Monday 06 May 2002

Today at the Vicarage The

Today at the Vicarage : The Vicarage

What a joyous few days. The village excelled itself on Monday with its jubilee celebrations. Five floats, one decorated for each decade of the Queen's reign; some forty yards of tressle tables, filled with fine home made sandwiches, cakes and other beasts of delight; and crowds of washed and scrubbed little people to eat them all.

Fortunately, unlike the Queen, I was not required to invite them into the inner sanctum of my garden. Also, unlike the Queen's celebrations, our surprisingly tuneful young village band played a fine selection of recent songs from the likes of Travis, Stereophonics, Coldplay and Oasis – a decade notably absent from "the party at the palace".

I enjoyed both concerts courtesy of my video and new surround sound TV system – which coped admirably with the wonderful audio explosions which accompany such events. Given the number of inaudible vocal lines, it would appear that the aphorism for the Pop concert was "Never trust a musician to choose the same microphone twice". Which could always be abbreviated to "Never trust a musician".

Along with many of those with whom I have spoken, I have my reservations about the choice of music at the Palace concerts – which neither seemed to be the "celebration of the relationship between the royalty and music" that was announced on the first day, nor the "celebration of the best of British Music", that was claimed on the second.

If I may make a snide remark (and this is after all my personal diary), I would point out that as Greg Dyke is a well known anti royalist, who is keen to replace all that is British with "Cool Britannia", it is not unsurprising if the BBC understands little about royalty, the British or the relationship between them. Which makes the last few days, and the very real and tangible energy which still survives, all the more remarkable.

Simply wonderful.

I only hope that the fire on the palace roof will not have been caused by a rogue cigarette stub from one Punk Sanderson.

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