……….Well let’s start with the last question. If you think the answer is yes, It Could Be Magic, then you must be Barry Manilow! And if you are, go away!
Everywhere you look at the moment it’s a bit wall to wall Jubilee here in the UK. Pretty much every town or village you go through is festooned with bunting – I’ve seen signs in our local shops that they are sold out of bunting! It’s all over the TV stations, especially the good old BBC (though by all accounts it was the ‘not so good and actually pretty shambolic BBC’ yesterday!) Even in the blog world I’ve read several posts about the Jubilee where ordinarily I’d be reading about books or authors or publishing houses etc!
There’s no doubt for me that the Royal Family certainly generate different opinions, but overall it seems to me that most people are in favour of the Jubilee at least, though I think the reasons vary. Personally, I’m not that interested in them as people nor, in their lives, but if they can do good things like promote charities or spark some feelings of joy and pride in other people then I’ve no problem with that. I’ve read and heard some talk, and write of them, in the most glowing terms – words like “inspiring love and devotion”. Again personally, I really don’t get that. They don’t inspire any sense of love nor devotion in me but hey, whatever flicks your switch as they say! I’ve seen others say it means nothing more to them than a four-day break! I certainly understand that view more readily than all the love and devotion stuff, but even there I tend to think it’s a bit of an insular view. As I look around it seems to me that many, many, people are really enjoying this Jubilee for more than just an extra day or two off work, it seems to bring sections of communities together and people do seem to bond over it. That’s a good thing in my view.
Anyway, in the midst of all the bunting and, at least for those of us in the South, bloody awful weather, there have been several Jubilee things to amuse me or that just made me ponder (I love that word “ponder”!). So, here we go, two, three, four…..
First up the stolen bunting story!
I drive through the village on Ongar often on my way to the school run. It’s a kind of quite posh on the surface, but not that posh underneath, sort of place! We lived there for a short time years ago – what we in Scotland call a bit -fur-coat-but-no-knickers as a village! However, it’s got an old-fashioned high street, which has some beautiful individual buildings and at the moment it, and the nearby Ongar historical railway, are both absolutely festooned with bunting. In addition there’s a seriously big, posh house at one end which is littered in the tackiest way with Union Jack flags – they look a bit like those “Free with every copy of The Daily Star!” things you see advertised on these occasions. However the story that caught my eye was that someone nicked the bunting first time round just after it was put up! They’d put it up in the afternoon and by next morning it was all gone! The news story however had one gem – the police had narrowed down the time of the crime to ‘somewhere between 5pm and 9am’ the next morning!!!! (Nothing much gets past the sharp-eyed Essex Officers Of The Law!). I love the fact that they hadn’t discounted the possibility it was stolen in broad daylight while the place was filled with traffic and residents! I suppose it’ll give Essex Police a break from collecting money from their six thousand million speed cameras (I always think the Essex Tourism slogan should be “Visit Essex And Have Your Photo Taken By Essex Police – Everyone Else Does!). I like the idea that they are doing their house to house enquiries at the moment asking, “And when you left the post office madam, did you see anyone with a forty foot ladder and around thirty metres of Union Jack bunting rolled up under one arm?!”
Second up are some of the tacky souvenirs. Take a look at this junk. Who buys this garbage?!
Third in my list were two brilliant tweets from Danny Baker yesterday about the boat, pageant thingy! For the first one, he tweeted this picture with the caption “Not now, Michael………..”
Then he followed it with this picture and the caption “Could you hold the start up a minute? Eric Pickles boat’s just hit a snag!”
Hilarious! I think Danny Baker is just a really clever funny bloke – the whole world should follow him on Twitter!
Fourth is the best joke about the jubilee I’ve heard – “My brother is too scared to attend the Jubilee celebrations. He’s a coronation chicken!”
And lastly some words of wisdom about the Jubilee and the weather. (I read this on Twitter @SimonNRicketts by the way “The Met Office, trying to soften the blow about the weekend weather, are to re-brand “rain” as “jubilee water”!!!) But the words of wisdom are from Billy Bragg, the Bard of Barking, who commented ” I guess whatever we were doing today, we learned that it’s not the monarchy that unites us as a nation, it’s the weather!”
I’ll leave it there! For those of you in the North, I hope your street parties and outdoor celebrations goes well! For those of you in the South, I hope the removal of your street parties indoors to someone’s house or garage goes well too!