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It’s the Diamond Jubilee!

The Royal Barge, taken from the telly

I should have added the recession as well, but did not want to let that cloud the atmosphere; however, in fact it almost helps us appreciate all the more what we do have to celebrate.

As I post this we are watching the pageant on the river, on the television. What a wonderful sight, and what a fantastic experience for those actually there. The sense of excitement, rejoicing and – dare I say it? – patriotism is a welcome contrast to all the public gloom and doom which daily surrounds us and about which, as individuals, there is little overall that we can do to improve the bigger picture.

Sneaking a little personal confession in here, don’t tell anyone but I remember the coronation, all of 60 years ago!!! I know as a child then, in 1953, if I had heard that someone had even been alive 60 years previously I would have been horror struck at how incredibly ancient they must be, and wonder that anyone so old could still be alive. But 60 years later I don’t actually feel any older inside although perhaps the looks have aged a bit…

My 'Canaletto', taken off the TV

As a (very!) young girl at boarding school in Bulawayo (now Zimbabwe, then Southern Rhodesia) we were filled with the excitement of the coronation itself but also the wonder of such a young woman having to take on such a demanding role, for life.The acknowledgement that it was a major event was further reinforced by an amazing wonder: the nuns at our school (not known for their indulgent attitude to their pupils) provided us each with a bottle of CocaCola at lunch time! We had no television to marvel at, I presume we all listened to the service on the school wireless; to us youngsters, the coke represented the significance of it all.

I do remember a great sense of loyalty and excitement, and protectiveness even – she was such a young woman, she’d been in Africa, our continent, when she had heard of the death of her father the previous year; I remember a lot of excited talk, in the country so many thousand of miles away from Britain, about the ushering in of a new Elizabethan era.

Another image captured off the TV!

Looking back it has been in many ways a troubled era but the queen has weathered it with us and I think we all in this country owe the queen such a lot for what we normally all take for granted: like a parent she is always there, doing her best tirelessly and forever, with no cheerful prospect of retiring to egg her on – just her own sense of duty and commitment. Can you imagine if instead of her we had a president, fighting to get elected, then looking always to be re-elected, worrying about the polls and trying to please the current ‘Murdochs’ and other media and financial influencers? It would not be the same.

Anyway, enough of the ‘politics’ (not that for me it seems like that). Having not quite followed the wise advice of my father-in-law to his son upon going to university to avoid public statements about religion, politics or women we now move firmly onto the firmer ground of Parwich. Parwich is doing the weekend with its usual village style. The best thing I can do is give you this link to the Parwich Blog rather than churn out all the dates and times.

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