I’m writing this on the last day of the four day Jubilee weekend, and I’m shellshocked.
If I had any doubt whatsoever before, now I know for sure….the British are weird.
They are absolutely Barking!
Of course as it’s a bank holiday weekend it’s pouring with rain and we’ll be lucky to reach 12 deg C today.
Maybe that’s it? The whole country is sun deprived and vitamin D depleted.
Whatever the reason here’s five weird things about the British I’ve discovered over this Jubilee weekend.
1/ It’s tough at the top – I don’t know any other country in the world that would celebrate their Queen’s 60 year reign by requiring the 86 year old monarch and 91 year old Duke to stand in the pouring rain, in frigid temperatures for over 5 hours as hundreds of thousands of her faithful subjects line the banks of the river Thames to gawp at her. From my vantage point (safely snuggled up in the central heating 40 miles from the maddness!) I pleaded with my Twitter followers -
Of course no one heard and the Queen and Duke continued to stand in sideways rain. Who would have thought the poor old Duke would be packed off to hospital soon after with a bladder infection. If this is celebration, what do the Brits do for punishment? Send them off to a sunny warm country Down Under to start a new life?
2. Dissing the flag – It’s treason to burn the Union flag, isn’t it? So why then has the bunting industry got away with crimes against the flag such as….
The entire country has been littered (yes, littered) with the flag. Supermarkets have been stocking up on nationalistic supplies such as…
…and whilst I haven’t seen it, I know that there’s even bog roll suitable for a Queen and a royal flush.
Question: If it’s treason to burn the flag, what’s the charge when you wipe your bum with it?
3/ It’s not fun as we know it – Call me a semantic pedant, but I always thought fun meant doing stuff that made you smile, feel good, even raise a laugh. I was wrong. In the British dialect, fun means sleeping overnight in freezing temperatures in tents that leak, so that you can maintain your prime position on the Mall for the next day’s Jubilee festivities. Parents dragged their kids along to experience ‘the fun’. They dragged along their elderly parents even the ones with arthritic hips and babes in arms…all so they could be there for the Queen. (Do you think she was pointing out old chums from past events from Buck Pal’s windows – ‘Oh look Philip, there’s Phyllis from Essex camped next to Jean from Cockermouth. I haven’t seen them since 52′)
And I’m not talking about a few crackpots, I’m talking about thousands of people camping in the Mall, and not a streetworker in sight.
I wonder if it was the same crowd who purchased the bunting, Ma’amite and bog roll?
4/ Inappropriate clothes – My Englishman often tells me that I’m a whinger, that there’s no such thing as bad weather just inappropriate clothes.
He talks bollocks!
I believe that if appropriate clothes for the local weather includes one of these I’m living in the wrong country.
Unless that country is a tropical atoll and we need to dress appropriately for our crayfish gathering from our Pacific Ocean supermarket.
5/ Sir Elton John, Grace Jones, Madness, Kylie….and er, Cheryl Cole?
The Jubilee concert last night was a full experience. Like colonic irrigation – it was sort of good for you and made you feel all warm and good inside but oh my some of the crap that came out on the night!
There were moments of absolute brilliance and nostalgic bliss, and moments of cringe-worthy cross-your-legs-and-hold-on-to-your-laughter embarrassment. How is it possible that the same country that produced the brilliance of Sir Elton, Sir Macca, and Sir Cliff, actually produced (and applauded!) Cheryl Cole?
Her performance can best be described as what I imagine you’d hear in the elevator on the way to Hades. It was not good, but I suppose that God (who’s an Englishman of course) loves a tryer and it was all part of the ‘fun’.
And whilst we’re talking about the Jubilee concert, I was distressed to see Rolf Harris pushed into doing an impromptu version of Two Little Boys as a filler act, only to get to the bit where one of the little boys has grown up and is in the ditch dying when Lenny Henry screamed out onto the stage and shooed the aged (and shuffling) Rolf Harris off.
The poor little boy was left in the ditch dying, and Rolf suffered the ignominy of being shoved aside less than a week after he was honoured by the BAFTAs for a life time of service to the entertainment industry!
There were other anachronisms too – the sound was awful, the visual spectacular amazing. Buckingham Palace presented as a red brick terrace house in the Madness’ segment ‘Our House’ was brilliant; Prince Charles thanking his mother Her Majesty for 60 years service and calling her Mummy was oddly moving; and of course the obvious one – where an 86 year old gets to sit through a pop concert (as a treat!) whilst no doubt she would have preferred to have been at her ill husband’s bedside, or sitting in her bedroom with a nice cup of peppermint tea and earplugs.
That was weird.
But that’s the British!
As I drifted off to sleep last night I thought about how New Zealanders celebrate their nationalism. My mind flicked back to last year’s Rugby World Cup and our beloved All Blacks – surely the nearest thing we have to a reigning monarchy in NZ. Images like this one were not uncommon on the streets of Auckland-
And that’s when I remembered… if it weren’t for the British and their enduring belief in the weird, the eccentric, the downright balmy, New Zealand wouldn’t exist as a country.
Thank God for the weird Brits!
Oh and congrats HM, well done old bean!