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Sunday, June 03, 2012


close but not close enough.
i decided i would have a wander down to the river to watch the thames diamond jubilee pageant. i knew it was going to be busy - after all it there has been a lot of publicity for it. i had a theory that if i rocked up east of tower bridge i would be able grab a space by the river to see the tall ships and watch the end of the pageant.

it was a nice plan.
i wasn't the only person to thought of it.
pretty much all of the thames walk that could see tower bridge was rammed with people many of them prepared for the long wait with food, drink, chairs, radios, binoculars. wrapped up against the cold and wet. they were there for the long haul.

oh well i thought. i will try somewhere else.
a forlorn hope.

everywhere was packed. people waiting. expectant. even some of the office buildings had people on their roofs watching.

in the end i settled for a spot on tower bridge road where there was a very large screen that would show the view that i was so close to seeing but unable to see.

lots of people in the same situation. watching the screen. cheering when images of the queen appeared.
even though it was cold and the threat of the rain was apparent everyone was in a good mood, sharing the mood of a special occasion. people with flags, people with union flag hats, people with periscopes, with food, with drink. people taking photos of the crowds, taking photos of the screen, taking photos of each other.

cheers going up as members of the royal family appeared on screen. a few oohs and aahs at the various dresses worn, a few comments about will and harry looking nice in their uniforms.
boos for boris and just what was he doing there?

just as the queen approached the tower the heavens opened up and umbrellas went up. quickly followed by the chants of 'put your umbrella down... put your umbrella down". and down they went.

more cheers.
bigger cheers as the queen appeared (on screen) and tower bridge opened up.

as the whole thing was winding down the heavens opened up and people were soaked.

soaked but happy.

these sorts of events are always odd. most people can never get close enough to actually see the action. yet somehow just being in the crowd is enough. a feeling of being part of something special, something different, something that won't happen again in your lifetime. a moment of history, being part of something. perhaps this is why such events are important and special.

as i walked away from it all soaked and bedraggled i had a light heart, a very large mass of people had come together for something unique and enjoyed it.

who would have thought bunting and rain could make a man happy.

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