Rhubarb, Rhubarb

I was going to call this one Sunday Mumble, as a follow on from Saturday Ramble, Saturday Again or whatever the last potpourri of whatever-comes-out-of-my-head was, but found myself at a complete loss as to what image might illustrate Sunday. Or even Mumble, a lateral-thinking failure which might be blamed on sore feet, more of which henceforth, or heretofore.

And then I thought of actors who, in Shakespearian theatre anyway, are meant to mumble Rhubarb, Rhubarb amongst themselves to convince the audience that they are a crowd, chattering quietly about this and that.

But then I seemed to recall that different countries had different ways of doing Rhubarb, Rhubarb. And then I seemed to recall that in any case rhubarb may well be called rutabaga or something else in America. Except that I think rutabaga in America may in fact be beetroot here, ie:


I’ve never taken to beetroot, I must say. We were always getting beetroot in salads when I was a kid. Stained everything pink, even the lettuce. Waste of space, beetroot. Never liked rhubarb, either.

Nan told me a little family story about rhubarb once. She said a distant uncle or other relative (I am guessing this must have been in the twenties or thirties) always professed to hate rhubarb. One day, he came to dinner and she only had rhubarb to make the crumble. So she made the crumble and told him it was apple, and he loved it. So much depends on your expectations, doesn’t it?

I have a horrible feeling I’m going to annoy a whole variety of people here, but… oh, here goes.

The Royal Wedding: I loved it and sat on the sofa enjoying every last delicious, sunny, gorgeous, glamorous televised moment of it, over and over again. The only bit that for me was a step too far was the American preacher. However, I seem to be in a majority of one over this. All the TV presenters have been saying Oh, wasn’t he wonderful? Stole the show, he did! So much… arm-waving! So… different! So wonderful for Multi-cultural Relations, Ethnic Diversity and whatnot. And he was wonderful, and entertaining, and engaging but…

I have nothing against ethnic diversity; any cultural event that might encourage us to live with our neighbours in peace and harmony can only be a good thing. I loved the gospel choir singing Stand By Me and the young man playing the cello, all mixed in with Thomas Tallis (my hero) and other stuff. However, I thought, in that context, that preacher was a step too far. And he went on too long.

I couldn’t help seeing the expressions on the faces of his audience as the camera panned around. I couldn’t help cringing at the suppressed smirks; the exasperated, beached-whale boredom of one heavily-pregnant lady Royal; the nervous glances; Camilla’s shell-shocked elderly bewilderment. I admit, at that moment I wanted to hide behind the sofa or cover my eyes with my hands and peek through my fingers. If I wasn’t trying to stop gnawing my nails and chewing my fingers (elastic band on the wrist, snapped twice, works a treat!) I do believe I would have gnawed and chewed them sheer away with mesmerised embarrassment at that moment.

I think actually the mismatch here was not so much between black culture and white culture as between American culture and British. I mean this most sincerely folks… that’s the trouble. It’s the level of Sincerity – whether fake or real, doesn’t matter; that fervently enthusiastic over-egging-of-the-pudding and – oh, how would you describe it – Schmaltz. It’s what makes Trump utterly unbearable to listen to for more than half a second, but he’s not the only one. I just think, there’s stuff that makes us cringe that for some reason doesn’t make Americans cringe. And that was what I saw on the faces of the congregation, that small, inexpressible, painful and sharp cultural difference.

I felt sorry for him. He was an excellent preacher, preaching in the wrong place. He was casting his pearls before swine, his seeds on stony ground. However, perhaps I needn’t feel too sorry for him as I believe he has been inundated with requests to appear at various venues. All’s well that ends well.

And now it’s down to earth. Back to obsessing about Brexit and Nothing Good Ever Happening. Ah well!

Sorry, forgot to explain the sore feet.

6 thoughts on “Rhubarb, Rhubarb

  1. My highlight of the royal wedding (it WAS on TV but I was sunning myself outside in a relative’s garden) was when my 3 year old granddaughter, who had been wearing her Disney Cindrella ball gown and utterly mesmerised throughout, came racing out yelling, “Come and see! Now they riding on a cabbage!”
    Well if Cinderella can ride in a carriage made from a pumpkin, why not?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We call it rhubarb, here, and we call rutabaga “turnip” — which flummoxed me one shopping day, lol. I said to daughter, “Look at these rutabagas — they look just like turnips!” We have a saying here, “If his lips are moving, he’s lying.” Not sure if it started before Trump or not, but it’s no longer even amusing, because it’s so true of him. Most Americans can’t stand him, either (never could — our popular vote was 2 million more in the other direction, which somehow didn’t count, and I am done voting unless/until the electoral college is put to bed decades too late), so we are crossing fingers and toes in impeachment hope for later this year. As for the royal wedding, I didn’t view it and, thus, fortunately missed the *rousing* homily, lol. I’ve seen bits and pieces otherwise, though, and am vastly impressed. I like pomp, and I like it best when the commoners (meself included if not by flag) are joining in. Apparently, we had viewing parties all over this nation! And I think this may be the last royal wedding portrait we’ll see with all Hands on deck.. I’m glad to have seen everyone — alive and mostly happy — one last time. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I am just bewildered how he got in, and how he remains un disposed of, in one way or another. I don’t think even he was expecting it. But I know you have a different system where it depends more on states than total votes. Even his shock/novelty value has worn off now. I switch channels the moment he appears.

      Oh, the rutabaga situation is even more complicated than I thought.

      I think that was why I was glued to the Wedding – don’t suppose I’ll be around for the next one, as Ghastly Little George is so young.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. LOL, aw, the royal bebes are so CUTE. If Charlotte isn’t the spittin’ image of HM, I’ll eat my only dress hat! As for DT, well, as a former nursing assistant, I’ve seen everything.. and he puts me in mind of a certain body orifice, talking. I have to change the channel, too, or leave the room (DH doesn’t like him, but isn’t personally offended by him). Gah.

        Liked by 2 people

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