Monday, March 07, 2011

I Mean It Ma’am!

Her Majesty The QueenLeamington was overrun by the boys in blue last week. Or rather boys in high visibility vests. The pigs were everywhere. Coppers. Rozzers. The Old Bill. The Fuzz.

You couldn’t move without risking a truncheon up the jacksy.

They left no stone unturned. Or stonehead.

Bins were checked and taped up. Sewers were probed. And then the big boys came in. The narks with peaked caps. The ones who mean real business. The proper coppers.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Leamington was about to become a hotbed for cultural revolution. That the battle lines had been drawn down the length of The Parade and today would not be a good day to purchase a new divan mattress from John Lewis.

But you’d be wrong.

Because instead of cultural revolution Leamington was in fact the venue for one of this country’s great cultural traditions: waving a little union jack flag at a lady in a big hat who waves like she’s been taught to do so by Mr Miyagi from the original Karate Kid, “wax orn, wax orf.”

Friday saw Her Maj The Queen visiting my home town of Royal Leamington Spa. She came dressed in shocking pink with Prince Philip in tow to formally open Leamington Spa’s brand new Justice Centre building.

That’s right. We no longer have a magistrate’s court. We have a Justice Centre. Sadly my suggestion to have a statue of Judge Dredd erected outside was met with askance looks and murmurs of “can we please relocate this geek to another country please?”

Leamington has at last put itself back onto the Royal map. You see, I’m pretty sure that the last time we had a Royal visit was in the 1800’s when Queen Victoria popped by to sample the spa waters and graciously allowed Leamington Spa to name itself Royal Leamington Spa. I find it somehow ironic that our response to civil disobedience has at last brought the currently reigning monarch back to our sleepy little backwater town to renew our regal connections.

Though I doubt the coppers of Victoria’s day checked the sewers quite so avidly (probably because there weren’t any sewers back then). What were our coppers looking for? Bombs I suppose. Or perhaps Royal souvenir poo hunters who were squatting down beneath the loos of the Justice Centre hoping that Liz or Phil might crack a little something off in the cells that they could sell on the black market. If any Chinese doctors are listening Royal poo has amazing healing properties but only if taken orally. Trust me, it’s true.

So did I go out and join the flag waving throngs? At first I thought no, sod this for a game of soldiers, I’m not against the Royals but I’m not a Royalist automaton either. I’ve got work to do. But the sun was shining and then I thought I’ve got work to do I’d rather be outside. So outside I went and joined the crowds. ‘Cos let’s face it, Liz is getting on a bit. The chances of her living long enough to ever have a justifiable reason to come back to Leamington Spa are pretty slim.

The crowds were as you might expect. Screaming school children waving flags, old ladies muttering, “Ooh she does a lot of charity work, she does, heart of gold she has, don’t she duck?” and cynical teenagers hanging around whilst cursing themselves for not having the courage of their convictions to moon in the face of a stern faced policeman or give the Royal convoy the finger.

The picture above is my own. It is the closest I am ever likely to come to England’s current monarch (unless my Knighthood comes through before she carks it). Annoyingly I was concentrating on operating my camera phone so much that I didn’t actually look upon her with my own eyes. I’m sure there is a life lesson in there somewhere but I can’t for the life of me be bothered enough to think what it is.

So there you have it. The Queen. Real news of national importance on this ‘ere blog. Proper journalism (almost). History recorded. The stuff of news. The fabric of our national identity interwoven with my own.

God Save The Queen! I mean it most heartily ma’am.

Though, of course, you do all realize there is little or no future in England’s dreaming...



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39 comments:

Being Me said...

Cynical teenagers, you say? Come on, answer me truthfully - Have you ever wanted to moon in the presence of a stern-faced policeman or give the finger to a royal?

Steve said...

Being Me: every goddamned day. ;-)

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

That's the thing about taking photos of events like this: all the focus is on the camera and you forget to 'experience' the occasion.
I saw the Queen and Queen Mum in Sandringham once, quite by chance, and have a pretty good photo but can't remember just looking.

Steve said...

Trish: I went to Egypt about 10 years ago and took over 400 photos of the whole experience. I now find I want to go back without my camera to live the experience rather than recording it.

missbehaving said...

Well it's not every day is it....
1000s of years ago myself and the chap du jour took some friends off to Victoria to catch a bus to the airport, we had given them a big send off the night before so we were really hungover and there were guards and police etc everywhere and apparently her Maj was expected along with some visiting bigwig. anyway we were all fark fark, gonna miss the plane, who cares about her, how lame, fark fark and myself and one of the friends dodged off to find somewhere that sold cans of coke. we tripped down some side streets and suddenly there she was, just tripping along in a horse drawn carriage heading for the main street. there was no one but us around and she waved, OMG we were waving and grinning like idots 'she waved at us, she waved at us'my mum was dead impressed lol.

Steve said...

Miss Behaving: I have it on good authority that Her Maj is a bit of a coke fiend. She likes to drink it like John Cusack in The Sure Thing (plastic pen tube stabbed into the bottom of a well shaken can). She loves the rush apparently.

Wylye Girl said...

It's funny isn't it. However republican we may be, the merest glimpse of HMtQ and we are suddenly turned into American tourists, clicking away for posterity. I've met Prince Phil and Prince Andy in person. Both seemed like jolly good blokes and not a mention of paedos or slitty eyes either. I was disappointed to be frank.

Steve said...

Wylye Girl: so was Mr Spencer (disappointed). Me, I'm always disappointed to be earnest. ;-)

the fly in the web said...

In this period of austerity wouldn't it have been cheaper and more appropriate to have the Justice Centre..you were right, Judge Dredd would have been appropriate for something so named...opened by one of it's habitual users...the person who has appeared most frequently in the dock in the previous building?

Nota Bene said...

Wot no Charles and Camilla moment?

Kelloggsville said...

People have been trying to blow up the Monarch for many centuries now, Guy fawkes was only discovered because the Fuzz went to check the cellars. Sewer stalking premonarchical entrance is an age old tradition my friend! I remember seeing the Queen Mum at Clarence House. She had the driver stop the car to wave at us. I didn't take a photo but the memory is better, sometimes maybe we should step away from the camera.

Steve said...

The fly in the web: the way things are going perhaps Prince Andrew would have been a more apprpriate dignitary? I do wonder what words our Liz uttered: God bless all who get sent down in her...?

Nota Bene: I was tempted to throw myself at the windows and leave handprints everywhere but the police snipers on the roof of the Justice Centre were a mite off-putting.

Kelloggsville: I agree. Sometimes we are so busy trying to capture the moment that the moment fails to capture us.

Marginalia said...

Most appropriate: A German Queen sitting in a German car. Were you using a German camera by chance?

Wikipedia tells me that Queen Vic's statue was knocked a few inches to the right by a German bomb. If you can't trust the Luftwaffe to get it right who can you trust.

I also learnt that Aleister Crowley was one of the town's sons. Is he in anyway related? Wouldn't be surprised if he was.

In response the Leamington Spa Courier's search for the "Citizen of the Year" I've put your name forward. I think you're a shoe in.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Oooh, a royal visit, you should be most honoured, young man.

I saw the picture in the paper. Loved the pink outfit.

CJ xx

Steve said...

Marginalia: all true about the statue and Crowley being a local (until he was 7 years old anyway). Don't know about the relations thing - sure he'd have bigged it up if he had Royal connections. As for having a "shoe in" - thank you kindly - but is that just another way of calling me a heel?

CJ: thank you, though I was worried I wouldn't get away with it with my colouring.

Phil said...

I don’t care who she is or what Common Wealth she’s Queen of – her Polish driver doesn’t know how to drive round our roundabouts.

London City Mum said...

Oooh, you closet royalist, you!

LCM x

Steve said...

Phil: I believe he was trying to avoid an underpass that he was approaching at speed.

LCM: well, what can I say? Ollie Cromwell was much too miserable.

EmmaK said...

I'll still take Queenie over a dozen Kate Middletons. She's just such a dear old relic isn't she? And she's not a pisshead like her old mum. She earns her keep I say. God bless her. And the world would be much less amusing without old Philip's racist asides.

Gorilla Bananas said...

It was the Maoris who mooned the Queen with great aplomb. They were real men with real grievances rather than an insipid jester like you. And I doubt your arse is worth looking at anyway.

Steve said...

Emma: good old Liz has true grit. The Nazis didn't drive her out and neither will the chavs. Gord bless 'er an' no mistake, guv'nor.

Gorilla Bananas: who rattled your bleedin' cage?

Owen said...

I think I'd rather see Alice come through town. Hard to believe we even still have royals in this day and age. Perhaps when she sees this report she will decree this to be a royal blog ? A royal blog from a royal spa... sounds like the good life.

Is there still a spa in Leamington ??? I guess Google could answer that, but I'm feeling lazy... If there is, does it have healing properties ?

Steve said...

Owen: Leamington Spa does indeed still have a spa and I work in the building outside of which it is situated. Does it have healing properties? Depends on your ailments. If you're constipated then yes, it has healing properties... As for Dr Alice doing a walkabout in Leamington Spa; that sounds a wonderful idea. I'd gladly unfurl my flag for Alice.

Mark said...

I must say I'm disappointed - never thought of you as royalist and paparazzi to boot. Now if it was Dr Alice Roberts I'd have understood.

Steve said...

Mark: I'd've brought a longer lens if it had been Dr Alice.

bigwords is... said...

Do you think if she knew she'd be travelling in a maroon coloured car that she would've still worn that shocking pink colour?? Hurrah hurrah for seeing the Queen through the lens of your phone!!

TimeWarden said...

What this country needs is more "Anarchy"!

When I was at University, the Queen visited campus but I stayed in the music library to benefit from a rare moment of peace and tranquillity from student trolley rides!!

Steve said...

Bigwords is: I'm sure the Queen colour coordinates everything including her knickers. Though I have no photographic proof of this.

TimeWarden: since John Lydon started selling butter and appearing on The One Show I'm not really sure what anarchy is anymore.

lunarossa said...

Wow, that's great! Never seen the Queen in person but I have a huge respect for her. She's the last of the Royals to have the right to be called so. The rest of them are all clowns, although I don't mind old Charlie either. He loves Italy and his Italian is fantastic. Maybe he should become our King instead! Ciao. A.

Steve said...

Lunarossa: I must admit I have a liking for Charles too. Chaz is OK in my book whereas the rest of them - as you say - are a right bunch of charlies.

Expat mum said...

You should see the palaver when they need the loo! The toilet has to be completely steralised and sealed with cling film (or something) then the door itself has to be locked and not used before Her Maj. The person accompanying her to the loo, or showing her the way, can only walk so far and then has to let the Queen go in by herself.
Mind you, I wouldn't want someone standing outside while I...., oh never mind!

Steve said...

Expat Mum: does she bring her own loo paper or does a cut up copy of The Daily Star suffice?

Murr Brewster said...

There is a life lesson, and you already learned it. If you don't have it recorded on a camera, you can't tell if you ever saw it. Do you remember what you ate last week? No. To this day the only things I remember from my childhood are the ones I've got fusting away in an album somewhere, to which I have apparently supplied a narrative.

Steve said...

Murr: how right you are. This may explain the traffic cone, the policeman's helmet and the 37 cans of Strongbow I have stashed up in my loft. I have no idea how they got there but apparently the police have my witness statement on file. Thank God for our ability to record things for posterity!

Rol said...

Wow, I thought the restraining order prevented you from getting that close.

Steve said...

Rol: the jester's costume fools them every time. Boom boom tish!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Yes, I've seen that white elephant (the Justice Centre, not your Maj)

Orf with the architects' heads I say!

Readily A Parent said...

That is quite pink.

Can I have a copy of that print, enlarged and framed please for my mother. I've been a bit of a dissapointment to her as I've not been invited to tea with the queen just yet. Might cheer her up a bit. Or, even better, have you got any royal poo?

Steve said...

Laura: I daresay they're currently building a new office block in the shape of a banana in the business ditrict of a city near you...

Readily A Parent: feel free to download the pic, enlarge, photoshop, reproduce and tweak to your heart's content. As for the poo, if I can't get the real deal I'm pretty sure I could acquire a decent fake.