, the following weekend found us at the opening of the Kings Head II at 12969 Ventura Blvd in Studio City. If we’re working at the studios, we can just pop along to the KH II for several hours to have dinner, a pint or two with friends and have the wife drive us home. I luv it!!
OK, so how do you open a pub/restaurant as good as the world famous Ye Olde Kings Head in Santa Monica? Very carefully! First you design the surroundings; then create the décor to go with “Ye Olde”; it must have a good bar with a place to stand around and chat up the birds; dart boards for the rare occasion you’re stuck with your mates; a nice respectable area to sit, converse, participate in some liquid libation and enjoy great food for lunch or dinner to impress the misses; a room to either enjoy eating or a company function with a nice fire place, or sitting outside people watching on the patio; staff that are friendly, helpful, and full of fun; valet parking; then the customers. Rosie and ’arry walkin’ in exclaming “Look, they’ve built this beautiful pub just for us!” And that’s just what King’s Head owners Donal Tavey and Paul Boettcher have done. It’s a work of art! (And labor). Quintessentially British.
We’ve had no end of calls asking have we been there yet? “It’s just like a British Pub!” We agree. We were there on the opening night and yes, we had a great time. It was busy, lively, and a lot of fun. Five bartenders busy pulling pints of Ye Olde English Ale. How nice it was to see so many olde and new friends. To chat to KH I manager John Gordon and wife Jill ,and their now grown up children. Where did life go, John and Jill. All those memories. How nice it was to see your family and how come you guys look so young?
Lisa Powers, Operations Manager, thanks for a wonderful evening!! And well done Donal and Paul. You’ve done us all proud. You know we’ll be regulars! We were driving home and I suddenly thought: Wait a minute. If most of the staff were at the KH II, who’s running the KH I? Maybe it was “pour your own pint night”?!?! For more photos check out this column on www.ujnews.com mid-month.
The British Home celebrated their annual June Faire with 15 participating Chapters this year, selling a variety of British food, home-made produce, and highly collectable items. I bought a dozen pork pies, and were they good!! The Diamond Jubilee English teas served on the patio proved to be very popular. Judges determined Queen Alexandra Chapter the winner with its spectacular “Pearly Kings and Queens” theme. Everyone had a grand time at the Faire, especially enjoying the lovely weather in the 80’s.
The Ventura County Fusion www.vcfusion.com announced it will play an international exhibition match against Barclays® English Premier League Swansea City FC www.swanseacity.net at 5pm July 28 at Oxnard College Stadium in Oxnard. The game, to take place during Swansea City’s seven-day training camp in Ventura, is the sixth match which the Fusion have played against Premier League opposition. Should be a good game!!
Coming attractions: Roger Hodgson, voice of Supertramp, appearing in Newport Beach September 16. Have you seen his Coca Cola video on YouTube that’s gone viral? Check out Roger Hodgson “Give A Little Bit” Coca Cola Security Camers Around The World.
July Birthdays: Shane Filan 32; Ringo Starr 71; Patrick Stewart 71; Michael Flatley 64; Mark Burnett 51; Brian May 64; Daniel Radcliffe 22; Louise Brown 33; Kate Beckinsale 38; Helen Mirren 66; Mick Jagger 68; JK Rowling 46.