Let me tell you what is happening around us. Flags are going up. Cut-outs of crowns and the Queen are up. Flyers abound of parties on greens, streets and commons. We are all trying terribly hard not to talk of birthday cake, Downing Street and lying to Parliament.
All that aside, it is all going jubilee joyous here on the island. Purple, blue, white, red and gold. These colours are in demand. If you have not ordered your coronation chicken, your trifle and your G&T, you had best leave the empty picnic basket at home, and head for the Arctic by boat. Queen fever is going to reach Covid-free fever point. Royalists and Republicans alike are going to share pigs in blankets, pork pies, Pimm’s and nibbles. Face masks are history. Inflation only applies to balloons and amplified chests.
My Union Jack flag has been waving away in the rain for 2 weeks. Ahead of the curve I was told. Glued to 3 screens in the home office, I hear that the neighbours are starting to get all potty with flags and decorations. A colleague calls all this stuff “tat”. He will not be putting-up any flag except that his Mini Countryman lights-up with the Union Jack at every moment it can. It is like a jukebox on wheels. I can relate. Been there with Mini mania.
I remain amused by this island and the antics, and in many cases I am clueless – for example:
- What is Prosecco? I thought it was ham. Not
- Women dress formally by wearing gym clothing yet they have no intention of going to the gym
- Wet wipes are thrown down toilets and this leads to big solid mountains in the sewer system called, fatbergs (there are telly programmes on this)
- If a dishwasher is not used, dishes are washed in a plastic container in the sink, yes, a container in the sink
- You can go 30 miles an hour on a narrow farm road with no road markings but need to go 20 miles on a multi-lane road in and around London
- You do not talk to strangers. Never. A lady stopped us over the weekend asking if her toddler covered in icing sugar could pat Ivy. I had to stop myself from running away screaming that there is a mad lady out and about (the English transformation is real)
- Going to the dentist for a regular check-up is rare. Dentists share a place in hell with Dracula it seems
- You do not tear out of the morning papers on the train. Never
- If you order a new sofa, do not order one during Covid, Brexit dribble, recession, jubilee plans, imperial revivals and when it could rain. And never call it a couch. Suddenly the whole process melts in third-world stuff
- There are no mountains in England. Apart from fatbergs mentioned above, there are no mountains. A hill here and there but no mountains
- The English are very generous with charitable giving – adverts abound on the telly of desperate kids but the most popular charities are…the ones that involve donkeys. I have never seen a donkey in England
- Do not think you have a geyser heating your water. It is a boiler or the boiler does something and out pops hot water in the shower
- If you want to leave something to someone in your will, it is called a chattel. I thought this was a type of chain or a shipping term. Not
- My personal fascination of all things English is that you will not find built-in cupboards in a house. Maybe this is to make a small room look bigger?
- Finally, my own experience makes me realise that information here is on a “need to know” basis. Asking for information is not allowed. That is what Wikipedia is for. Maybe that would have explained Prosecco and chattels to me.
So, here is to the Queen, the corgis, dorgies and horses (please give them rest from racing – not very animal rights friendly). I do hope she gets it right to leave Andrew, Fergie, H&M and other hangers-on in a tower under lock and key for the celebrations. Boris would also fit nicely in a round tower…