What an amazing woman the Queen was. She was at work right up to the last moment, giving her blessing to Liz Truss, the latest new, female, Prime Minister. It was sad to hear from my neighbour that she had died. Strangely I had been noticing that the news featured many buildings with the EIIR symbol earlier this week. And it set me thinking about post boxes and stamps and what might happen if the queen died. Then it happened. And we are now going through the transition to the next generation.

You may like my poem The Handover that I wrote during the pandemic expressing my concerns at the time. It is personal to me and I had just been reading an early play by Shakespeare where much depends on the signing of a document. Something that I was resentful about doing a decade before concerning my son. And also refers to the rubber stamping of legal documents by my mother in her voluntary work.

I met the queen once, or not actually met, but was close to her at a small gathering of just a few people one Maundy Thursday at Fountains Abbey. Unfortunately the ducks I was supposed to be feeding to keep out of the lane wandered in front of her car and I ran after them. I suppose people sometimes do inexplicable things in front of royalty. I was too old to be a Ranger Guide by then and had had to borrow a blouse from a vicar’s daughter up the road. We had been waiting around for hours feeding the ducks and the sacks of breadcrumbs had all gone.

Later on I read War and Peace where the numbing dazzling effect of the glory of the tsar upon the crowds is explained. I have noticed that happening to crowds at royal events myself and that is why I don’t watch royal weddings.


Published by simplyme841

How I got through it I really don't know, but I did a vow of silence for learning disabilities for a year a couple of years ago. I had wanted to do it for three or four years beforehand, after finding out about an Australian who did it for the animals. But the timing was never right. It was difficult but during the silence I learnt about John Francis, the environmentalist and author, who did it for seventeen years whilst walking barefoot across America playing the banjo. I had to make sure I drank enough fluids and had plenty of exercise so that my respiratory system didn't collapse, and learnt new things and read difficult books to keep my mind alert. It is very tough again during lockdown too, but immensely difficult for those with learning disabilities. I began writing my poetry last spring in the first Covid pandemic lockdown, and it poured out of me. But as you can tell from my readings my voice is still weak.

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