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!