Patsy Stone on Politics

Politics. Royals. Hockey. Not necessarily in that order.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

HUGE royals news!

Patsy is completely gobsmacked at news that Prince William and Kate Middleton have broken up. ( etc...) Am shocked! Shocked, I tell you! I really thought she'd have made a good princess....

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Patsy returns to London - take two

Tuesday morning of my trip, Kristine and I set out from Goodenough College in leafy Bloomsbury in an attempt to catch a glimpse of Her Maj (that's Her Majesty Elizabeth II, not Her Madge, as in Mrs. Richie) arriving at Westminster Abbey for a service to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the British Parliament passing an Act to abolish the slave trade. (For more information on that topic, see the fabulous new movie "Amazing Grace" starring Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd.)

As luck would have it, Kristine and I arrived on time to snap up a patch of concrete directly across the street from the entrance to the Abbey, mingling with TV and print journalists with big cameras and anti-glorification-of-Empire protestors (who I assume were protesting what they considered an overly white-focused celebration of the abolitionist movement in Britain. See also "Amazing Grace"... the abolition movement in Britain at the time was composed of, among many other "ordinary folk", a number of wealthy white aristos with a conscience. See William Wilberforce et al.) But I digress. I had my camera ready to snap of photo of Her Majesty arriving, when Kristine said out of the blue, "oh look, there's Tony Blair." My knees went all wobbly at the sight of celebrity when I looked up and spotted Tony and Cherie walking towards the Abbey for the service. I raised my camera lens, snapped... and then the bloody truck drove by. S***. Damn. Grr. A stupid lorry ruined my shot - see above. I snapped again and got T & C, albeit from a distance, entering the church. See photo. Cherie's wearing the grey hat; Tony is man in black next to hat-speck. Sigh.

I was determined not to let this happen when the Queen arrived. Kristine first spotted the Royal Daimler, Royal Standard flying above the car. I began snapping. More snaps. Finally the Queen and Prince Philip got out of the car. It actually took me a split second to realize that the small figure in the grey dress coat was actually the Queen. Delayed reaction. Knees still wobbly. I did, in the end, get a few snaps (see above) and all was well. The service began, and Kristine and I walked back up towards Leicester Square to grab lunch at a pub. Little did we know that during the service a prostestor, mere feet from The Queen, would create a melee. (More on that in the Times, Guardian, etc, etc.)

After lunch, Kristine headed back to her conference and I went to the National Portrait Gallery in search of Anne Boleyn. Like seeing the Mona Lisa for the first time, I was quite excited to stand in front of Queen Anne's famous portrait. (See above.) As I expected, the Gallery was all I'd ever hoped it to be. My timing was terrfic and I also got to see an exhibit of fashion photography featuring the likes of Kate Moss, etc. Enjoyed my visit immensely and picked up a few souvenirs in the gift shop. You can actually print off copies of works held in the Gallery through a computer console in the shop -- I picked up two: the famous Anne portrait, and an early portrait of Diana done by the artist Bryan Organ. It was painted just after her marriage, I think, and it brings me back to a time, I imagine, of innocence, before the world knew the truth about the whole shebang. She's little more than just-out-of-girlhood and it captivated me in a way that's hard to explain.

After walking around some more, navigating the massive crowds on Oxford Street near all the large shops (Topshop was an absolute zoo and I left, feeling claustorphobic, after a few minutes.), I went back to meet Kristine. That night we took in a movie: Becoming Jane, starring Anne Hathaway, about how Jane Austen came to be Jane Austen. Worth seeing.

Wednesday morning I took the train from Waterloo station out to Hampton Court Palace, originally built by Henry VIII's Cardinal Wolsey. Hampton Court was awesome, especially because it's out of London, and thus, it's easier to imagine it being 400 years previous, because there's no modern buildings that surround it, and cars whizzing by, like at the Tower of London, per se. It was terrific to "step back in time" and I tried to take it all in. I definitely recommend the 30 minutes train ride out to see this palace; so glad I did. Especially enjoyed the costumed tour guide, dressed in Tudor outfit, acting in character as the ill-fated Catherine Howard, fifth wife, second executed, of lecherous Henry. (Speaking of Henry, I can't wait to get my hands on a DVD copy of Showtime's new series about Henry and his ladies, "The Tudors". Pity it'll probably take a year, unless CBC agrees to snap up the rights to the show, which I think was co-produced by a Canadian.)

Wednesday afternoon I went back into the city and toured Westminster Abbey again, like I did in 1997. It's hard to imagine standing next to Elizabeth I's grave, but I did, and again, tried to take it all in. One of the reasons I love London, and England, so much, is the proximity to history, to the great men and women of the past. Few other places like the Abbey can give you that feeling.

At that point, Kristine joined me and we hit the shops: Harrods, Harvey Nicks, etc, etc. It was a longg, but good day. We stopped at the shop for snacks and then settled in to watch a few deliciously trashy episodes of Footballers Wives. All hail Jason and Tanya!

Thursday morning was my last few remaining hours in London, so Kristine and I headed off to see St. Paul's Cathedral and walk around a bit. Got a few good pics of both of us standing on the Millennium Bridge. Managed to work our way back up to Goodenough, where I grabbed my bag and feverishly headed off to Euston Station to catch my train up to Manchester to see April & Mark. More on that portion of the journey later.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Patsy Returns to Motherland!

My fabulous England trip has come and gone; a wonderful time was had by all. And by all, I mean just me. I arrived in London at 10:00 on Sunday morning, March 25. My friend Gerald was flying in from Toronto, so he met me at Heathrow and we took the Tube into the city together. We parted at Hammersmith station, him to his hotel, me to Goodenough College to meet up with my bosom buddy and all-around-Passy-partner-in-crime Kristine. (she's the flame-haired one in the photos) Spent the rest of Sunday walking around and exploring - Leceister Square, The Mall, took a zillion photos outside Buckingham Palace, etc, etc. In the evening we took in a show at Royal Albert Hall in a private box courtesy of the college.

Monday morning Kristine had to attend a conference, so I headed out for the Tower of London. I had previously been in 1997, but wanted to go again. It was well worth it and I spent a little extra time standing in front of the spot where Anne Boleyn was executed in 1536. She's one of my favourite historical figures, and if you don't know much about her, I suggest you brush off an English history text. Specifically, in the last few years there's been some great historical research that's taken a second look at Anne from a feminist perspective. Long story short - she wasn't a whore and was very likely completely innocent of all the charges Henry put forth against her. (See Retha Warnicke, Antonia Fraser, et al.)

After the Tower I took the Tube to the Victoria & Albert Museum to do a quick run through and to scoop up an exhibition poster of the Kylie! exhibit.

I was on a mission to score some great poster art for my office walls and Ms. Minogue did not disappoint. After the museum gift shop I walked from the museum up towards the Albert Hall and walked through Kensington Gardens on my way to see the Mario Testino exhibit of his Diana portraits at KP. On my last trip to London in 1997 before Diana's death I spent several minutes gazing through the locked gates wondering if Diana was inside the palace somewhere. This time, the gates were wide open and I walked up to the palace and around the side to enter in for the tour.
Enjoyed the exhibit and toured through the old apartments of Princess Margaret. By this time I was quite tired, so headed back to Goodenough. Needed a quick catnap to recharge the batteries for the evening's event: seeing Daniel Radcliffe (aka: Harry Potter) in a production of Peter Shaffer's Equus. Daniel was fabulous, as was Richard Griffiths, who played the co-lead in the play. (FYI -- Griffiths, a hugely talented stage actor, played Uncle Vernon in the Potter movies) The tickets were worth every penny, and I'm not referring to Daniel being fully naked on stage either. At the end of the performance during the applause portion, he looked so amazed that he was up on there on the stage just having done such a demanding performance. I felt almost proud for him, which sounds strange, but I just felt really really happy for him. I bet he's pleased to be praised for something other than Harry.
Anyways, more on the trip later -- I'm off to re-watch a few episodes of my latest Brit TV favourites - thanks April & Mark for introducing me to Ricky Gervais' Extras and Mitchell & Webb's "Peep Show". Bloody hilarious - I ran out to HMV as soon as I got home and bought them.
Check back in a bit folks for more London tales... highlights include sightings of the Queen and Tony Blair, and a trip to see Manchester United play at Old Trafford. (Thanks Mr. Jones!)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Smyth's Gone... Messier Jersey Retired...

It has not been a good few hours, dear reader. The last time Patsy cried this much was when the liquor store across the street ran out of Bolly....

Today was a pretty good day, but it went downhill fast when MWR uttered those awful six little words: "did you hear about Ryan Smyth?"

When my pal Haley mentioned that she'd heard a rumour about the Oilers possibly trading Ryan Smyth a few days ago, I dismissed it out of hand. The Oilers would never trade Smytty, the heart and soul of the Oilers for more than a decade. They just wouldn't. Well they did. And I cried. And cried some more.

And on the day that Mark Messier's jersey was raised too. Mess will always be my favourite player of all time, but Ryan's a close second. I would have been emotional just watching them raise that Number 11 jersey tonight, but considering the trade news, there were a whole hell of a lot more tears. This sucks.

FYI - for a good Oilers blog, check out:

I think this calls for a Long Island Iced Tea...and considering that Ryan's headed for Long Island, I guess that's a pretty good choice. Oh the irony.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Bloggin' Oscars...

1) 7:25 p.m. MT -- Not another bloody dance number... come on! Does ANYONE enjoy these? I know cutting them would mean putting Debbie Allen out of a job, but it would at least trim 15-20 mins from the show...

2) Terrific surprise having Alan Arkin win for Best Supporting Actor. I enjoyed "Little Miss Sunshine" the most of any movie this year, and am pleased to see Arkin get the award. If you haven't seen it yet, go... his crotchety grandpa is awesome!

3) Loved Rachel Weisz's dress...

Bloggin' Oscars

Dresses... what do I love so far? My fave (as of 6:15 MT) is Emily Blunt in a beautiful sapphire blue, sequined dress. Gorgeous! Nicole Kidman - that woman is TALL! in a red column. Helen Mirren is stunning as always. Cate Blanchett (my favourite actress ever) is always flawless. Jada Pinkett Smith's gold dress is beautiful against her dark skin...

More later.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

5 things you didn't know about Patsy

I'm it! (been tagged by Leona -- -- that is.) So without further ado, here are 5 things you didn't know about Patsy.

1) Much to my mother's dismay, I once cut off all the blue hair from my My Little Pony doll.

2) I'm an Anglophile, but don't drink tea.

3) I think Marc Jacobs ( is overrated. (gasp! Sorry fellow fashionistas)

4) I've never been to New Brunswick.

5) When I was little and my parents would go out to a party, my sister and I would make icing and eat it straight out of the bowl. (Yum)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Patsy Stone Goes to Washington

Greetings possums! As promised, this post will be about all things Washington. Patsy spent November 30-December 3 in the political junkie's mecca that is D.C. The purpose of my trip was work-related, but I managed to spend the weekend sightseeing as well.

I had a fantastic trip and enjoyed meeting my American colleagues, who were even funnier and friendlier than I had hoped.

The highlights of the trip were seeing so many familiar sights: Arlington National Cemetery, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, the World War II Memorial, Washington Monument, Capitol building, White House, etc.

I also visited the National Archives to see, behind glass, the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, and one of the Smithsonian museums, the National Portrait Gallery.

Three favourite portraits of mine were one of Senator Hillary Clinton, opera soprano Denyce Graves (I actually saw her sing in Edmonton about 10 years ago when I had no idea how famous she would become, at least in the opera world), and Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison.

The Toni Morrison portrait was probably the most awe-inspiring; I entered a side room off one of the main corridors, and was looking at another portrait when I turned and almost jumped back at catching my first glance at the Morrison portrait: it was so unbelievably lifelike, she practically jumped off the canvas, it was like she was standing right next to me. It was eery, but awe-inspiring, I didn't want to look away.

I also explored the famous Georgetown neighbourhood on Sunday afternoon, people watching and making a trip to Sephora. (Oh, how Patsy has missed Sephora since she left Toronto!) Georgetown is trendiness at its maximum, filled with fancy boutiques (Kate Spade, Barneys, etc.) and it was also my first foray into the world of Dean and Deluca. (yuppy, high-end "grocery" store, in the vein of Whole Foods, I suppose, though even more pretentious!)

I did a tremendous amount of walking, and my poor feet were just killing me by the end of the trip, but I had a wonderful time. I've attached a few select photos for your viewing pleasure.

And, of course, I couldn't help doing a little shopping; visiting Filene's Basement (a U.S. version of Winners, in a sense) and found a hot-pink Coach wallet and Furla evening bag on sale! I couldn't leave them in their glass case, (April J. wouldn't have been able to forgive me!), so I brought them back to Canada with me.

Patsy out.