Today, I went to the flotilla on the Thames to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. I am no ardent monarchist, but I do like the historical continuation of parades on the Thames.
We were promised a thousand boats, choirs, bells and grand stuff, looking like this.
Unfortunately, it was wet, crowded and rather boring. I was fondled for three hours on the bottom by an old lady trying to push into my spot, I got very humpy with her. The drizzle didn't really stop, but became torrential rain, and the fact is, that a procession of white pleasure boats is rather dull. Never again - thank goodness.
The highlights: Thefirst boat, one with a working carillon of bells on it, was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.
As was the larger one the Queen actually rode in.
The rowing bit at the beginning was wonderful.
There were plenty of moments that made me go wow (though yesterday I went to the 'Making of Harry Potter' Exhibition and wowed even more - the animatronics, astonishing).
Here is a video of the good bits, including the bell-boat in close up and all the Royals.
My little cousin summed up the occasion best with the following picture, which she said is her, waving her flag and smiling while peering through dense rain.
If you look carefully, however, you will see that she is smiling, and I think part of that is pure 'keep your pecker up' spirit, partly the English resilience against drizzle and mostly the fact that she was there with a pretty decent family - as was I.
Tomorrow is a picnic in Hyde Park - Brollies packed.