Greetings and welcome to the Moonlighting Edition of You Are What You Read.
I am happy to report that The Phone Booth is now solidly installed on the Mezzanine Level and ready for you all to use. It was a very harrowing journey for TPB from the curb, up two and a half flights of stairs with only a hand truck, two delivery guys and Vic Who Makes All Things Right. But it’s now in place and looking very cool. Make sure you visit and most importantly use it. Because no one and I mean this most sincerely, NO ONE wants to hear your cell conversation.
Most of us are familiar with the Audrey Hepburn movie Roman Holiday. For those who are not, this is a most delightful confection of a movie where Audrey plays a Princess named Ann who throws off her Royal duties and masquerades as a ‘normal’ whilst frolicking in 1953 Rome, wearing the most gorgeous of clothes on the back of a Vespa with Gregory Peck at his most handsome. Of course, in the end, she must go back to her real life of Duty with a capital D but for an hour and a half we are treated to her adventures, great clothes, and beautiful black and white cinematography of The Eternal City.
Um. Ok Jen. So what does this have to do with anything?
Well People, I am happy to report that the most charming of stories was brought to my attention this morning. It would appear that being a King is not enough for King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands either. Nope. The 50-year-old leader was not content with weekly meetings with the Prime Minister and signing all sorts of royal decrees. For the last 21 years he has been co-piloting KLM flights.
That’s right. The King of the Netherlands has been flying commercial for KLM. It’s really a sort of brilliant escape if you think about it. Who really ever listens to the patter that pilots put down during a flight? And would you be able to recognize the voice of a man whose duties are pretty much ceremonial? And apparently, no one looks twice at a middle-aged dude in a pilot’s uniform. Even if he is a Royal.
I do sort of have some questions though, which comes as no surprise to frequent visitors of this space. How did he announce himself when he was outlining weather conditions and ETAs? Does he use a nom-de-plane? “Good Afternoon, this is your co-pilot Willy-Al Orange and we’re about to taxi to the runway.” Does he bring home bags of peanuts to his three little princesses as a gift? “Here you go my little Princesses! Daddy brought you a present from work!” Or perhaps they have better snacks on KLM. Maybe there is a cookie of some sort. Cookies are always nicer than bags of peanuts. Does his uniform hang next to an ermine trimmed cape? Does his pilot’s hat share a shelf with his crown?
Anyway, think of this story as a modern day Roman Holiday but with a King instead of a Princess and clothes that aren’t all that interesting. If you want more, there’s a WaPo article for you all to enjoy.
This week we have a Civil War Romance and a Civil War Whoopsie.
That’s it. Nothing else to see here People.
Let us begin!
The Amazing Amanda is reading a Civil War era romance. "I heard about An Extraordinary Union from a Jezebel interview with the author, Alyssa Cole, who writes African American romances. In the interview, Cole talks about all the challenges of writing an interracial romance set during the Civil War. Her heroine and hero are spies which are inspired by extraordinary real life heroes. I'm enjoying this story which is unusual for me since it's not set in Regency England and because there are real life or death concerns. At any moment, the heroine may be captured and thrown into slavery. This is so unlike my usual fare where the biggest concern is committing a social faux pas."
The Always Delightful Pat S has just finished The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers. “This debut novel manages to hit several literary descriptions: it is historical fiction, it is a mystery, and it is a love story. Not only is it all those things, it also has an amazing relevance to the current race relations in America today. Told through letters, diary entries and inquest reports, we are introduced to Placidia Hockaday, a seventeen-year-old bride who has just married Griffin Hockaday, a widowed soldier almost twice her age with a three month old son. She marries, has two nights and one day with her new husband before he is called back to the army, and embarks upon life as a mother and farm owner. She has three slaves to help her, but other than that, she is alone. It will be two years before Major Hockaday returns and in that time, Placidia becomes pregnant, has a child, which dies and is buried suspiciously. When she shares this news with the Major, he immediately reports the death, and Placidia is taken into custody. Who fathered the child? Why did the baby die? Is Placidia protecting the father of the child? Why will she not defend herself? Rivers performs a high wire act- building tension while simultaneously presenting both the harsh reality of living in a war zone, and the true price of slavery. You will not put this one down!”