Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pride and Patriotism

by Anna Jones Buttimore

What a wonderful weekend it has been!

On Thursday I went to my children's school to watch the May Day celebrations (even though it was still only April) and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the children dance round a maypole and perform other traditional dances before the crowning of the May King and Queen. Sadly I didn't have the common sense to take photographs (the picture opposite is from the internet) but it was a lovely event. I can remember doing "country dancing" at school so it is lovely to connect the generations through this long-standing tradition.

Friday was a national public holiday to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton (now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) and it was a wonderful day. The whole country, it seemed, was decked out in bunting. We went to watch the wedding at a friend's house, and left home a little late - just after Kate Middleton left her hotel to head for the abbey. As we drove to the gathering, it was eerie to see the streets so empty. We didn't pass any other cars, and the shops were all closed. The entire population, I think, was glued to the television. At least, all those who weren't lining the streets of London.

We arrived just as the bride was getting out of the car, and watched for the next two hours, our little Union Jack flags clasped in our hands, loving the pomp and ceremony and pageantry, and marvelling at the wonderful atmosphere as all sixty-three million Brits, and presumably much of the rest of the world, joined in wishing happiness to a Prince and his new Princess, and celebrating love and hope and all that's right with the monarchy. Afterwards our party (a barbecue in a garden festooned with flags and bunting) went on for several hours.

Apparently it has been calculated that the monarchy costs every man, woman and child in Britain a total of 62p a year from their taxes - that's about a dollar. And the wedding cost us 20p. Absolute bargain. Another one soon, please! My eldest daughter is available and only ten years younger than Prince Harry.

Monday was a public holiday too - May Day, always observed on the first Monday in May - and although the temperature barely reached 15 degrees (60 farenheit) we marked the arrival of warmer weather by getting a new paddling pool and making the children play in it all afternoon and I tried to make the badly neglected garden look presentable. All in all, a wonderful weekend to be British.

And then Sunday! How wonderful to awake to the new that Osama Bin Laden was finally dead. I know there are cynics out there (apparently some people didn't like the royal wedding either!) and I know it's wrong to rejoice in the death of another, but I can't get the tune of "Ding dong, the witch is dead" out of my head. Thank you, dear Americans, for setting the seal on my perfect celebratory weekend, by ridding the world of a serious threat. I hope you are also enjoying the pride and patriotism we have rejoiced in over the last few days.

1 comment:

Jennie said...

Anna, what a lovely post. Though I haven't folowed the royal wedding much and haven't watched it, I saw pictures of Kate in her wedding dress and was impressed by her good sense in wearing a dress that actualy looked like a wedding dress. Sadly that same day I saw a picture of a bride leaving the SL temple for wedding pictures wearing a sleeveless dress, her hair a mess, and with yellow high top basketball shoes on her feet.

As for Osama, it's sad anytime a person dies a violent death especially when he's left so much unrepented evil behind and has so much to answer to God for. But it is good to see his reign of terror end.