Tuesday, 5 June 2012
It's all over bar the shouting.
Well, that's the three days of celebration over and I must say it was all very well done. I have been feeling a bit under the weather, the weather has been cold and damp and I have watched much of the coverage of the Diamond Jubilee on the television.
First the Pageant. Stephen Fry, writing in the Times, said he found it 'mind-numbingly boring' and I must say that I was disappointed after the build-up it got. The poor Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh stood throughout. It was cold everywhere but I am sure it was colder on the water, as it always is. I like to think that when HM popped below it was for a quick tot of whisky to warm her up. I do think it went on far too long but - stalwart that she is - she stayed the course.
The concert last night was tremendous. I am not a pop fan and because I have quite a severe hearing loss, my hearing of music is badly distorted. But nevertheless, I enjoyed the spectacle and thought the organisation and continuity were tremendous.
Today's service, parade and appearance on the balcony for the flypast was so British it brought tears to one's eyes. All in all a splendid weekend of celebration.
I am not particularly a Royalist - but when I think of the alternatives then I think on balance I prefer things as they are. Judging by the crowds (almost half a million in London I think) most people think the same. There was a tiny anti-royal protest - but it was tiny. If the percentages are anything like the two crowds then royality are safe for a long time to come.
As one would expect, the Queen bore it all stoicly. So did the Duke, but sadly he went down with a bladder infection and I am sure that would not be helped by the chilly wind on the water on Sunday.
So - back to normality. Once again the Appleby Horse Fair has come round. It happens once a year; the travelling community all congregate in Appleby in Cumbria to buy and sell horses. It is a spectacular occasion and the farmer and I mean to go every year and never actually manage it (the thought of parking puts us off I think). But it is interesting here in the Dales too because many of the gypsy caravans pulled by these strong little horses make their way through the Dales on the minor roads. They are already well on the way and when I was out and about I took a few photographs for you.
They tend to congregate on village greens overnight. They cook food on fires and their horses eat the grass and keep the greens short. Next morning they move on, one step nearer to their destination. Enjoy the photographs.