Friday, 29 April 2011

Great Britain


My greatest memories of the marriage of Charles and Diana in 1981 was me and my mates racing our pedal bikes along streets that were completely free of traffic as everyone was inside watching it on the telly.

Then we went to one of my mates houses and were surprised to find his mum watching it and crying. The surprise was that she was a Socialist and member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and didn't like the Royal Family.

When we asked her why she was crying she pointed at Diana and said "She looks so beautiful".

I can't by any stretch of the imagination be called a Royalist. Not that I dislike them or think the monarchy should be abolished, just that I am indifferent as the Royal Family don't have much impact on life.

I spent the last two days with my wife camping and hiking in the Lake District, so far to the north of England that southern Scotland could be seen from the summit of Scafell.

As we set off on the long drive home today we put on the car radio, tuned into BBC Radio 4 and listened to the Royal Wedding live.

As we drove south from the Scottish border we drove through the incredible mountains of the Lake District, the sky was clear blue and the sun shone. We drove through rural villages with bunting strung out across the streets and village greens.

Driving through this beauty and listening to something that a third of the world's population was listening to gave me a real sense of pride in being British, somethng that I cannot remember feeling in a long time.

The media build up has been so saturated with it that it had become an annoyance but on the day the excitement was catching and I was glued to the radio.

We even tried to get home in time to see the balcony kiss.

What I am trying to say is that today I felt genuinely proud to be British. I know it rains a lot here but the rain makes the land green and pleasant.

We are not perfect and get a lot of things wrong but when I look at the disastrous governments in some of the Third World countries then I know that this is a great country to live in.

So let me blow a trumpet for Great Britain, no-one can put on an overblown, pompous wedding like we can and as for our countryside I give the last word to my mates mum, "She looks so beautiful".

33 comments:

Colin Biano said...

It seems really nice out there
I didn't watch the wedding though, didn't see much point seeing as though i don't live in the uk :x

Hannah {Culture Connoisseur} said...

*waves flag*

I'm not British, but moments like today make the world wish they were. :)

The balcony kiss is the only part I got to see. Thank God for youtube.

Oilfield Trash said...

That picture is beautiful.

Miss FFF said...

Oh poo. I'm sorry but if they spent the same amount of money on universities as they did on weddings, a lot of problems would be fixed. And they call Americans overindulgent.

OatmealStout said...

Hehe, nice. I don't think I have ever felt that same sense of pride.

bobo said...

Great pic! And yeah no matter how much someone rags on their country, it's moments like these that can help instill some national pride.

ed said...

the british are coming, the british are coming

CkretsGalore said...

Much agreed that pic is lovely!

Am I the only one that didn't like Kate's dress??

Tony Van Helsing said...

Colin: It is nice out here. But sometimes it is shit as well.

Hannah: I didn't get back in time for the balcony kiss. BBC playbacked it.

OT: That's me sat by Wast Water in the Lake District on the aforementioned trip.

Miss FFF: We've got the Olympics next year, it's an even bigger waste of money.

Oatmeal: Neither have I.

Bobo: Well said!

Ed: I think a lot of British came today.

Ckrets: The pic isn't as lovely as it was sitting there. I have no opinion on the dress but her waist was tiny.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

FIrst of all, that picture took my breath away. It is simply amazing. Second of all, my four year old daughter was glued to the news this morning watching the coverage of the kiss and her words were "mommy, that princess is really beautiful". There's beauty in the simplest of things and so you go on and enjoy blowing that trumpet today!

mark fellows said...

nice post. Maybe you can also be proud in that your country doesn't even have a trillion dollars of debt, and we have 14 trillion...

bruce said...

@ mark...and growing

Kelly said...

The bride indeed look beautiful!

Gelai said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gelai said...

EDIT: Yeah, The Duchess of Cambridge is really beautiful! I love the picture you posted!

Btw, this is my favorite picture from the
royal family http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lkdzefrSEE1qgcjsxo1_500.png hahaha! Prince harry is so cute! :">

Danica Newton said...

"a third of the world's population was listening to gave me a real sense of pride in being British, somethng that I cannot remember feeling in a long time. "

I bet! Pretty amazing how, for once, the world was unified in watching something positive all at the same time.

Bushman said...

How does one listen to a wedding on the radio?
I suppose my lack of prowress on the situation is quite evident. While I could care less about weddings much less the royal family I am glad you have a sense of patriotism. If only you had a taste of the Obamanism over here then you would really, super duper and I'm talking the shizznit love your country. Congrats on the future super hot queen!

Al Penwasser said...

Great post, but an AWESOME picture!

Stare Dad said...

People are sellouts lol. They always talk about disliking something but in the end, they play along.

moztheroz said...

Hi mate,
You summed up a nations feelings pretty well there. We usually do come together on an occasion such as this or otherwise in the face of adversity.
I was of the opinion that I wouldn't watch, I have no leaning for or against the royals, as said, they don't impact on me or mine. BUT, they did yesterday, I felt a pride that I can't remember, possibly ever, in being British, not just English.
I saw past the sea of Burberry, the tattoos and the cheap gold ear-rings, in my eyes, there wasn't a chav to behold, merely a million plus people lining the streets to be happy.
It will be one of those days for me when people say where were you when?. (OK, I was on my couch in front of the TV - but I was waving my imaginary union Jack).
Great post mate - oh for more days such as that.

altadenahiker said...

Considering all the millions spent on perfectly awful Broadway shows, I see nothing wrong if you guys choose to spend some millions on a perfectly lovely wedding. (I'm using the royal "you guys.")

J.B. said...

It's good that you're happy with your country

Tony Van Helsing said...

Lindsay: Thanks, I'll keep blowing. Hang on, that doesn't sound right.

Mark: We must have debt the way the government keeps cutting public services.

Kelly: Yes she does.

Gelai: Thanks.

Danica: It must have been terrifying for them, knowing a third of the world was watching.

Bushman: BBC re old hands at radio broadcasting and can paint a pretty good picture.

Al: Thanks, it's not often you get weather good enough up there for a picture like that.

Stare Dad: Us English are especially guilty of this. We complain when we are teenagers but usually end up voting Tory.

moztheroz: I know exactly what you are saying, mate. Don't worry about the chavs, they are a minority.

alta: royal 'you guys', I love it.

J.B. Thanks, it's taken a while.

Chris Phillips said...

I cannot believe how much coverage it got in the u.s.

Maggie said...

thats great you feel that way. to be honest i never really cared. i did find it annoying how they were playing the wedding on every single station and still continues...
i just want to watch my own shows! haha
followed

Ann Nichols said...

Yes, she did look beautiful - and they gave the world a happy moment in time - something wonderful! Blessings on them and on your beautiful country full of amazing people!
Ann

Icepax_Nmir said...

enjoyed your post :)

http://lmtyaboutthis.blogspot.com/

Tony Van Helsing said...

Chris: The media coverage was saturation point, it annoys many people.

Maggie: You have your own TV show?

Ann: Thank you for that, much appreciated.

Icepax: Glad you did.

Anita said...

Bwwwonk...horn blowing. :)

Sean Popeye said...

Such great views in Great Britain! Wish I could visit there!

Moobeat said...

id love to visit

Alexandra said...

id love to visit one day. But gotta admit the advertisement of the wedding was a bit annoying.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Anita: Thanks for the horn

Sean: Some of it is beautiful and some of it is dreadful.

Moobeat: Are you asking to stay at my house?

Alexandra: More than a bit annoying.