Monday, 4 June 2012

Jubilee eccentricities

What better way to spend a Bank Holiday Monday jubilee style, than watching a Soap Box Derby down a tiny country lane from a tiny Sussex pub. I utterly love celebration. From birthdays (not my own), anniversaries to holidays and traditional festivals to morris dancing, carnivals and bonfire nights, I love them all. Some are so typically English and eccentric like the cheese rolling in Gloucestershire and barrel burning in Ottery St Mary and some like the Soap Box Derby have been taken from the US and adapted to the green and hilly lanes of the English countryside. And what a wonderful day out it was too.

A beer in hand, kids on the shoulders and narrowly avoiding the hedgerow's stinging nettles, we settled on a spot which both had a vista of the speeding machines coming down the steep hill and a good view of the sharp left turn which hailed a few casualties. It was thrilling. Hilarious. Jeer making and cheering. And as we walked back up the steep hill in between races, all walks of life walked with us. Enjoying the holiday, the celebration, the camaraderie. The sun hid behind the clouds, the Union Jack flags rustled in the wind and were trampled under foot, whiny toddlers grasped their flags in their tomato-sauced hands, proud elders wore union jack hats, ancient buildings having seen coronation and jubilees of times past, wore their plastic bunting with pride. It felt good to be part of this, to build it into our memories, to rememeber where we were on the Queen's diamond jubilee. Not that I'm patriotic or anything.

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