Friday, 15 June 2012

How Time Flies!

I can hardly believe that it’s the middle of June already and this is my first blog of the month.  Can I use the bank holiday extravaganza and half term as my excuse? Probably not, but in between everything else, I’ve been working on the edit of my submission for the RNA’s New Writer’s Scheme.  I’m just over half way through the third draft of my novel and am doing a massive re-write. 

I suppose that I should have sorted out a lot of these problems before now, but I’m consoling myself that it’s all part of the learning curve.  I’m much happier with what I’ve written and am hoping that after this draft, a quick read through will be enough to reach a stage where I’m happy to submit it. In saying that, I may not have an option as I’m rapidly running out of time.

Time, as with most people, is my biggest enemy.   I’ve just downloaded Peter Jones’ book How To Do Everything And Be Happy onto my Kindle.  I came across this book on Della Galton’s blog. (Sorry can't put the link in here but it's  Unfortunately I didn’t find it in time to get it free (what does that tell you?) but at £1.99 it’s still a steal.  It will take a miracle to sort out my life but even if the book gets me closer to getting organised, it will be a bonus. Personally I think only not needing to sleep would work at the moment.  Still, here’s hoping. Now I just need to find the time to read it!

It seems like a long time ago now but I thought the Jubilee weekend was fantastic.  Apart from the weather that is, which was a real British disappointment.  It’s such a shame that it couldn’t have been like it had been the previous weekend.  All that hard work dampened by the lack of sunshine. Mind you if it been, no doubt there would have been problems because it was too hot. Never happy are we?

I know a lot of people aren’t overly fond of the monarchy, viewing it as an outdated institution and a drain on society, but the Jubilee celebrations really made me feel proud to be British.  

When we want to, us Brits can really put on a good show, and that was clearly shown.  To me the events of the weekend put the Great back into Great Britain.  

This country has the most amazing history, especially as far as our Kings and Queens are concerned, and that heritage generates revenue through tourism. I’m not an economist and couldn’t possibly comment on whether the money the monarchy generates outweighs what it costs, but there is more to life than money.  And I do feel that our current Queen sets us apart from the rest of the world.

I was exhausted after the couple of parties and events I went to over the weekend but it was nothing compared to the Queen’s schedule. At 86 years of age you can’t fault her stamina and dedication to her duty, not just in the last few weeks but throughout her reign.  When you think about the changes which have happened during that time you have to respect her for still being so popular.

She’s had some horrible years, particularly in the recent past, and she hasn’t always got it right; her response to Diana’s death being an example of where the nation’s favour turned against her.   But she has learnt and adapted and now I feel that the key members of her family are so much more respected because of the way she has guided them.

There were particular highlights of the weekend for me, firstly the flotilla on the Thames.  The river has always been a major character in the history of London and I felt it fitting that it was included in the celebrations.   In times gone by the river was the main transport system through the capital as well as a link to trade with foreign countries. It’s poignant to think that whilst it has been a means for celebration, it is also the method by which traitors (or alleged traitors) were transported to the Tower and their subsequent deaths.

I was particularly moved to see the “Little Ships” included as without these private individuals who responded to Churchill’s plea, so many more lives would have been lost at Dunkirk. It is this spirit which makes me proud to be British and it was important that they were remembered.  

You have to admire too the way that the Queen and Prince Phillip did not sit down once throughout the journey, although I fear that the weather may have brought on Philip’s subsequent illness – he is 90 after all!

I thought the concert on Monday was an amazing success too, particularly the set where Madness played on the roof of the Palace.  The lighting team were outstanding. 

To be honest I’ve been a big fan of Prince Charles but I found his speech at the end of the concert moving.   I felt that he came into his own over the weekend and I’m sure his mum was so proud of him.

Now, I hope that the Queen has a bit of chill out time – she certainly deserves it and we don’t want her getting ill now do we?

And on to the next thing – Euro 2012. As you may know from this blog my menfolk are big football fans, so we will be watching England tonight and on Tuesday with our fingers crossed that they will get through to the next stage of the Championship.  I think it might take a lot more than crossed fingers though!

Have a good weekend.

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