Rule Britannia!

Aaah. It’s a great time to be British. Britishness abounds at the moment all thanks to the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the Olympics.

What a great year it is to be a Brit ( hold on a sec while I wipe a tear from my eye and allow my ample breast to heave with national pride).

The shops are full of items all bearing the Queen’s face or the Union Flag, or more likely the Queen’s face and the Union Flag. The shops are selling anything they’ve been able to squeeze a flag or the Queen onto: cups, cushions, sofas, carpets and all manner of houshold items. It’s now perfectly possible to decorate your entire house with Union Flag accessories and soft furnishings. I wouldn’t be surprised to see wallpaper in it as well, I haven’t seen any yet but I bet it’s out there somewhere. Not only are the shops full of Union Flag ‘stuff’ they’re also flying the flag outside their shops as well.  Even if you weren’t patriotic before, I bet you are now.

If you’ve just gone, ‘Huh? I thought the British flag was called the Union Jack?’  then give yourself a sound slap and Google it.

It’s often been a subject for scrutiny, Britishness and two of my favourite photographers, the late Bill Brandt and the brilliant photographer, Martin Parr,  produced work that focused on Britishness, or more specifically, Englishness.  As sideways looks at the lives of upper and middle class people, they weren’t always the most flattering images but they are oh so interesting. Worth going and taking  a look at.

Anyway, back to the plot. This Sunday.  The  local village held a small jubilee street party for charity. I know it’s a month early but hey, any excuse for a party. They can do it again on 2nd June!

Boofuls and me popped along with Douggie the doggie, lured by the promise of a dixie jazz band and afternoon cream tea. I have to say, it didn’t disappoint. It was so quintessentially English that it was almost a caricature of itself. I loved it and was proud to be a part of it. (hold on again while a belt out the first verse of Rule Britannia).

While we sat and sipped our afternoon tea, or coffee in my case, and nibbled on our scones, we listened to the music, the ‘thwack, thwack’ of bean bags being thrown at a target on one of the stalls and the sound of Dads encouraging their children to ‘Just throw it a bit more to the left/right/up/down (delete as necessary)  and you’ll get it. ‘ Of course all the kids won a prize if they managed to throw the beanbag through the hole or not.  It wasn’t a day for tears or tantrums. The atmosphere was light and jolly, just how I like it. Strangers stopped us every few feet to pet the dog and chat for a minute. We should have put him on a stall and charged for cuddling him, that would, have raised loads for the charity.

There was Union Flag bunting, so much bunting, all flapping in the breeze, it sounded like applause for a job well done.  The tombola was doing a roaring trade, the ubiquitous ladies selling raffle tickets jollied everyone into buying some (we won!) and everyone mingled, chatted and generally enjoyed the occasion. What a marvelous way to spend a Sunday afternoon.


There’ll always be an England………


10 thoughts on “Rule Britannia!”

  1. I don’t wish to dampen your spirit (i’ll let the rain do that) But like so many ‘proud Unionists’ you seem confused as to the difference between Britain and England.

    1. I’m not confused at the difference between England as Britain. As an English person and England is part of Great Britain I reserve the right to use the terms interchangeably

  2. It’s a good year for the establishment. However, all Union flags made in China can’t paper over the cracks in the actual ‘Union’. Personally I can’t wait for the Olympics and Jubilee to be over. Then we can get back to the steady disintegration of all things British and move towards the free nations of Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England.

  3. What you cant get hold of is red, white and blue tape. I am doing a Jubilee treasure hunt and I wanted to colour the Tupperware boxes like the flag. Tupperware is crap to paint and I thought this would nice a nice touch. Should have been press ganged into doing this weeks ago, I could have found the stuff I wanted then.

    1. Hhhmmm *puts thinking head on* What about getting some of those cheap plastic flags and cutting them to size then sticking them on with double sided tape – or – what about using bunting, take all the pennants off and and wrapping it round the boxes? can I come to your treasure hunt? It sounds like fun! hahaaa

      1. Your more than welcome to come so long as you live here!!!!
        Cheap flags/bunting sound like a good idea I only need 12 to cover 12 “treasure boxes”.
        I have to shop today for another “item” for my last box (to prove they have been each box contains something different and they have to collect all 12. Worked out dear than I thought, that’s what comes of “volunteering”.

      2. It’ll all be worth it on the day when you see all those happy, smiling faces. Good luck, hope the sun shines for you.

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