Tag Archives: diamond jubilee

Being a part of a little bit of history

Do you remember the ’60’s?

Do you remember where you were when Princess Diana died?

Iconic moments in history.

This weekend has been one of those iconic historical moments in the making.

It’s history happening right now. Living history, history that is shaping our lives and attitudes while we watch it happen. History that we have actually been a part of.

I find that quite mind boggling.

The thing about history happening now is that it can be documented in detail that has ever been possible in the past. Social documentary to saturation point. How marvelous. . Every gesture, grimace, glance caught on some kind of media or another to be transmitted instantly around the world and more importantly, documented. A fantastic resource for the historians of the future

I’m sure that you’ve noticed that the Queen has been having  a bit of a bash this weekend.

Sixty years as a reigning monarch. Job well done if I may say so, Ma-am.

Up and down the country and even in the far flung corners of the Commonwealth, communities have joined together to honour the momentous occasion.

Here is our little contribution to the festivities:

The plan had been that all the guests would bring some food for the barbecue and  some dessert so there would be plenty to go round. Oh my Lord! Everyone brought everything! I’ve never seen so much food in one place except in a supermarket.  The sun decided to play, we all had a lovely time. It was a fabulous day

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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………