Those of you on Mars or some other Planet of the inner world, may not have registered that, in the UK, we are in the middle of celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth 11. Well, we are. This is the third of four days of celebrations which have encompassed just about all forms of representation. It both suits me and disturbs me. It suits me because, to someone who likes, needs, even, for things to be as they are expected to be, the sheer competence of the arrangements, the thought-throughfulness of every miniscule detail pleases and sooths me. I am left feeling there may be an alrightness in the world after all. For this to pertain even when the Gods saw fit to pour water on our presumption from a black and determined sky , I found so settling I am tempted to analyse whatever could have left me so in need of the reassurance. It's OK. Read on. I am going to do no such thing.I was not actually there. I was just glued to the television set. But there was something so completely natural, normal, about the little finale choir on top of a boat singing their patriotic hearts out, their hair plastered to their heads, rain dripping off their chins that I was left with an acute awareness that the basic nonsense of life is what makes sense of it. A spirit of 'I said I would so I will' assailed both Monarch and Choir so that the one, nearer 90 than 80, and the other, undergoing torture by water, were joined by a committment that, for me, gave meaning to what we are here for.
You must'nt think that I have lost that essential focus on the question the examiner has set: 75 going on 40.
Because I have been there: where? I was on the edge of the Mall, for the Coronation. It rained. I was soaked. I was separated from my friends. . There were no mobile phones. No way, so taken as normal in this, the Electronic Age, to re-establish contact. I had'nt lived in London long. I was tempted to be panic stricken. But the spectacle took over and I was able to talk myself in to a belief that all would be well in the best of all possible worlds. It was. I found a phone box and telephoned my landlady, telling her where I would make for if my friends rang to ask. That is what they did. Communication was not easy but it did hone one's ingenuity. The bigger difference, though, is that I was there. It was with a shaft of deep sadness I realised that I was not really up for it sixty years later. The Guru, who was planning a riverside picnic with his Dear-One and family, seemed horrified at the thought I might want to join them. Dear Reader, I did, so much want to. My forty-year-old spirit was drawn like breath from my old,old body. It was pushing down to a vantage point, wrapping a water-proof around me, improvising. I could 'see' the whole scenario. However, good sense and a sense of propriety did prevail. Apart from the physical daunt, there would have been the embarrassment of being looked after and considered: more dampening to everyone than the interminable rain. The Mother of the Dear-One is younger than my older daughter! That gave a new perspective to my pretensions. I recognise that I am fighting the reality of age at a more significant level than I was. Liz may laughingly imagine that 40 will prevail in the end, or over all. It won't; at least, not physically and that, inevitably, has an affect on the spirit. So now you know why the celebrations disturb as well as suit me: I am forced to look at a different level of reailty. I am 75 going on 80. But that should be fun, too. Bore da.