The Long Platinum Jubilee Weekend

Mon 30 May – Sun 5 June 2022

There are several reasons why I write my weekly blog. Suppose the main reason is that I enjoy writing. But it is also a useful means to try to communicate with others and convey thinking I want to get across. And it is important to record seminal moments – what happened and how we felt. I think the Platinum Jubilee is like that.

Unique but more to come

This Jubilee is a unique, a once in a lifetime experience. Never again in most of our lifetimes will we be celebrating a monarch on the throne for 70 years. Definitely not for Charles and highly unlikely for William. But tis worth noting that we may well be celebrating Charles’ 75th birthday next year, the Queen’s 100th in 2026, and 75 years on the throne in 2027. We will also be dealing with a funeral and coronation at some point. Who says we are a nation dominated by nostalgia?

What does the Jubilee mean?

For the country, to consider that the Queen won’t be with us forever and what happens when she is gone. It really will be the end of an era and will move us into a new space. Will the monarchy still be as popular? Will the glue that holds together the UK, Commonwealth, and the British establishment still be as strong?

Cards on the table, I am not a monarchist. This Queen has been fantastic but I would love us to move to an elected head of state in the future – it’s about growing up and taking responsibility. Though I am sympathetic to Dave’s suggestion of turning the Queen into a hologram and keeping her in charge like that forever.

On a personal level, the Jubilee reflects the need for us all to pause and reflect. Business loves and hates bank holidays. Loves in that for certain industries, there will be a boom. Hates in that for other business, it is work days lost. Business is there to serve humanity not vice versa. So, for many of us, these four days off have been a chance to rest, recover, re-energise, and consider what the future holds.

Teletubbies celebrate Pride

Art and Culture

The Jubilee concert

One of the big things about last week was that me and Dave got an invitation to the Jubilee concert on Saturday night. TBH I was a bit reticent noting that some of the acts were not ones I really wanted to see. And it would be performers popping up and down doing one song then getting off the stage. But it was ultimately more about the experience.

We were standing in front of one of the main stages. Basically the show took place from about 3 different inter-connected stages. It was a great experience – something to tell my grandchildren about LOL.

Several acts I wasn’t bothered with (Craig David) but some real highlights. Particularly for me the more modern acts like Mimi Webb, Celeste, Mabel, Jax Jones, and Ashley Banjo with Diverse. And Diana Ross was a genuinely brilliant icon. The drones were pretty amazing. And who couldn’t love the Paddington sketch at the start?

Diana Ross at the Platinum Jubilee concert

I absorbed the atmosphere but, to be fair, the sound wasn’t that great. And we couldn’t see everything that was happening nor could we always see the light show on the front of Buckingham Palace itself. Indeed, it was an event designed for TV. And when we watched it back – the sound and visual imagery was so much better on the TV screen.

Britain’s Got Talent

The other cultural event of the Jubilee week was the semi-finals and then the Sunday Night Final of BGT. It can be very cringey but it is amazing to see how talented some people are. It’s also interesting to work out the politics going on. Who the judges are pushing to win and why.

Family and Friends

Dave’s busy long Jubilee weekend

Dave my partner was very involved in the long Jubilee weekend. On Thursday, he did a 200 person event at the nursing home who he helps fundraise for. Then on Friday, he was at another event and reception. I didn’t see him for most of both days but sometimes that is what you need to do in a relationship. Give the other one the space to get on and do stuff they need to do. But they can do that with the knowledge that you are there for them.

Mum

She is still recovering from her cold and has not been well. A lot of my time with her has been spent making her cups of tea and doing her shopping. She absolutely hated the hot lemon drinks I got for her. Spent much of Friday in particular with mum whilst Dave was at the Jubilee service. Indeed, took the opportunity to have a long walk as well.

Phyllis

Had a catch up with my mate in Torremolinos. He has had a bad accident. He fell over and smacked his head on the hard tiles leading to a lot of blood over the floor. Ended up in hospital for stitches and observation. Everything was alright in the end.

Meanwhile it’s hitting the high twenties in Andalucia and it’s Torremolinos Pride. Philip reported the resort to be full of beautiful people. Exactly the wrong time to end up with your head bandaged up and having to avoid alcohol.

Health and Efficiency

Back to 2 gym sessions

Big personal celebration in that I managed to get to the gym twice last week. The dreadful cold I had been dealing with (see my previous blog here) was still around a bit and it was difficult getting to the gym on Thurs due to the congestion of the Jubilee. But I did manage to get there on my non-work days Tues and Thurs. Two great workouts with just a couple of other people in the gym.

Continuing my calculation of how much each gym session costs based on attendance and the annual fee: 33 gym sessions since the start of 2022 = £15 per session.

dumbells in the gym

Getting through the Jubilee crowds

Did have problems when I came out of the gym on Thurs. My gym is in central London so I tried to build into my itinerary that the crowds would be there for Trooping the Colour and the Queen on the balcony. All went well when I came out of the gym until I hit Trafalgar Square which was packed with people for the Jubilee flypast. Had no option but to settle in and watch the planes go over before I could continue my journey.

Books and Reading

Limited progress

Despite it being the Jubilee bank holiday weekend, I didn’t get as much reading done as I wanted to. Suppose just other things going on like the gym, spending time with mum, and going to the concert.

Still carrying on with Elizabeth Knox’s ‘The Absolute Book’ which isn’t as good as I expected – hopefully it will come together. And also the collection of Big Finish Dr Who short stories. Many of them are very short – easy to consume but ultimately lacking development and impact. I’ve also been dabbling with a book about Literary Theory simply because I know so little about it but it’s hard work.

Rows and rows of beautiful books

Personal Development

Better progress

Last week was when my new 2 day working week started. However, it was ‘hidden’ by the Jubilee weekend. Won’t be able to see the impact of this on my life until after a couple of normal weeks. But I did start putting more emphasis on doing personal development.

Really tried to do some Duolingo language learning each day focusing on Spanish and German. And also doing lessons when I have some spare time during the day.

“Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing.”

Carrie Fisher

Sustainability

The throwaway society

One of the most depressing aspects of the Jubilee for me was simply seeing the waste created. As I walked through London on Thursday, it was tragic to see all the imported plastic tat on the streets that is designed to be thrown away: flags, crowns, etc. And then all the mess related to food and drink that was littering the public spaces particularly due to people picnicking.

After the concert on Saturday night, all the plastic flags and plastic glasses were strewn across the floor. Never mind the individual plastic bags we all had to put our stuff into to go through security. And we were all given plastic wrist bands that lit up sponsored by Salesforce, many of those ended up on the floor as well.

People should enjoy themselves at events like the Jubilee. But, as with everything in life, we need to look at it through an environmental and sustainability lens. We all know our world is hitting a crisis where the effects of climate change will impact on us all. We can’t just carry on as we always have. It’s that old thing – if nothing changes then nothing changes.

The throwaway society

Sign up for Thursday’s lunchtime presentation

Excited and nervous about my talk next week that’s happening as part of the Green Software Foundation’s Global Summit. Join us on Zoom 12.30-1.30 Thursday 9th June to hear digital waste campaigner Gerry McGovern speak. You can sign up for the presentation here.

The Week Ahead

  • Looking forward to getting my ‘new normal’ work routine of just 2 days per week up and running
  • Should get in 2 gym sessions though may be on Mon and Tues as I need to be working on Thurs morning to accommodate Gerry’s presentation.
  • I would like to try and get a swimming session in but that might have to wait for the following week.
  • May be going to see ‘The Lion King’ on stage on Thursday night – should be good fun
  • Carry on with trying to make people think about sustainability. Big thing will be Gerry’s talk on Thursday.
  • Push on with my reading and personal development
  • Spend time with mum and Dave. Must think about meeting up with some friends now I am down to a 2 day week.

And Finally…

Our awful Prime Minister

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.