student life

The Jubilee: hula hooping, drinking and a spot of ironing.

At the risk of being laughed at by my Republican friends at Uni I have to admit this Jubilee extended holiday was brilliant fun.

At the risk of being laughed at by my Republican friends at Uni I have to admit this Jubilee extended holiday was brilliant fun. Yes it rained, but it is Great Britain – we expect that, especially in the summer time. And the fact that it rained gave us all a good excuse not to venture out onto the streets but to stay at home, over-eat delicious food and drink home made ‘Jubilee cocktails’ … (as if we needed an excuse to raid the drinks cupboard of the left over Xmas stock.) I can thoroughly recommend the cocktails and the recipe is available on request…although I may have some trouble remembering all the ingredients for some reason!)

I know many are up in arms about celebrating the reign of Elizabeth II and all she stands for – but hang on a minute. How many of us would be prepared to do a job for 60 years that may not be the job we really wanted? Not me for one, even if it meant having Grace Jones hula hooping outside my house once every 60 years. Some things just aren’t worth the hassle. But do we see Her Majesty complaining? No. Not even when she is made to stand in a howling gale with her elderly husband, watching the river pageant and wondering if bobbing up and down to the Horn Pipe will disguise the fact that ‘one’ probably needed ‘one’s comfort break’. The fact that the Duke of Edinburgh was then taken to hospital with an infection in a region I’m sure he didn’t want broadcast to the nation (but was), probably suggests that he definitely needed a comfort break. But bless them, they carried on waving and watching the spectacle as if they were born for the job. Which one of them was actually.

So, did I go out in red, white and blue and wave a flag in their honour? Well, no, because a) it was raining; call me a fair weather monarchist and, b) the fly past actually flies past our house about five minutes before it reaches Lizzie’s and c) on the Tuesday I had to catch up on my ironing. I did stick a few flags up around the house, bought from the Pound Shop (including one on the ironing board). It was only during the open-air concert that I happened to notice that the flags, all three of them, had been stuck on their sticks upside down! Still, they were made abroad…I assume. I wonder what the Duke of Edinburgh would have to say about that.

The coverage of the weekend’s events have been criticised quite widely. I have to admit that I gave up on the BBC following their dismal coverage of the river pageant. I actually preferred listening to Eamonn Holmes moaning about how he wanted to go home because it was raining. I felt like texting him to remind him he was being paid to sit there. But at least Sky gave a better insight into what was happening on the river… as opposed to the BBC that seemed to surprise their anchorman and woman whenever they popped back from the local hospital to report on events. The reason the BBC had been at St Thomas’ Hospital was to interview parents of babies born over the Jubilee weekend. Right, because that’s what we’d all tuned in to see.

So, on the Tuesday I gave ITV a whirl – and a very good job they did of it too. Whilst waiting for the Thanksgiving Service to begin they chatted with the crowds of people who had congregated in the Mall from all over the world. Whatever your thoughts may be about why people were there you had to admit it was a great way to bring communities together.  The presentation from ITV was insightful, humorous and had an historian in the chair for the majority of the morning- learning a bit of what the whole weekend was about. At least Dr David Starkey wasn’t giving us details of the weight of a baby born sometime between the Service and the Friday before; nor presenting it with a naff plastic- looking bib in honour of being born over an extended bank holiday. He was moved by the whole occasion and at one point became unable to speak. I recognised his emotion; after all it’s not every week I get my ironing finished before Tuesday afternoon. And for that I thank you Ma’am – and here’s to your next Jubilee!