A week of two halves. In the first part it comprised a fairly settled few days of decent weather, some pottering in the garden and walking Dog. Plus ca change…
The second half the whole of the UK went a bit demented as we celebrated the extraordinary fact the Queen has been on the throne for 70 years. It sort of boggles the mind, really, doing one job for that long. The resilience to be able to do the same thing day by day and still want more; it’s a version of Einsteinian madness and yet it is also one of the most applaudable things imaginable. The fondness with which Her Maj is held is testament to her ability to just keep on truckin’.
For four days, the country has worked its way through a host of celebrations. This time, unlike 2012 when there was a somewhat amateurish feel to the whole thing, it has been pretty slick. And this time too, the organisers have avoided the mistake of having Rock royalty like Paul McCartney prove once again that not everyone’s voice lasts for ever. Mind you, Rod Stewart and Elton John are beginning to push their luck.
For me the opening sequence to the concert on Saturday featuring the Queen and Paddington Bear tops everything: simple, funny and touching. No pretension. And of course I owe a lot to Paddington myself so to see him have tea with the Queen was well-deserved recognition of his importance.
Alongside these celebrations I spent three and a bit days at the test match; for those not in the know that is an international cricket match, this one being the first of three between the current world champions, New Zealand and England, who are on something of a bum’s rush in terms of recent performances. To say expectations were low would be to suggest there was some expectation at all.
Still, new dawns do occur and we had a new captain, manager and, no doubt sock sponsor so I went along with hope… oh rubbish, I expected humiliation and for one and a half of the first three days, that is what appeared likely. There were moments when the pendulum seemed to be swinging our way but it kept getting caught up in all the unsponsored socks or some such. And then… we won. Easily. Without drama. An oddly flat ending to a compelling game. I wasn’t sure whether to jump around or shuffle away in embarrassment and my lack of faith. I sort of jigged… inwardly.
That said, it is a three game series so there’s still plenty of time for England to make a total Horlicks of everything…
This week I will be going to the seaside to visit some friends. I’ll let you know how that goes.
And looking in a wider arc, our jolly leader may have part one of his comeuppance if the members of his party call for a vote of confidence. He’s such a oiled eel, mind you, that it wouldn’t surprise me if he slips free and continues to make the case for why having an elected Head of State would be a disaster. I wouldn’t want my favourite bear within a golden mile of that shaggy haired charlatan. I should, of course, in a spirit of political fairness point out that other complete numpties are available as potential Prime Ministers, both within the Tory party and those in opposition: we are truly blessed to have such a diverse range of tossers from whom to pick.