Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A little bit green, or Red, White and Blue

First of all- what a weekend!

By the time you are reading this I expect the weather will have returned to its usual self (raining) and any remaining interest in the Royal family could be waning. Not mine though. I started out the weekend as one of the many ‘why shouldn’t we have a Queen’ people- on the basis that we have one already and so why should we change it. After watching Her Majesty float down the Thames waving for 4 hours, all in the smacking rain and wind, I was completely bowled away.

There are 86 year old women that come into the newsagents. They use the chair we leave by the card stand, invariably wheezing and moaning about the top of the hill and the speed of everybody. I am probably told three or four times a day that ‘things don’t work as they used to’. To see the Queen then, whom the Express recently reported has worked more days in 2012 than all the MPs, going so strongly after sixty years of the job, I feel so proud I want to start licking a stamp. One of our stamps. With our Queen on. 

Okay, I probably won’t go licking them. At 60p a pop, perhaps that is a bit reckless- plus, I don’t like the glue. What I do wish I had right now was all the bunting TESCO have sold, a shed full of beer and a megaphone. I want to be shouting out my pride at being British. I want to see if the red, white and blue flags really will stretch to Canada (and to leave them up). I just want to sing, really.

This weekend has given us a massive kick up the back-end in getting ready for summer. We have been reminded of some of those little moments. We have been given time off from work to celebrate and , quite frankly, anyone STILL complaining about the monarchy- I suggest you pack your stubborn little bags and swim off to France.

Perhaps The Queen isn’t everybody’s thing. I understand that she wasn’t voted in and none of her heirs will be either. What I don’t understand are the protestors who seem to think that a day to recognise a hard working woman, completing 60 years as a servant to her country- which includes each and every one of those people- is an appropriate day to cause a nuisance.

I’ll go as far as to say that at least one of those protestors will be a raving hard line feminist (and don’t get me going on that). Maybe the fact that our Queen has stood toe to toe- nose to nose with some of the most powerful leaders on the planet (and, IMO, been more important), in the places women don’t even get an opinion, is a significant one. She has steered the rights of women, steadied the ship of our country for years and, every time we seem to need her, she has popped out onto the balcony.

Maybe the fact that the coalition has been tearing strips off the pride and self-esteem of a nation for two years has gone overlooked. Maybe the economy being battered has gone overlooked. For me, you cannot put a price on feeling good. 1 million people lining the Thames, a huge concert for everyone, a Royal wedding last year… was there any other way to restore that feeling of pride amongst all the political turmoil? I think not.

When I was ten years old, I went to London. I went to see the Queen. I felt so special to be looking through some painted railings. I felt great that day and got back to school to tell all my friends I had been. There was serious envy going on.

This summer, I want to go to London again. I want to see the Queen, not the Olympics. I want to see all the history we have and that we are so proud of. There was a woman mopping the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral at 7.30am, making sure everything was just as it should be. I’d like to be in a position where I could be something like her- making sure just everything is right and then just getting on with it, with all the Best of British. It would certainly leave me time to write if I could adopt that mindset.

We’ve kick started the Summer in the rain, thanks entirely to the spirit of our nation. We’ve been celebrating the Queen, celebrating tradition and somehow, having a jolly good time despite being in a recession.

I won’t be the only one writing poems about all of this… they won’t be the only clich├ęd, forced verses to emerge from the nation after the weekend. They’ll probably even be a bit green, but it won’t matter- the spirit of them will be Red, White and Blue- something I am very much proud to be associated with. The theme this week is summertime- we've had a good start already.

Thanks for reading,



vicky ellis said...

"a raving hard line feminist" - I wondered why my ears were burning.

Personally I have no issue with folk who find mopping steps a fruitful pastime. If you think flags and feudalism equal fun then you seem to be in luck this weekend. I do, however, have a bit of an issue with boring. Because she is dull as fuck isn't she? It's no wonder presenters were struggling for words to describe the queen this weekend. A comment that her style is 'beyond fashion' was the closest thing to a witticism that anyone managed.

Prince Charles is a philanderer with some strident views on architecture and biscuits. The Queen Mother liked to gamble and drink. Prince Harry thinks it's OK to dress as a Nazi and Princess Beatrice wore that hat. The queen, however, sits at the centre and sulks. Evidently she has been sulking for 60 years. Occasionally someone lets slip that she has a sense of humour. This is only hearsay and has yet to be verified by scientific means.

Yes, there is plenty I could say about her being the personification of the 'seen and not heard', the 'good girl' etc. But instead I'll just say that if given the choice between your 86 year old customers having a good moan about the price of eggs or a sullen looking woman who never opens her mouth, except once in a meagre Latin outburst which smacked of repression, I'm going to sit in the corner with the moaning minnie please rather than fall asleep to the image of a waving frown.

Ashley R Lister said...

I love that you described the queen as hard-working :-)

Excellent use of irony.

Personally I can't stand the royals but I'm very proud to be British. Still - it's this relationship with diversity that makes this blog such a triumph.

S said...

Vicky... France awaits you. Viva La Big Phallic Baguettes!


Jo Michaels said...

I'm not British but that was damned well written. WRITE ON!