Tuesday, June 05, 2012

aerial Jubillee party

Blackbird sings on aerial.

One moment during the celebrations of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee is engraved on my memory. During the concert outside Buckingham Palace last night the pop group Madness performed  its song My House from the Palace Roof. Among the images projected onto the classical facade of The Queen's  imposing  London home  was a  photograph of a 1960's block of flats. In an instant a  building which has come to symbolise royalty, riches  and privilege was transformed into one which suggests poverty and  mean streets.  Neither building  is an architectural masterpiece but the irony amid the cheery good humour of the occasion could not have been entirely lost on anyone whether republican or royalist by inclination.

After watching on TV the Lancaster bomber and Spitfires fly over the cheering crowds in  the Mall at the end of the four days of ceremony I step out into the rain for some fresh air. The Grove is deserted but sounds of music flows up from the streets between the park and The High Street. A street party is in progress. The rain is steady but a spread of cakes, meringues and sandwiches is displayed on trestle tables beneath a marquee with transparent sides. Children are running in and out of the rain and grown-ups are drinking beer and tea under umbrellas. What a strange people we are: noisy, sentimental, brash, crude, brave, kind,  vulgar,  knowledgeable, wise and often proudly, blissfully ignorant. But still mercifully alive and kicking.

1 comment:

Roderick Robinson said...

... meringues and sandwiches. Only at a TW street party