I had lunch with a good friend of mine the other day and I am so blessed to have such a diverse collection of people who love me or as I like to say `my own unique universe of precious `pebbles’ who happen to like being around this old rock’. Because I love pebbles. I love how they are all so different in shape, colour, texture and size and yet collectively they lay harmonious with each other and altogether they create the beautiful beach that I walk on, which then creates the beautiful landscape that belongs uniquely to my country of birth, the United Kingdom. My friend is English and no coffee latte can be complete without the tentative words of “Did you watch the Coronation?’
Before I elaborate on the answer, I must also explain that my friend is some 20 years younger than me, a yoga teacher and occupational therapist… and vegan. A staunch crusader of why we need to save the planet and he’s not my King! I so admire her deep passion of love and commitment to her belief that it reminds me of how much we as humans can react to what we feel in our hearts. However, my beliefs differ from hers for I absolutely love bacon butties with an egg oozing on top and really can’t resist the mouth-watering Christmas dinner with Yorkshire puddings, pigs in blankets and then a sausage roll buffet with ham on Boxing Day…with no downward dog in sight! But that is the beauty of being individual and having choices in life.
Our opposing view on food is an easy solution as we merrily slurp on our preferred beverage and our vegan carrot cake and chocolate fresh cream donut - but not so it seems with our views on the Coronation.
“It’s abhorrent how can we have spent so much money on this event when there are thousands of people needing food banks?” ... “It’s an occasion for the rich” …why are we still subsidising this privileged family?
These were such relevant questions and with a complete honest open-heart I tried my best to reply.
“Err…no actually” I gulped before I proceeded “I think differently”
I think I heard the word “what!!” (or it could have been a much stronger vocal answer)… but, to be fair, it was really difficult to decipher what was being said along with the spit and carrot cake that accidently exploded my way, so I wasn’t sure.
“The thing is” I said “Is this”.
“Since 2019 there has rarely been a good news story but plenty of bad stuff. Covid, (the biggest pandemic in our lifetime) dominating every headline, Deaths (1000’s either through Covid, war or shootings) and then there has been the Ukraine and Russia war (seeing fuel and energy prices plummet us into further debt and hardship), Injustice (the constant barrage of political views from every party in every area of our Country) and can I dare mention the ongoing strikes?
I am so in need of a good news stories! Along with restoring my sense of English pride.
If there is one thing that we do well in the UK it is pomp and ceremony. Whether that is in the form of a wedding in a church with organ, bells and choir or Remembrance Sunday with the various brass bands and street parades or Christmas Eve Mass with its regimental and predictable programme. I love all that because it reminds me that I am part of history, I am a privileged person lucky enough to have been brought up in England… and a part of me loves that”.
And I am not alone it would seem. So many people were also struck by Coronation fever and flags were seen waving, bunting flying and smiles appeared once again.
Ironically, I recently watched a film called `Dad’s Army’ and ironically, I am going to visit Auschwitz next year.
It makes me wonder what those who lived and died during WW2 would make of the values of today. What would they say to us? Those 1000’s who gave or lost their lives. How they would have wished that they had lived in a time when being vegan was an actual affordable option instead of surviving on dripping sandwiches and tripe and onions.
But the future is with the younger generation and their values will carry us through the turbulence of the years to come.
I feel thankful that I am old enough to appreciate the sacrifices made for me and young enough to go out and enjoy every minute of my vegan free life and yes enjoy every minute of the pomp and ceremony that our royal heritage gives me.
Yes, the planet is fragile…and so is human love – especially to each other - and that’s why we must value and treasure our wonderful friends, with all our differences, now more than ever!