Coronation Week But It Really Meant Nothing To Me

Mon 1 – Sun 7 May 2023

Pleased to say that my recovery from what I suspect was flu has progressed. Although it has taken about 4 weeks (see my previous blog here). An unusual week just gone with a royal coronation taking place for the first time in 70 years. We definitely won’t be waiting that long for the next one. The week started with a bank holiday and was capped with another one. I love these bank holidays but they do mean more if you are working.

My partner Dave’s flat is in central London so it’s been interesting to see all the developments on the ground for the coronation. Loads of barriers and tons of police; hope nobody needed a copper for anything serious on coronation day. Indeed, the police did everything they could to stop protests despite having an agreement with the organisers. With this and all the other stuff, it does make you wonder how much you can trust the police.

I spent the weekend with Dave at his flat and we basically had to stay indoors on Saturday for the coronation itself as it was too restricted to go out till later in the day. Indeed, it was a bit like being back in the lockdown during the time of the pandemic. When we went out, you could tell it had been busy but perhaps not as busy as people expected. And most of the people around seemed to be foreign tourists rather than Brits. Indeed, the UK as a country seems to rely on foreign tourism and I would suggest the coronation was meant to feed that.

Tsar Nicholas II

Time to move on as a country

I know some people felt passionately about the coronation but I really wasn’t bothered about it. And particularly not with Camilla the marriage wrecker becoming Queen. Poor Diana, she saved the monarchy and has been erased as much as possible. Someone suggested the rain on the coronation day was her revenge. Also too much British exceptionalism (‘nobody does pageantry like us’). And the media telling us all how we should be feeling. It really was the Establishment in action.

Queen Elizabeth II was a class act and very astute. But now might well be the time to think about moving on from monarchy. The UK is still struggling to move on from the concept of ‘Empire, two World Wars, and a World Cup’. We are desperately trying to find our role in the modern world which explains Brexit and the ongoing debate about colonialism. If we are going to be a successful and modern nation then I would suggest that we need to trust ourselves to choose our own leader.

Box

We also need a better electoral system

Also the week of the local elections and the Conservatives lost 1,000+ councillors. I can’t understand how people can think that a party that has been in power for 13 years deserves another chance. But I don’t just want another one party government. We don’t need arrogant Tories replaced by arrogant Labour.

The Royal Family is a key issue for our country going forward but so is our confrontational electoral system. Politics should be about finding solutions through working together not constant confrontation. As such, we need to move on from First Past The Post to a Proportional Representation electoral system. So that small parties and all people’s views have representation. Especially when parties refuse to enter tactical voting agreements under the current system so that votes are wasted.

Family and Friends

Mum: Back from the North and, finally, a window repair date

The previous Bank Holiday Monday (May Day) was about coming back from being up North after seeing Dave’s mum – see more details here. The latter was desperately excited about the Coronation, it’s definitely a generational thing. Me, Dave, and my mum left around 10.30 and we made good time getting back to London about 5 hours later. I know my mum was tired but she really enjoyed her time away.

Big surprise on Tuesday with the news that we have a date for the repair of the mechanism that opens the kitchen window! I phoned the usual repair line number (been phoning them regularly) and nearly fell off my chair when they confirmed they now had a repair date. Part of me suspects they will cancel or not have the right replacement part on the day.

Regular blog readers will know this repair has been an ongoing sore for me and mum. First reported Sept last year and we haven’t been able to open the window since then. Plays havoc when the kitchen smoke alarm goes off and the window can’t be opened. So it has taken 9 months to get a repair done; this is not unusual when you live in social housing.

Fang Fang

Absolutely brilliant to meet my old work colleague Fang Fang on Wed night. She looked great and we worked out it was about 6 or 7 years since we had last seen each other. Over a couple of drinks, we spent most of the time simply updating each other on what has been happening. Shows the value of staying linked via social media but also getting a face to face meeting in every so often. We both agreed we would not leave it so long next time.

Be happy and grateful about nice things

Health and Efficiency

Jog-run: Excellent progress

A big chunk of Green Park was cordoned off because of preparations for the coronation. So I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do my usual central London route from Dave’s flat . My calculation was to do it as far away from coronation weekend. Thus I went out on Tuesday, the day after we got back from visiting Dave’s mum.

I managed to run around the cordoned off areas and my run wasn’t interrupted by vehicles moving about. Things actually went really well. It was my first 30 min session as part of the ‘Couch to 5K’ programme. And I managed to cover just under 4.5 km with a decent pace. You can read the details here. A 30 min 5K should be possible in the near future.

Jog-run

Gym: 2 good sessions

Only 2 gym sessions last week because Monday was about driving back from the North. Wed and Fri mornings though I wasn’t able to do my usual walk to the gym on Fri due to the route being blocked by the coronation prep. Had to go on the tube which costs money and means less aerobic warm-up.

But 2 good sessions with me able to try out various machines and weights. Brilliant that one of my favourite leg machines has been repaired. For both sessions I had planned not to stay too long. And both times I got ‘into the zone’ and spent about an hour and 20 mins doing a variety of exercises and feeling really happy.

43 gym sessions since the start of 2023 divided by the annual membership = £11.50 per session.

Health: Weight, Covid booster, and INR

So we can spend a quarter of a billion pounds of public money on the coronation of one of the most richest men in the world but we can’t afford to properly fund the NHS.

Homer does doh

  • Weight is going OK. Steady at just over 13 stone. Last weekend was a blowout up North that I seem to have weathered so staying the same is good news.
  • Got my Covid booster on Tuesday based on my compromised immune system and the cocktail of meds I take each day to deal with HIV and other issues. Quick and no after issues apart from a sore upper arm but what do you expect after sticking a needle in it?
A cocktail of meds

  • Then on Friday to get my INR done to check my blood clotting levels. Postponed for a fortnight as the flu and hot lemon drinks I was living on would have distorted the result. It was just inside range but that was enough to postpone having to come back for 6 weeks for the next check – yippee!
Bleeding finger

Books and Reading

No books completed in the week gone. But I am reading two very good ones at the moment:

  • ‘Joan’ by Katherine J Chen. A fascinating feminist re-imagining of the life of Joan of Arc. Where Joan’s holy mission is imparted by those around her rather than by her claiming it.
  • The Marriage Portrait’ by Maggie O’Farrell. Another novel about an abused young woman in history. This time a daughter of the Medici family who is married as a child to the man who likely murdered her.

As there wasn’t much else to do, I did a lot of reading on the day of the coronation simply because we were stuck in Dave’s flat for a large portion of it.

The importance of books

Personal Development

All good on this front. Perhaps not as good as the week before coronation week but still decent with practice done every day. Equal amounts of Spanish and German. Me and Dave are actually thinking about a visit to Berlin in the near future which would be good for my German. Though this is worrying me as it would break my no more than 2 return flights per year commitment unless we go by coach / train which would be long-winded.

Berlin

Sustainability

Nothing major around this theme last week. I am pleased to report that the birds are still attracted to Dave’s stripped back balcony. No sign of the robin but plenty of blue tits and fat, clumsy pigeons. I think Dave is even starting to chill around the latter coming to visit.

Did manage to get to the Notting Hill Exchange on Wed to trade a load of books I have read and don’t need any more for vouchers. Used most of them to buy some new books. Circular economy in action.

The Week Ahead

  • So the coronation has moved on to being history. Bank Holiday on Monday which I plan to take easy doing the gym and spending time with mum.
  • Aim is also to get to the gym on Wed and Fri mornings as well
  • Jog-run on Thursday. Hopefully coronation infrastructure has been taken down and I can do my normal route. Second 30 min session.
  • Ultrasound scan on Sunday to see if we can identify the reason for my stomach ‘discomfort’ and rapid weight loss
  • Looking forward to dinner with my old mate Dom on Wed evening
  • Supposed to also be seeing my old friend Jane on Friday but I think the latest train strike is going to rule that out

And Finally…

Guns and anti-abortion

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