Saturday, 17 September 2022

Where were you?

I started this post on Saturday 10th September ( black font ) It's one week on now. ( Blue font ) Maybe I will finish it!


2022 The Queen

It's very strange to wake up and remember the Queen has died. 

I was at work, having just been in a DSL meeting, the first of the year catching up with all the new information that had happened over the summer for our most vulnerable and at risk children. The meeting had come to a close at 3.05pm and we were chatting more generally. We had been talking about the elderly and the head mentioned that the Queen was so frail and probably dying/at end of life but I took it as a general comment having not seen anything/heard anything at all of her since the Prime minister swap over and I remarked at the time that I thought she must have had cannulas in her hand as it was so bruised. 

"No." said my headteacher. She really is dying, its been on the news, the family is flying in. 

Well, my blood ran cold. I was sitting in her newly decorated office at a white table on a white chair. The hairs on my arms stood up and I became a bit overwhelmed with tears. It was a shock. Which is daft given her recent frailty and her age etc but as it has been mentioned by people on TV you kinda thought she would be here for ever because she has always been here forever. 

I was at the afterschool club until 5.30pm so did not see any more or hear anymore other than the BBC message that she was under medical supervision. 

I got home about 5.40pm and the HG and Mr 25 had just got home from work and Bluebell was doing her don't know who to greet first whilst wagging her tail off routine but as always, she settled with me. The TV was on and we all were chatting about how awful the news was and speculated, as probably every other household in the UK about what had happened/was happening. The HG rang his Mum to chat about her day and she has mixed dementia so she was busy saying she didn't know what had happened despite her having the news on ( an off day ) and I interrupted his conversation to say No , the Queen has died. He didn't hear me at first. I indicated to the TV where the proclamation from the PaLace was being shared. It was a renewed sense of shock and loss. We were a little stunned  - yes, she was 96, yes she was frail but this was the Queen. And that was that. The rest of the night we had the TV on in the background until I could no longer stand the endless commentary from the newscasters and we switched it off. 

I've been moved to tears many times:  the news footage this week of the coffin leaving Balmoral, and then onto St. Gile's , the King's speech, the grief etched on the faces of her immediate family, the heart gladdening of the King and his Queen being recieved in Ireland, the tributes and speeches from the World's leaders, and say what you like about Boris Johnson, he absolutely was spot on with his words. The pomp and ceremony and tradition of The Queen's coffin leaving Buckingham Palace was the most moving and yet spectacular piece of history I will ever know. I absolutely love the Queen, she was an amazing woman, who had this life foisted upon her, through no will of her own and she was incredible. 

Today, my lovely friend has taken the train down to London to go see the flowers and then wait in line to file past the Queen's coffin. I myself, don't have the urge but understand the urge for those who want to. 

Other famous deaths I can think of/meant something to me

Elvis Presley - I remember my Dad telling my Mum. I was sitting in our kitchen and he was telling her and showing her a photo. I was only very young but I recall knowing the name and hearing it a lot on the radio - or wireless as my beloved Nanna used to say. 

Michael Jackson - don't know the year and don't know where I was but know when it is because it was on my birthday! 

Diana Princess of Wales - easy for me to recall when and where. Mr 25 was born in 1997 in April. It was 5-6am ish and Id brought him downstairs to nurse him on the settee so as not to wake the then newly three year old Miss 28 and leave the HG a little bit before getting up to go to work. 

Plus I have always always loved that up first in a quiet house moment and the TV was on a rolling  breaking news thing that Diana had been involved in a car crash but was being taken to hospital with non life threatening injuries - I am pretty certain it was Anne Diamond and that Nick bloke on the sofa but those details are hazy. Not long after and I'd just switched the baby over bewbs wise and the news came that Reuters ( sp? ) were saying that she was dead and then it was confirmed. I stood up, baby still attached and shouted to the HG upstairs who I think had got up. I shouted for him to come downstairs now. He thought something was wrong with the baby - but no I said look - Diana is dead. And we were both dumfounded and I remember immediately thinking of her two boys and how their Mum's death was all over the news like it was. So that's where I was for that. I remember the days passing with all the flowers and I remember watching the funeral on TV but I wasn't a massive fan of her in the way a lot of people were. It was still a tragedy for all her loved ones. 

Victoria Wood - still devastated by this. Genuinely gutted about this one. My Dad mended her first husband's car you know. But she was genuinely one of my favourite women on the telly. 

Rik Mayall - saddened by his death, not sure when. Comedy genius. 

David Bowie - can recall being stunned to hear he had gone. Not a super fan or anything but understood his importance to Music.

George Michael - I think it was on Christmas day, not sure of the year. Wasn't surprised or overly moved. Very talented and tortured soul - same re Amy Winehouse - though couldn't stand the sound of her voice and couldn't see what all the fuss was about BUT a beautiful girl who missed out on so much life. 

I cannot bring to mind any more and it's now teatime so must go. 

Hitting publish. 

My friend has a wristband to go into the room where the Queen is lying in state between 6 and 7pm. I'm still not sure on the need and the extra buzz/joy of the fact the grandchildren may be there on show. It doesn't quite sit well with me but horses for courses and she was compelled to go, so she went. So far my lasting memory will be the sights and sounds of the coffin on the gun carriage being taken from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey - that's what I would have liked to witness in person. The sombre mood, the sheer synchronisation of the marching troops looking splendid, the way the King and his siblings marched all that way ( and it is a long way for an old man ) in time with the hypnotic back and forth side to side movement with the drums and the brass band. Long live the King and the Royal Family.


Love from 

Rachel *proud to be a royalist* Radiostar xxx