On day 17 of last year's challenge I posted about (amongst others), 'Queen,' of the Freddie Mercury variety. This year? Well, as it's Her Majesty the Queen's 90th birthday tomorrow, it's only fair that one Elizabeth II has her turn. I can't say I'm exactly a fervent monarchist, neither am I a republican, certainly not! Also, I seem to have missed out on many of the 'milestone,' celebrations these past few years; partly from oversight, partly from lack of enthusiasm. Though I have dim memories of the Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977: (my mother made me a sundress bedecked with tiny, discreet, red, white and blue patterns) and I can remember standing up on Cathedral hill looking out over the countryside to see the lighting of our town's beacon. ( In the event, rumour has it that there was a breakdown in communications and that our one was ignited before the one in Windsor! I never found out the truth in that one.) No street parties- at least not in our neighbourhood. Cynical teenager that I was, I reckoned it was because people were too stuck-up thereabouts.
So, celebrations will be muted chez Maison Greenpatch. Though I have come up with a germ of an idea. Inspired by a suggestion on the BBC website, I've come up with a scheme for creating my own modest tribute: Last year we finally finished doing up the back garden decking (once Mstr GP's old skateboard ramp). It needs some flowers to jazz it up; what could be better than a host of red, white and blue flowers. Plug plants are the answer, apparently, and according to Good old Auntie Beeb, if I plant them now, there should be a magnificent display come June, just in time for Her Majesty's official celebrations. Watch this space.
Before I sign off, I can't post without giving a mention to another news item that was trending just as I got home this afternoon and which pushed HM's headlines right down the front page - the sad news of the death of Queen of comedy - Victoria Wood, at the far too early age of 62. I remember posting a link here a few years back to her wonderful Menopause and Health Food Shops monologue. As a young married, I giggled at her 'Family Planning Sketch,' her 'Bunbury Homes,' (too much like our housekeeping - or lack of it), the 'Continuity Announcer,' later - Acorn Antiques. Thanks to her - I still have problems keeping a straight face in Italian Restaurants, and who could every forget the 'Ballad of Barry and Freda!' Plus many more. Christmas before last, saw the TV adaptation of her wonderful musical 'That Day We Sang.' The secret of her success, I'm sure, was her incredible gift of observation: of the minutiae and daftness of everyday life , whatever one's age - from the angst of lumpy adolescence through mid-life crisis to the loneliness of old age, and her ability to laugh at (yes, and reflect) about it all. Many's the time, I watched something of hers and felt cheered by the realisation that a feeling or and experience, or just an annoying little habit that I'd thought was 'just me,' was in fact, something that so many of us share. R.I.P, Victoria.