2nd June 2022 First of all, my apologies for not having written a blog for a couple of weeks. It was very gratifying to hear from a friend earlier this week, ringing to make sure I am in good health. Apparently, she reads my blog every week and was worried when I hadn’t posted recently, that something might be wrong. It’s gratifying because at least now I know there is someone out there who reads all the waffle and nonsense I produce! I sometimes wonder if I’m here talking to myself – but even if I am, it’s good therapy – I must be saving a fortune on counselling as I offload all the stray thoughts and opinions battling around in my head!
As promised, I did start to write part two of ‘Thanks for the Memories’, my mother’s journey into Alzheimer’s – I’m now a couple of thousand words into that, and not even half finished! It seems to be turning more into a book than a blog, so I’ve decided to leave it a while and see how it turns out. I also started a rant about the state of adult social care in this country, but that got me so riled and angry that I haven’t yet finished that one either!
In recent weeks I’ve been battling with technology to get my first volume of Monday is Washing Day available online and globally and I’m happy to say that the paperback and kindle versions are indeed now available on Amazon. I have also uploaded the hardback version to Amazon, but there seems to be some sort of technical difficulty that they are currently trying to sort out – my account with KDP says it’s active, but it’s still showing as unavailable, so I await their solution to the problem. I’m also planning an audiobook – I need to steel myself to finding a quiet time and place in which to record. If I can, I’d like to do it myself, but knowing me, I may well need to resort to paying a voice-over person to do it instead. Regarding audio, I’ve had a thought that I might record these blogs to post as pod-casts. I do know that many people prefer to listen while they’re on the go than have to sit and read. What do you think? Would you prefer a weekly pod-cast? I’m looking into whether it can be done on this website – I’ll keep you posted.
And, of course, at the same time, I’m on the fourth edit of Book Two: Audrey – Escape and Surrender. I’m hoping finalise a publication date of 3rd August if I can – watch this space for further details.
Back to blogging – instead of finishing the aforementioned, as this is a special weekend for our Nation, I thought I’d write something a bit more celebratory. I’m in two minds about the Monarchy. On the one side, the socialist in me thinks it’s an outmoded institution that costs a lot of taxpayer money and isn’t really a necessity in this day and age. Yes, I know it brings in some tourism to the country, but nowadays global travel is not the adventure it once was. People from all walks of life now find it very easy to hop on a plane and visit any country that takes their fancy – and our royal family is not the closed shop it used to be; the internet can provide all the pomp and circumstance of our royal celebrations without the necessity of leaving one’s hearth and home, so it’s not much of a reason any more to visit the UK.
One the other hand, I’m a bit of a history buff, and I particularly enjoy reading about the Royal dynasties throughout the ages – the Plantagenets, Tudors, Stuarts, Hanovers, Saxe-Coburgs – you name it – I can’t get enough of them. And the Windsors are no exception. We are living through history in the making – our own Lilibet is setting records that are unique in the last 1000 years.
I think, whatever your stance on the monarchy, you have to admire HM The Queen. Amid all the privilege and luxury, at the very early age of twenty-five, she inherited a very difficult job and has performed it so well for the last 70 years. It seemed back in 1977, the Silver Jubilee seemed a huge achievement for her to have reigned for 25 years – here we are 45 years further on, and she’s still at the helm. I know that since her husband died, she has cut back on many of her duties; passed them on to other members of the family, but hell – at 95 years old I think she’s entitled – don’t you? Not only that, it must be incredibly difficult for her to have lost her husband of 70 years too – after spending a lifetime with that person, her grief must be indescribable. I was only with my late beloved for eight years and have still not quite come to terms with it, so how on earth must she be feeling? Certainly, one of the saddest sights I’ve seen was Elizabeth sitting so all alone at his funeral. And yet, she still maintained the dignified persona, whilst inside she must have been devastated.
Aside from one or two stumbling blocks, and scandals caused by her descendants, (mentioning no names Andrew!) for the most part she has performed brilliantly in what must be an unbelievably difficult career. A life lived in public, duty before family; every ship launched, statue unveiled, greeting of visitor and speech made has been carried out with such dignity and aplomb I think she deserves credit. I would not, for all the tea in china, swap my private, quiet and unadventurous life for hers of living under the public gaze, and dealing with anyone and everyone with a smile and shake of the hand, not for all the wealth and privilege.
I know that not everyone will agree with me, the republicans, the anti-monarchists etc and I respect your opinions, you are entitled to them. I also know that there are many who are not in a position to rejoice about much in their lives; the homeless, the dispossessed, the asylum seekers and the desperate, and I’m sorry for whatever situation you are in that makes your desperation so hard – I wish that more could be done to relieve your situation.
But every time there is such an occasion as this Platinum Jubilee, it brings together certain aspects of the British nation and Commonwealth. There is no sight like bunting and banners festooning the streets to raise the spirits, and, at least for a weekend, to rejoice in a little national pride for a change. For a few short days, to forget BoJo the Cockwomble and his cronies, and what recent politics (and politicians) have done to ruin our country; to put Brexit, the economy, food banks, and zero-hours contracts on the back burner and get together with family and friends – an increasingly rare treat in these Covid-19 times – and have some good old-fashioned fun.
Whether it’s a street party or a barbecue in the back garden, a major Civic event or a private gathering – let’s all try to enjoy each other’s company and raise a glass of something to toast Her Maj. Ma’am, we salute you – you’ve done a sterling job and long may you continue to reign over us.
What does the Jubilee mean to you – is it an occasion for celebration, or high time we got rid of the outdated institution of the Monarchy? I’d be very interested to hear your opinions!
Until next week,