The long weekend to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee has now come and gone with much pageantry – bunting, flags, painted faces, and clothing with the union jacks galore.
A flyer was pushed through our door a few months ago inquiring about our interest in having a street party. I wanted to participate as I thought it would be nice to know our neighbours. Unfortunately only 8 people from our entire street felt the same way so it never got off the ground.
Instead D and I went to Kent for the weekend but I did not benefit from the extra two days off as my work place operates 365 days a year. The weekend away was nice as always since Kent is probably one of my favourite places in England I’ve recently decided. It is called the Garden of England. When we got to D’s parents I did my usual perusal of the garden. I really loved these two flowers:
D’s parents (more accurately his mum as his dad is a staunch socialist) and their neighbours ‘successfully’ staged a street party on Sunday. In quotations because it was rained on and we left shortly after arriving due to being cold (me) and bored (D). They had tents for cover but that meant you couldn’t really mingle and talk to others as they were only big enough to just fit tables, chairs and us sitting. I brought my Canadian flag which ensured that I was quickly tracked down by the one other Canadian in attendance.
The highlight of my weekend was Saturday where D and I went to Canterbury (as we often do) so I could find shoes that I didn’t end up buying. We were graced with sun, albeit short it was sweet and after the brief shopping expedition we took to roaming around streets we had never walked down before.
There was just as much evidence in Kent of the impending celebrations.
A million people turned out for the celebrations and besides the rain it seems like a good time was had. I have to say it has been nice seeing the country bathed in Union jacks. Brits seem a bit leery of such acts of patriotism so it was a nice excuse to party, feel proud, and actually talk to strangers on the street.
I thought the flotilla on Sunday was incredibly boring but didn’t mind parts of the concert on Monday. It seems the selection process for artists that night was fairly lax as a multitude of horrible singers took stage. One of the few standout performances was by Dame Shirley Bassey singing Diamonds are Forever.
The Queen is also the Queen of Canada but growing up I never thought much of being a commonwealth citizen. I don’t see this royal family as mine and really view them the way most tourists do, an interesting living history.