The pathetic fallacy of the weather reflecting our mood is playing out in my garden. The leaves on my apples trees drip with rain. My geraniums and begonias are drooping. There is a quiet sadness. The cat comes in his fur soaking wet. Children have snotty noses and our bathroom feels cold. The heating is off and the cottage feels damp. We are conserving everything for the credit crunch. The world feels poised for something – we all feel it – but none of us know what is awaiting us after Elizabeth 11 has been laid to rest.
The real business of living will carry on.
We are in the middle of National Mourning. We are watching the speaker of the House of Commons donning his weepers – his lacy cuffs to catch his tears.
We are watching a band play Beethoven’s funeral march and cassocked choristers singing psalms. We are being drip fed the minutiae of Royal pomp. Watching a weeping king and his wrinkled consort screw the top back onto his fountain pen which has leaked ink all over his royal fingers. Besuited men who wear medals but are not allowed to don uniforms.
Limos and horses. Black and white newsreels playing the life of Betty Windsor over and over and over again. We are saturated with broadcasters speaking in reverential tones.
Black is the new black for our newsreaders and journalists who can’t find any new words, since they have all been used up in 24/7 rolling bulletins.
Lines of people who are prepared to sleep in the rain, making ‘queue buddies’ and crying for a 96 year old woman who they see as their grandmother, saviour, the glue that has held us together for 70 years.
I have friends who are so angry they cannot find a chink of compassion for a monarchy who have more money than is moral, who own the land and live in isolated splendour whilst the rest of us nibble on jam sandwiches sometimes without the jam.
I’m not as angry as them. I cried at 18.31 on September 8th. Wringing a tea towel in my hands. But there is something about the wall to wall coverage of a perfectly normal occurrence, most people don’t live till they’re 96 so she had a good run, that is beginning to wear me down. She served the country but then that was her job. You can already see the strain on King Charlie’s face and he hasn’t even taken office yet.
The Elizabethan age has come to an end and we now start the Carolean reign. A new beginning? Or more of the same?
As the drip feed of media grieving continues I can’t be the only person who feels the need for some respite.
I feel the sadness of Kings. I feel the pain of death. But I also feel manipulated by the press and medja. I am a peasant, a commoner. I am the daughter of red flag waving revolutionaries. I empathise but as the world melts and the sea rises, dear Elizabeth has become a sensational distraction. Clichéd mourners spouting clichéd clichés reveals the failure of an educational system that has created a population of lemmins.
I loved the Queen and her relationship with Nelson Mandela. I loved the Queen and her Tupperware boxes of cereal. I loved the Queen and her genuine kindness. I also loved John Lennon and Elvis, Jaque Loussier and Katherine Hepburn. I loved Diana Dors and Spike Milligan, all of whom changed people’s lives and spread the milk of human kindness and all of whom died. None of us get out of this alive.
The history and ritual is remarkable. The ceremony and customs are interesting and fascinating, even for an immigrant like me, but the distance between them and us is so glaringly apparent, that it makes me want to take my cap and trample on it not doff it. Mindless subjects who weep into their empty purses whilst their living standards are being crushed throws this pantomime into bold relief.
Millions and millions of pounds of our money will be spent on this funeral. Millions and millions of pounds of our money will be spent on laying one person to rest, that expenditure, the pundits are saying, that could lead us into recession. We know all this. Anybody with half a brain knows that the wide eyed populace who have been spoon fed the fairy tale of Kings and Queens will pick up the cost.
The queues of mourners will become the queues in our food banks. It’s the same the whole world over. It’s the poor what gets the blame. It’s the rich what gets the pleasure. Ain’t it all the bloody same.
I am sympathetic to the loss for the Windsors. I feel the universal sadness we all feel, but something good must come out of this. King Charles 111 must put his money where his mouth is. He must carry on screaming about climate change – although he wont be allowed. He must carry on fighting for justice like his mum. Only he won’t be allowed.
The right wing are creeping up on us, if we’re vigilant we’ll be able to keep them at arms length until we have a government of genuine representatives who care about their constituents.
At the moment we are drowning in a sea of crocodile tears. We are living through a changing paradigm where the weak become strong and the last become first. We must hold our nerve and the empathy that the passing of our last Queen has taught us.
When she climbed into her coffin I could almost hear her sighs of relief.
Her job is done.
For those of us alive it is OUR duty to continue where she left off.
Dear past, thank you for all the lessons. Dear future, I am ready.