Hmm… Ok, not quite the wonderful day I was expecting!
The car was parked next to Hammersmith Bridge at about 12:30 & as we passed over we saw Ben Fogle rowing underneath so we waved & he waved back!! After we had crossed the bridge my parents said, “It’s such a lovely day and Battersea Park isn’t far, shall we walk along the embankment so we can see all the boats?”
“Oh how lovely, yes, let’s!” said my sister & I. First Mistake….
We had been told there might be rain so I was in my warm rain coat, Australian stockman’s hat and Hunter wellingtons. Everyone else had worn ‘everyday footwear’ and a rain mac, except my Mum who had worn a very old & tatty pair of espadrilles that she was going to throw out, but decided to give them just one more wear…
As the walk on the paved embankment wore on we kept asking “Are we there yet?” & the reply kept coming “Almost there, but it is a bit further than I remember…” But watching the boats go by was lovely & seeing all the people on balconies in fancy dress kept us smiling.
After a while my feet were really hurting (wellingtons are not for walking on paved areas in the dry, they are for puddles & mud…) and I said, “was this really such a good idea?” my Mother then piped up that her feet were hurting too in her broken footwear & my sister was hungry…
We stopped in an open space with several TV screens & listened to some of the commentary, my sister found a discarded Union Flag, picked it up for waving later and then we moved on. We were all tired and footsore by this point & Battersea was still a long way off, I pressed ahead & lost the others, but as I had the momentum going I didn’t want to stop…
The heavens opened and added to my already dampened spirits, so by the time I got to Battersea Park I felt retched… (bear in mind by the time I got there it was 5:30) But I went through the gate & headed towards the sound of music. There were lots of vintage things to do in tents, but they were huddling inside out of the rain so it was hard to tell what was going on. The tallest cake display was good – they were giving away free rice crispy cake!!!! 🙂 I donated money so I could have one of the cakes that made up the Queen’s portrait. I was really hungry by this point & my parents and sister had stopped in Pizza Express for food so I had a burrito from a van, huddling close to it to keep out of the torrential rain.
Three chaps in ‘Victorian strong man’ costumes were wandering around in the crowd juggling & lifting ladies for photos, they were wonderful, really cheering everyone up, well done those men!
I headed back to the stage and with food in my tummy, huge chunk of rice crispy cake in a plastic bag on my wrist I had a good dance to The Selector! By the time I got a text from my parents saying they wanted to go home I had overcome the doldrums & skipped happily back to the vintage Police cars to start the long trek home… (we did get the bus, but the right bus stop seemed miles away!! But I did see Sir Cliff Richard and Gloria Hunniford on Battersea Bridge trying to get a Police car to give them a lift because Cliff couldn’t find his car! Also treated to a bloke in his Bugatti Veyron wanting to go through a Police barrier & being told “No”, so it’s nice to know the rich and famous were also having a hard time!)
When we got back to Barnes we were soaked, footsore & very tired. My sister popped into the newsagents for a paper & Mum & I headed to the car, then we heard sirens and turned to see several Police motorcycles blocking the junction, blowing whistles & we thought ‘Royals’… My sister unfurled her flag as the green Jaguar drove past & Camilla and Charles gave her a personal wave & smile – it made my sister’s day!
Even amongst the negative, there are bursts of positive! 🙂