For those of you looking for ways to avoid the Jubilee week-end, I have a solution. Simply leave the country. Just until Wednesday. Outside of England the world goes on, oblivious to all the bunting and Union Jack cupcakes. For those of you really allergic, make sure you go to a rural area of whatever country you have chosen to avoid the Jubilee in. That way you will ensure any sort of reference to the Jubilee whatsoever. We live in the countryside in the south of France where most of the villagers aren’t quite sure where Britain is situated, and those that remember it’s northwards think King George is still in charge.
Since yesterday I have been ignoring the Jubilee by cleaning our summer room and getting it ready for today’s guests. L’Homme is whisking Tommy off to the restaurant before taking him to circus rehearsals. At 4 o’clock we’ll all get to see him doing his circus show (note: Tommy is 4 and just yesterday announced he does trapeze in their show. Gulp.) I am only aware it’s Jubilee weekend because Sister 2 sent me an invitation to her Jubilee Sale of bespoke skirts and dresses for those of us short and cute enough to wear them (under 8 year olds). No doubt a significant percentage of little girls in Sheffield are wearing her skirts today. For those of you living in or near Sheffield, her
cottage shed industry is called Heavens To Betsy. For some reason her website isn’t up, probably because she’s frightened of being overwhelmed by 500 orders coming in and having to disappoint people seeing as she is also taking care of three children. This is the danger of making beautiful clothes yet only having 6 and a half minutes to yourself per day. Anyway, here’s her invitation to give you an idea of her skirts. This is the only thing vaguely Jubilee-ish that I am happy to celebrate.
Yesterday I read about a campaign to rename the tower housing Big Ben Elizabeth Tower. It has received the backing of the majority of MPs. The Bournemouth East MP has said the clock tower should be formally named in honour of the Queen, in recognition of 60 years’ of unbroken public service for her country. Well, wouldn’t you retain your unbroken public service when it involved living in the lap of luxury, having numerous big houses, servants running around at your beck and call, a collection of tiaras and lots of different pairs of sequined gloves to wear while waving at the masses? I would. I bet she doesn’t even have to walk her dogs.
When I first came to France I plunged headfirst into all things French. My English went wonky, I forgot who played who in Blackadder, I had no idea Take That were making a come-back. Sister 2, along with Sister 1 who got me back into Radio 4, became responsable for reminding me I am English and for keeping me in touch with British culture. When it was the world cup, she sent me England football team pants for Tommy. For the Kate & Will’s wedding last year she sent Tommy the main members of the Royal family in plastic figurine format. She also sent Léonie a pair of little Union Jack baby slippers, which Léonie adores. That is, until this morning, when she loudly and kickingly refused to put them on, threw them across the bathroom and later tried to put them in the kitchen bin. Could this be her way of poo-pooing the Jubilee celebrations? Little anarchist.