A Jubilant Weekend
So, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations have been and gone. Unlike my wife, I'm not an avid royalist, but having been particularly busy since the start of the year any excuse for a couple of extra days away from the desk and the daily grind is worth taking.
Despite not really registering this weekend's events were upon us until early last week, I was actually quite looking forward to this extended celebratory weekend. I didn't really know about any of the events planned for the Queen over the few days, and there was no street party to go to (although we did get over to Megan's sister's on Monday afternoon for a BBQ).
I've always loved music, and whilst not usually a Gary Barlow fan, I was interested to see how he and Andrew Lloyd Webber had put together their song, 'Sing', for the Diamond Jubilee. The hour long documentary (may no longer be available to watch) on Sunday evening which introduced many of the Commonwealth musicians who perform on the track was both interesting and enjoyable. Having seen it, I have to say that the highlight of the Jubilee Concert on Monday evening was certainly the performance of 'Sing', complete with choirs, Slum Drummers, Gurrumul and more.
The other highlight was Ed Sheeran. It's nice to see that people who are simply excellent musicians/singers can make their mark in perhaps an even more powerful way than other performers who invariably attempt to mask a lack of talent with a vast entourage or special effects.
Maybe that's a bit cynical - Madness were also excellent form the roof of Buckingham Palace, complete with animated video projections across the entirety of the front wall.
Having also watched much of this afternoon's coverage, it's fair to say I've had my fill of royal-revelry.
However, despite all the entertainment and the grandeur of the occasion, the highlight of my weekend was spending a few hours in the sun with my family in Robin Hood's Bay. It was the looking in rock pools, exploring the alley-ways and finding a quiet and peaceful grassy-mound, away from the crowds of Union Flag adorned families, that made my Jubilee weekend.
And I think it's the same for everyone who made the effort to get out and do something this weekend.
With so much negativity in the press and so much emphasis on all that's wrong in the world, it's nice to see what happens when people make the effort to spend time with each other, whether family, friends, neighbours or strangers, enjoying the company of others, the changeable British weather and generally having a good time.