So Abigail, what have you been up to this week? Well, on Wednesday I met Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh! Now, when I say ‘met’ she didn’t technically speak directly to me but she was stood right in front of me and talked to my lovely school children, who bowed and curtseyed and gave her flowers.
How did I find myself in such a situation? You might well ask! It seems I spend my life unintentionally getting myself into all sorts of unexpected situations and pickles!
For example, a year ago I found myself very randomly being ushered on to the pitch at Yeovil Town Football Club at half time to shake hands with a number of official looking men in suits and to be presented with a framed football shirt, before being snapped for the local newspaper and a feature in the programme the following week. My class had been involved with a community initiative with the club and we were there on a Saturday with sixty children as we had been given free tickets. That was as far as I thought things were going until half time came and I suddenly wished I’d worn something slightly more classy than jeans, a hoodie, scarf, gloves and a waterproof jacket! Luke, my husband, who is also a teacher (and more importantly a huge Yeovil Town fan!) just shook his head in disbelief and turned a little green with envy, as I got led off looking totally bewildered and was ushered into the VIP stand to go through to the pitch. Just one of many many ridiculous scenarios I have found myself in!
Anyway, a few weeks ago our head teacher was invited to take twenty four children and a teaching member of staff with her to the Diamond Jubilee Country Fair that was being held in Ninesprings Country Park. To make all things fair, the children and the member of staff were pulled out of the hat and guess who’s name should appear? Mine.
My initial reaction I have to be honest was one of slight dismay! What would I wear? Would I have time to find a new outfit? What if I did something ridiculous? Was I really the best person to represent the school? There are times, I have to be honest, where around our head teacher, I seem to turn into the clumsiest person in the world and end up with my foot in my mouth far too many times for comfort (I have to say this has lessoned in more recent times!) And I would be spending the day with not just her, but also the Queen of England! The reality was I got through the day, looking actually a little bit elegant and not making any faux pas’ whatsoever.
So last Wednesday, with a little trepidation, I arrived at school and we travelled down to the park. On arrival, we met our steward, were all given Union Jack flags and badges and were escorted down through security into the enclosure. And at that point I got swept right up into the excitement of the occasion. There was such a buzz of excitement and anticipation and looking out into the public viewing area, there was a sea of people and faces waving flags and smiling and cheering. There was a real tangible sense of occasion, a sense of community, a sense of drawing together and it was one of those special moments where I felt so very proud to be English.
I think this Summer is going to be an exciting one, with the potential for our nation to really unite and feel proud of what we can achieve. So very often we look at the negatives, the challenges, the things happening in government we don’t agree with, we moan, we groan, we complain. But there are good things happening also. And with the Diamond Jubilee coming up and the celebration of Her Majesty The Queen being on the throne for sixty years, along with London 2012 and the hosting of the Summer Olympics I think we might be in for a Summer where we can feel proud of our nation and the country we belong to.