Tuesday, 29 May 2012


Leamington Spa.  Coronation street party

I really like the Queen, for quite serious reasons to do with cultural identity and so on, but mostly because I have a soft spot for posh old ladies. Basically, I like the Queen because she is proper and does things properly, including the Daily Telegraph crossword  - and I'm quite a crossword fan. However, when it comes to the Jubilee I feel a bit stuck. Quite a few of the school-gate-mums are talking about the street parties they've been organising, I don't want to organise a street party, I don't have the energy and I can't gatecrash one of their street parties because I've been out of the school-gate-mum loop for over two years - stuck in the hinterland of after-school-club mum (not a community, not a clique, but a harried collective wafting of guilt, oestrogen and ready meals). I do feel that I should do something to celebrate the Jubilee properly because it is a real opportunity to be part of a community and enjoy a collective sense of Britishness, I also thinks it's a wonderful opportunity to create a family memory.

My youngest child is full of Jubilee fever. She's just joined the Brownies and is taking her Brownie promise seriously!
I promise that I will do my best,

To love my God,

To serve the Queen and my country,

To help other people,

And to keep the Brownie Guide Law.

To be honest, I enjoy her earnestness and I admire the Brownie promise so I am curbing my natural inclination towards flippancy and I'm taking her patriotism and interest quite seriously. The eldest girl has no interest in the Jubilee whats so ever. She is now 14 and has the kind of social life her dad and I both facilitate and admire - but, and it's a big but, what she loves most of all is doing "nice things as a family." So, I feel that how we celebrate the Jubilee is something of a responsibility and I have come to a few decisions on what we're going to do.
First, I'm going to buy the youngest a really nice scrap book. She can fill it with photos and articles and anything else she sees fit to pop in there. I'm also going to buy the girls one bit of memorabilia - probably a nice mug! Then, we're going to take part in the National Trust's Big Lunch. On the Monday, we'll go to our local pick-your-own and then make some Jubilee jam. I'm trying to keep it simple, not too costly, but still fun and memorable. I'm off now to find some nice picnic recipes and perhaps some old Coronation mugs from my stash of eBay stock to take with us on the Big Lunch.

Oh, and here's another thought. During the Coronation, my gran must have been very heavily pregnant as my mum is 60 on June 8th - I don't think anyone in the family realised that she was a Coronation baby until now!


Left-Handed Housewife said...

I like the queen very much, too, though most of my liking is based on the movie "The Queen." I'm enjoying the Jubilee from this side of the pond, though I just realized I don't actually know what the National Trust is. Not a bank, I assume ...

Your plans sound delightful. How nice to have a Brownie in the house!


Angela said...

I was just going to invite you over to OUR big lunch, but I see you have got that one sorted!

Will your Brownies be getting the special Diamond Jubilee Bibles?

Frances, the National Trust is our UK equivalent of this outfit


Like sunshine in the home said...

We are wavering between a local Jubliee fun-day or Tatton Park for a 1950's themed day.

We want to see one of the beacons being lit too.

Like sunshine in the home said...

haha amused by word verification being 'expletives'

Gumbo Lily said...

I recently pinned a picture of The Queen in red on my Pinterest board. I only just learned about the Jubilee when I was visiting Cath Kidston's site and saw her nifty Jubilee mugs.

I was a Brownie once and knew the pledge, but we only pledged to God, country, to help others, but not to the Queen. I think I would have liked to promise the Queen my service!


Jo said...

So lovely to see you back posting again. I have always enjoyed seeing what you are thinking about and wrestling with, and love that we read the same books!

I too have a daughter who loves to do things with the whole family. Exhausting, isn't it? I love vintage posters and ads for the Coronation - they all seem to involve picnics and jolly teas with buns, and games for the children, and lots of bunting. Hope your day is fun.