Way back in pre-pandemic days (remember those?) I was fully occupied in a loft clearance project as preparation for a major insulation exercise. Regular readers may (or may not) vaguely recall the trials and tribulations
I went through.
Though to be fair it was the Youngest of the Darling Daughters who bore the brunt of the clearance operation; my main input was to stand on the
landing, gazing up into the loft opening and beseeching her to (i) be careful; (ii) not to lift anything too heavy; and (iii) to take a break if it all became too much for her. Oh, the boxes she shifted, the rolls of ancient carpet, the black sacks full of
old clothes that I must have thought someone would want to wear one day, the dusty comics from the Foursome’s childhood…
“None of this is worth
keeping,” she would tell me sternly. “We’re off down the tip again…”
There was, however, one box I wouldn’t part with, crammed
with leftovers from the Golden Jubilee in 2002. My daughter conceded defeat on this one; sometimes there is no arguing with an Aged Parent intent on salvaging a distant memory…
How glad I am that I did! This year it was impossible to buy Jubilee bunting for love or money - but in my Jubilee Box were string upon string of Union Jack bunting, enough to decorate both the front and the back garden fences. Not
only that, but enough Union Jack hats (choice of boater or bowler) for all the family visiting on Sunday for what I chose to call our “Lovely Jubbly”; a selection of patriotic plates, napkins and cardboard cups; and some twenty year old red, white
and blue balloons which, unbelievably, had mostly retained their elasticity.
Best of all was the large poster on which we had drawn events from 1952 to 2002
- some national or international, others personal. So, for example, Edmund Hillary’s conquest of Everest and Roger Bannister’s sub-four minute mile rubbed shoulders with lots of family births, marriages and deaths. It was a Lesson in History for
those who like to know what was going on in the Olden Days.
It also gave me an idea for one of our Sunday activities - another poster, documenting events from
2002 to the current date which, once completed, would join the original poster in my Jubilee Box, to be brought out - well, who knows when?
Oh, what a Lovely
Jubbly it was too! Seventeen of us in all, ages ranging from 7 to 78. The weather stayed kind to us, the barbecue lit first time without recourse to a boost from my hair dryer, my Summer Jubilee Pudding (whose story I will recount in a future blog) was voted
a triumph, even though my Little Sister and I cheated in the making of it. Faris the Rascal provided a spectacular crown which he had made at school to place on the heads of each one of us, perching in turn on a make-shift “throne” (made
from Mr B’s second wheelchair draped in a Union Jack flag) to have their photos taken and recorded for history. Her Maj, resplendent in lemon yellow wool, joined us and everybody was far too kind to mention the fact that her knitted corgi looked more
like a small horse than a dog. She did carry a neat knitted handbag - now, of course, we all know what she keeps inside for emergencies…
(“Rules is Rules”) proved his mastery of the barbecue once again; another, Dunk’em Dave, managed to wheel Mr B in and out of the house for me as required without dunking him once; the three Darling Daughters coped magnificently in the kitchen
producing an unparalleled feast; while my brother-in-law took his job as Official Photographer so seriously that he now has over 300 photos to edit. My Little Sister, quite apart from helping me to create our Summer Jubilee Pudding, produced a magnificent
Pavlova and a raspberry bombe which, adorned with candles, served as a birthday cake for Yours Truly. The older grandchildren kept a cousinly eye on the younger ones who appeared to enjoy celebrating their first ever Jubilee. They dutifully filled in quite
a lot of white space on our Jubilee poster though it is fair to say that the Twins’ constant absorption with Christmas raised a few puzzled eyebrows: “The Queen is preparing for Christmas” Lilia has written. Well, possibly, I suppose.
I wore a yellow daffodil on my red shirt as a silent nod to the (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys and their parents, on holiday in Wales and so unable to join us. Eldest granddaughter
Katie and her fiancé Nathan were also notable by their absence but will be joining us next Saturday for more celebrations. Nola the dog will be with them - though I note she has already made an appearance on our Jubilee poster.
Once all this Jubilee Business is well and truly over, I will pack away the bunting, the hats (bowler and boater), the left over plates, cups and serviettes, and two Posters for Posterity.
“There will never be another event like this!” people keep saying.
somehow, I’m quite sure my fun-loving family will find a reason to hang out the bunting and enjoy another Lovely Jubbly!