Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Royal Anniversary

Can you believe it has already been a year?

Last year, my mom and I got up around 4 A.M. to watch the coverage of the Royal Wedding. I have always had a crush on Prince William (I don't think I'm alone in that--look at that smile!) and have always loved learning about the Royal Family. Didn't he look dashing in red? And that dress...

As you can see, I added some little touches to brighten up the early morning darkness. I put up their engagement photos and the date to frame the T.V. We had to buy the commemorative scented candle to burn in celebration. We are burning it again today, as we love its sweet smell.

We ate breakfast while we watched the actual wedding, and then we had a tea around lunch time as we watched and listened to the day-long discussions of the networks about the dress and the balcony kiss.

That evening, we continued the celebration and had a chocolate biscuit cake, as that was what Prince William's groom's cake was to be. I've been craving it ever since then.

Several people did not understand why others here in the United States cared so much about the occasion, but I couldn't help but be enchanted by it. I guess I'm a romantic at heart (let's just say there's currently a stack of wedding books to look through at our house with no wedding in sight that needs planned!). There must be others like me...the night before, we met another girl my age in the baking aisle looking for ingredients, and we found out she was hosting a party in celebration too! Did you tune in?

Here's to many more happy years, Will and Kate! 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

"Well, I Believe You May Get Your Headlines, Mr. Ismay"

RMS Titanic

Saturday, April 14, 2012

What If...

I'm currently watching Titanic, the miniseries by Julian Fellowes. The iceberg has hit. The panic is spreading. The intricacy with which the the relationships are woven together  is compelling.

Whenever I watch or read about Titanic, I'm haunted by all of the "what ifs."

What if they had listened to the ice warnings and stayed put until daytime?

What if the lookout had had his binoculars like he should have?

What if they had gone straight through the iceberg instead of trying to turn the ship?

What if they had decided to go ahead and keep the higher number of lifeboats despite the cluttered look?

What if they had filled all the lifeboats completely?

What if they had told families to stay together?

What if another ship had responded sooner?

All of these questions will remain unanswered. 

This week has been in memory of all of those that went to bed this evening 100 years ago, and tragically did not make it through the night. May they continue to rest in peace.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Child Researcher

When I was a kid, my mom got us books on anything we were interested in. As I'm sure you can tell by now, Titanic was one of the subjects my siblings and I found fascinating. These are three of the many books we have collected over the years. Much of my Titanic "research" has been done through re-reading my childhood books.

Polar The Titanic Bear by Daisy Corning Stone Spedden
On Board The Titanic by Shelley Tanaka

I'm so glad my mom encouraged us to seek out books on unique topics. I still think reading is one of the most valuable ways for children to gather information. We can allow children to connect to the past by introducing them to historical information in books like these.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

White Star Line Dining

The White Star Line was a British company. The Titanic was the second of three ships to be built that were to be the biggest of the time. The first ship built was the Olympic and the second was the Titanic. The third was to be called the Gigantic, but the proposed name was changed to Britannic after the Titanic tragedy.

At the exhibition, we were able to buy replica pieces of the dishes used aboard Titanic. Below is an egg cup used in first class. These passengers would have eaten in the first-class dining saloon. Things like grilled mutton chops and garden soup were served for lunch.

Third-class passengers ate from plates that looked like the one below. Note the absence of gold trim and detailed patterns. They had less fancy food choices also, like rice soup and boiled potatoes.

I think I hear the bugler playing. Dinner must be ready!

(Sister ship and food information gathered from: Brewster, Hugh and Laurie Coulter. 882 1/2 Amazing Answers to your Questions about the Titanic. Toronto: Madison Press Books, 1998.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Now Boarding the RMS Titanic: April 10, 1912

 Last winter, my family and I had the opportunity to go to Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. We traveled through and got to see real items from the ship and learned several new things (no photography was allowed). They had replicas of what the rooms looked like, and even had a large piece of ice that you could touch that allowed us to sense what the iceberg may have felt like. One of the most memorable parts, though, was getting to touch an actual piece of the Titanic at the very end of the tour. Seeing these items and the accounts from real passengers made it seem so much more real. I think all these years later, many no longer connect or understand the depth of loss this tragedy created.

At the beginning of the exhibit, we were given boarding passes. Each pass had information about a passenger including age, class, reason for being on board, and an interesting fact. At the end of the tour, you got to see whether or not you survived.

We were boarding the ship in Southampton, on 10/April 1912. Below are three of our passes. We were all in third class. I tried to imagine how exciting it must have been to board the ship. From what I've read, even third class aboard the Titanic was much better than any other ship before it.

So many gave up what they had in order to sail on the ship.  Apparently, some people seemed to have a feeling that something would go wrong, but negative thoughts were probably far from the minds of most as they boarded this magnificent "unsinkable" ship.

Here is our photo at the base of the grand staircase. My brother decided to "go explore the ship" (aka he stood on the side because he hates pictures) while we got our picture taken. 21st century clothing just doesn't do the decor justice.

(All images are taken of items I received at the exhibit which was produced by RMS Titanic, Inc., 
A Division of Premier Exhibitions, Inc. Please do not reproduce!)

Exactly 100 years ago, for the very first time, passengers were settling in for the night aboard Titanic. They were probably looking forward to all they would get to experience on this ship. At this point, they'd probably begun making a list in their heads of all of the things they wanted to remember to tell their friends and family about the Titanic once they were back in the United States (or by letter to those back in Europe). How exciting to be a part of this grand ship's maiden voyage...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Music Monday: Titanic Week

I'm declaring it 

Titanic Week 

here at Sing and Don't Be Silent to highlight the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the great ship. I have been fascinated by the Titanic since I was little. I'm drawn to both the time period and the human aspect of this tragic event. Over the years, I've learned many things about what went on during that maiden voyage.

For Music Monday, I thought it only appropriate to have some Titanic themed music. It is often debated whether or not "Nearer My God To Thee" was played as the last song by the string ensemble (even the version is debated, as you'll hear the difference below) before the ship sank. Whether it was played or not, I think it has a haunting feel that captures the mood of the tragedy.

A Night To Remember version from 1958:

Here is the more recent version from the 1997 movie:

They may not have played this particular song, but it seems to be clear that they did play something, and to me that is the most meaningful part of the account. These musicians attempted to keep passengers calm, and gave so many the gift of music in their last moments.

I will be sharing other Titanic related items and thoughts throughout the week!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Day

Happy Easter!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!