How Could I Deny You A Bit Of Jubilee Action?

I hid indoors for most of the Jubilee weekend. As most fellow Londoners will testify, when the streets you normally stroll down become the equivalent of a busy cattle market, it’s best to stay home. The view’s always better on the telly. Though I couldn’t help constantly thinking about Fehr Trade, who lives in a boat on the Thames. What was she seeing and experiencing during the water-logged pageant? (Tell us, tell us, Fehr Trade!)

But on the last day of the four-day weekend, I ventured into central London. I had a writing deadline to meet and I was hoping that the excitement would have moved away from the South Bank, where I usually go to scribble.

In fact, yesterday proved a lovely time to dip my toe into the royal water. Everything was much more relaxed, though still celebratory in spirit.  So here are a few photos of London the day after the patriotic night before.

And finally, a moment of solemnity:

For every person popping a champagne cork this weekend, there’s someone sleeping beneath a bridge. It’s not fair, but it is life. Reason enough for some people to stay away from this weekend’s celebrations. For me, it’s a reminder of a quote I shared in a recent blog post:

Shall we make a new rule of life? Always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary.

The man wearing the pristine Union Jack turned out to be a Big Issue seller. He scrabbled around in his bag and turned back to give the homeless guy some change. Then I turned back and gave some change to the other homeless person I’d just walked past. A little later, I got off the tube at Walthamstow and a third homeless person asked for money and I didn’t stop.

As I said, that’s life. But at least some kindness featured yesterday, all because I noticed someone wearing a Union Jack in the rain.

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10 Responses to How Could I Deny You A Bit Of Jubilee Action?

  1. Not a Royalist but to each their own XD. I’d like to suggest that if you really want to help the homeless offer to buy them food instead of just offering them money. Also buy The Big Issue from the person selling it, that empowers the homeless far beyond what any spare change can.

  2. Although ERII is officially my ruler too, I’m happy to say I live on the other side of the world and could ignore it all. I would second the comment regarding buying The Big Issue, but because I can never do so myself (simply because I almost never carry cash and when I do it will be limited amounts for specific purposes), I say that in an encouraging tone rather than a hectoring one.

  3. Donna says:

    What a beautiful post. Yes really. xx

  4. Nothy Lane says:

    Great post. I live across the ocean so I’m far enough away that I can ignore it or not. I do love all the royal trinkets the Brits make. i saw a photo of an ice-cream scoop of the queen, which I thought was hilarious. We used to have a mug with Charles and Diana on it when I was little. It was the only mug my grandmother would drink from…

  5. I’ve loved the Jubilee and being a total royalist I would lol! We didn’t venture into london as the little one is only 4 and the crowds would have been to much but we have enjoyed the tv coverage. I live in a very diverse area so was one of very few flying the union jacks over the long weekend.

    Its hard walking through London when it comes to homeless people. When I used to work full time there wasn’t one I wouldn’t give to. Now I am a full time mum and not back at work till September I tend to be more selective. If they answer my question “why are you on the street” then I give them a small amount. Don’t buy the big issue anymore as the local sellers wear better labels than I can afford!

    But each to there own and everyone has an equally respective opinion but I am glad you got out and enjoyed some of the celebration 🙂

  6. Shams says:

    Nice post, Karen. Interesting to hear different perspectives. I had the boat parade on TV Sunday and the concert last night. A nice accompaniment to sewing. 🙂 Like you, I thought of Melissa during the boat parade. I’d love to hear her experiences of it.

  7. Silvia says:

    Love the pics! A nice look through your eyes as an outsider. I guess it’s a warm up for the Olympic nightmare/celebration next month. More hiding I’m guessing? (That’s what I’d do.) Which is more crafty time too…

  8. Sewing Princess says:

    nice to see your pictures. I agree with you it was best on telly…which is what I did. Not being British, I was impressed by the grandeur of the ceremony. My only regret was the concert sound mixing and that the “jubilee’ song sounded more military wives than commonwealth instrument and voice sounds…I enjoyed the whole story behind the scenes and was nice to discover that Gary Barlow is actually a musician :o) (was never a Take That fan, I am afraid)… BBC documentaries are the best to suck you in…no matter the topic!

  9. Colleen says:

    Sometimes, being on the other side of the world (Canada rather than Australia) is a blessing. However, those photos r-e-e-a-a-l-l-y made me miss London! I was only there for about 3 weeks in the fall of 2010, but strangely it felt like home nevertheless. DH and I would love to go back.

    It was so nice to finally meet you in SF!

  10. MariaDenmark says:

    It might be PMS, but that post brought tears to my eyes.
    I’ll try to be a little kinder than is necessary today!

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