God Save Our Queen

Who had a nice Jubilee? Anyone? That’s good, I’m so glad to hear it, especially after you spent all that money on bunting. That would have been a complete waste otherwise. Me? I had a lovely Jubilee, thanks for asking. Of course, it wasn’t my Jubilee, it was the Queen’s wasn’t it? That’s not to say that I didn’t sit on a throne and watch over my subjects. In fact, I sat on a footstool and watched my gerbils, but it’s sort of the same thing. For anyone who may have missed a previous column ‘watched my gerbils’ is not a euphemism.

I spent the Jubilee with my family, which was nice. It’s getting to that point in my adult life where I only really see family for special occasions. It’s like a meeting of the United Nations, except my mum bulk buys a bunch of Iceland Party Snacks. Anytime the Gilroy’s hold a summit there’s at least a 35% rise in the sales of sausage rolls and deep fried garlic mushrooms. In fact, my mum puts on so much food that you’re still eating it four days later, and let me tell you something: there is nothing Jubilitic about biting into a four day old chicken wing. Not when the rest of the evening is spent in A&E having your stomach pumped – yes, I was still waving my flag while it was happening but no; it didn’t make the event anymore regal.

One of the best things about meeting up with the family is seeing my Nan. And undoubtedly one of the best things about seeing my Nan is seeing her get drunk. She doesn’t intend to get drunk, it just, sort of, happens. One minute she’ll be right as rain, tucking into the buffet and the next thing; she’s had a swig of Baileys and is now trying to have a protracted conversation with the cat. It really is something to behold, when you see a woman in her 80s, trying to discuss the benefits of Tony Blair’s two and a half terms in power. I don’t think Snowy minds being dragged into it; she’s just not as vocal as she would like to be, especially when it comes to New Labour’s foreign policy. This is how it starts; by the end of the evening she’s sat in the corner of the room singing Whigfield’s hit ‘Saturday Night’ and rocking herself to sleep.

I think my Nan thrives on being the centre of attention, although she does have to compete for title with my 2 year old nephew. During our Jubilany celebrations she, rather bluntly, told my mum to ‘get a haircut’ and made it abundantly clear to my heavily pregnant sister that she was gutted they weren’t having another little boy. She speaks her mind, regardless of what comes out, like verbal diarrhea or Carol Vorderman dropping a dictionary. Not only that, she’s determined she knows best – my Nan is vegetarian but it’s not out of any sense loyalty to the animals or a mutual understanding of their pain, I think it’s much more likely that she’s a vegetarian because it annoys my stepdad. Whilst flicking through the Jubilicious buffet she came across some sort of breaded goujon, which was of course, chicken. Just as she was about to put it in her mouth, my stepdad told her what it was. It was at this point she shrugged and proceeded to eat it anyway. I very much doubt Linda McCartney had such a cavalier attitude towards avoiding meat. Other meat products my Nan is willing to consume are scotch eggs and a roast dinner without the roast but with an extra large helping of meat gravy. We’ve tried telling her…

I don’t think she’s deliberately disruptive, I just think my Nan is one of those people who has lived a long and varied life (not that she’s a spy or anything) and now, in her retired years has decided she doesn’t have to answer to anyone. A bit like the Queen. A smashed, meat-eating, cat talking Queen.

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