Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Flying the flag

courtesy Mail online

We are told we are in a double dip recession, our friends in Europe are having a Euro crisis, and what do we Brits do, why? we spend millions and millions on the Olympics, and just for good measure a few more millions celebrating the Queen's 60th Jubilee, this all adds up to many billions. You could be forgiven for thinking that we British are a little crazy. I can say this, being British born and bred; although I do admit to some Huguenot blood in my veins from my maternal grandmother, whose surname was Jacques. 
The Queen's Jubilee Water Parade on the Thames will be a recreation of Canaletto's famous painting of the Lord Mayor's Parade in 1746. The Thames is half the width it was then and runs twice as fast, but there will still be over 1000 boats and flotillas in the parade. 
Detail of Canaletto's painting showing St. Paul's Cathedral
courtesy Mail online
Before we start our Jubilee celebrations, however, there is just the little matter of the Olympic flame having now arrived on our shores from Athens.
via wikipedia
It is steadily making it's way all around the country, and arrived with us today. People are joyously linning the roads, waving their flags and cheering the flame on it's journey. 
The Town Crier
The flame from Mount Olympus
I should not be so cynical - it was a really happy, jolly atmosphere, the sun was very hot, and you could see that it was a magic occasion for the children. They are really what it is all about.
As a postscript, I learn that Fred Goodwin, the shamed former Royal Bank of Scotland boss, is one of the names in a list of 60 individuals judged to have had most impact in Britain over the past 60 years. The criteria for selection stated that it should be made up of 'men and women, whose actions in the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on the life of these islands and/or given the age its character - for better or worse'. Worse being the operative word in his case. What an indictment, he lost his job and his knighthood, but he can now add this new accolade to his CV.

23 comments:

  1. Your post has made me smile & grumble all at the same time! And I do agree with your mixed feelings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Nilly - I think that it has to do with age. I had to swallow my thoughts a little though when I saw all of the children, and realised that this would be an important memory for them in their life.

      Delete
  2. It will certainly be extremely busy during the Olympics. Good pictures.

    Greetings,
    Filip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I think it will, and this is just the start of it!

      Delete
  3. Perhaps the distraction will be good for everyone. If I were paranoid, and sometime I am, I would say the government may like the distraction. The children are very sweet. I have a small post planned in tribute to the Queen's Jubilee if I can get it photographed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Olive, oh yes, I am sure you are right, those were precisely my thoughts. I shall look forward to seeing your Jubilee post.

      Delete
  4. I love your photos of the torch relay... it will be round our way in early July, and I hope to catch a glimpse.
    As for the Jubilee celebrations... I am thrilled we get a four-day weekend, which means a trip to Croatia for me :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely Nat - we went to Croatia last year, and we thought it was a beautiful place. Are you going to Dubrovnik? Hope to see your photos of the torch relay in July

      Delete
  5. My sweet Rosemary
    I think I have problem with my computer.Delete messages you send me and other things ..It Once I realized. I looked at Kew Gardens.No information, I saw it at the post http://backporchmusings.typepad.com/blog/
    but I was not sure. This flower name it columbine .So if you searched I am pretty sure that is the correct name. You have this in England? Not here ... I'm very happy that I communicate with you and learn more.
    Olympia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Olympia - I have sent you another message. The correct botanical name for the flower is Aquilegia, but the common name that many people know it by is the Columbine. Yes, I do have lots of it growing in my garden in many different colours. It is what we call here a cottage garden plant, most gardens here have it in their borders, it grows really well. Take care♥

      Delete
  6. I'm finding it hard to get very excited about the Olympics, Rosemary, as we'll be in France without TV at the time and won't see any of the action. But I know some members of our wider family have tickets to certain events and are extremely enthusiastic, so I hold my peace. :-) There will be a legacy of fine sporting facilities in some places and of course people are paying large sums of money for tickets, so the cost isn't all one way.

    I suppose we should remember that Britain made its bid to hold the Olympics at a time when the economy was booming and recession unimaginable. How things have changed in 7 years.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Perpetua - yours is the voice of good reason.
      I know that my youngest son and family have tickets for the tennis and are extremely excited about it too.
      H does volunteer work at the CAB and he knows first hand many of the problems around and he also has friends who run a food bank.
      These few billions are probably insignificant in the scale of things.

      Delete
  7. I am enjoying all the details in the photos of this posting, like the Union Jack as a pennant, which I haven't seen before. It sounds as though you'll have much to celebrate this year, and I have no doubt that the bill that you're footing will have its dividends!

    Incidentally, I also have Huguenot blood, through my maternal grandfather. His family fled France for Switzerland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Mark - I liked the way the pennant was reflected on the cotswold stone, but it has not come out as well as I had hoped.
      The Huguenot's certainly spread their genes around when they fled from France. However, I think that it was France's loss. They were very skilled artisans, craftsmen and professionals. Most of the exquisite silver, furniture and lace in this country dating from the 16th C was made by the Huguenot's, so we have some good stuff running through our veins!

      Delete
  8. Great pictures. I love the way children always make us stop and rethink a situation. We may come to the same conclusions but our hearts are more compassionate. Very interesting post. I hope you are having a beautiful week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Lisa - a very shrewd observation, you are right. Perhaps nothing has really changed but my heart now has more compassion.

      Delete
  9. I do sometimes wonder, where the idea ! or who had the idea of giving Fred Goodwin anything.. !!
    What has he contributed to the Queen! "nil" It was and still is , a shameful affair.. he really should hide himself away ..
    The photos of the childen with the flag are so delightful. I am looking forward to having the day at home ..tea ,cake and my "Safari hat" on, watching the floatilla.. It will be a great grand affair.. just as you wrote Rosemary. One can imagine that it will look very similar to Canelleto's painting..
    I love the painting .
    I do love the Royal's and all the pomp and ceremony of our British culture and heritage...but really ..the amount that is going to be spent leaves me speechless. People are paying fortunes for tickets to the games. The torches are already being sold on e bay.
    Poor Britain. But alas.. " mad dogs and english men go out in the noonday sun" ...tally ho gunga din..!!!! It sure is a wealthy country.
    Great post Rosemary. I do enjoy so much reading what you write and seeing all your lovely photos.
    Happy Thursday..
    val

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Val - our neighbours are doing a Jubilee party for us all the day before, and like you I shall watch the water procession on the TV, may be not wearing a Safari hat, but hopefully with some tasty nibbles and a glass or two of wine. It should, in fact, be spectacular to watch. Any Royal occasion always goes with precision timing and will be a very colourful affair.
      Yes, the torches are being sold on ebay, but there must be a limit as to who wants to buy them. There were 3 torch carriers through our little town, so by the time the end of July is reached there will be hundreds around.
      Very appropriate 'mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun'. It was like that yesterday, it was so hot waiting for the torch to arrive, but fortunately I found a little spot in the shade.
      Thanks very much for your kind comments Val and your visit.

      Delete
  10. Hey, Rosemary
    Thank you so much for lovely comment ^^
    This post is amazing :)
    Especially like the 3rd picture of drawing.. never travelled to UK, but perhaps I will do that this summer :)
    Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Marite - thanks for your visit. Hope you do get to travel to the UK this summer and that you have a good time.

      Delete
  11. Hi Rosemary,

    I just love the way you English go crazy to celebrate the Queens diamond Jubilee. I was amazed at the colourful window displays and the bunting everywhere!! You know....we Dutch are just as crazy, we celebrate our late Queens birthday every year :-)!!! On this day Holland is one big pop festival and flea market!

    It must have been so exciting seeing the Olympic flame arrive in your town. I would have loved to be part of it.

    Enjoy the sun!

    Happy weekend,

    Madelief x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Madelief - glad to hear that you had a good visit to the UK last week, and hope to see some photos soon.
      It was much more exciting seeing the flame than I imagined, everybody was happy and enjoying the sun.
      I am sure that you have this very hot sunshine too.
      Take care, and thanks for your comments♥

      Delete

❖PLEASE NOTE❖ Comments made by those who hide their identity will be deleted

“You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you - you have to go to them sometimes”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh