Dear Readers, today is the start of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations here in the UK, and between 1.06 p.m. and 1.15 p.m. there was said to be a good chance of seeing the planes that made up the celebratory flypast. The Red Arrows display team was involved, along with various Spitfires, Hurricanes, a Lancaster Bomber and a wide variety of helicopters.
I’m not really into the whole Jubilee thing. I’m really glad that people are finding a reason to celebrate and be happy, to have fun and to enjoy themselves. Goodness knows we deserve it after the last few years. I also know that the Queen is a hard worker, though so are the people who worked on Covid wards or wore themselves out delivering parcels or exposed themselves to the virus while they were driving buses and I don’t see them getting a flypast. I look around at people plunged into poverty, people with Long Covid, people worried about their jobs and their electricity bills and their rent, and it all feels a bit bread and circuses. And where is the reckoning for the whole Covid fiasco, with its strong whiff of corruption and one of the highest death rates in the world? I am still too sad, and too tired, and frankly too angry to be putting up bunting and pretending it didn’t happen. If that sounds curmudgeonly, so be it. Regular readers won’t be surprised.
Having said which, I do love a good flypast, in spite of the shedloads of carbon involved. And so I sat on the front step with my camera and my binoculars trained on the sky. I had my ears wide open for the rumble of engines.
Well, not quite tumbleweeds. Next doors’ cabbage palm is flowering, and you can smell the sweet blossom from right up the street. Combined with my lavender, which is just coming into flower, it makes for a heady brew, and the bees love both of them.
It feels as if pretty much the entire street has taken the opportunity to go away on holiday for the week. it’s so quiet that I can hear the wood pigeon cooing away on the television aerial opposite.
The green alkanet is still flowering, though it is a very untidy weed, and there is more cuckoospit on the lavender than I have ever seen. The buddleia is more or less aphid free though, which makes a pleasant change from last year when the honeydew rained down on the wheelie bins and made them very attractive to wasps.
And then, finally, I hear a rumble. Is it a World War 2 bomber? Is it a Spitfire?
I rather think it’s an Airbus.
And so I have no idea where the flypast went but the airspace above East Finchley remained serene, and I toddled back indoors to get on with my maths revision for the exam on 13th June. There’s another flypast planned for Sunday. Let’s hope it has a better sense of direction.