The Jubilee Break

Trip Start May 06, 2012
Trip End Jun 26, 2012

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Friday, June 1, 2012

I had an amazing return trip to the UK. I felt a bit of a fraud coming home in the middle of the journey, so kept a low profile as didn't really want to see people until I had finished the trip - bar the people I was going to spend the weekend with - I don't think hiding in my room would have seemed that sociable!

Having suprised Kaye on Monday morning, we had a couple of days in London and we headed to Babbington House for an amazing Friday. I had arranged a couple's treatment at their spa, which started with Kaye and I being locked into a Steam Room (which was off to start with) and being given 3 types of different coloured mud which we had to apply to each other until we were totally covered from head to toe - we looked like a rather inedible neopolitan mud pie of white, brown and purple. Once we were caked, it was time to bake - so we switched on the Steam which was timed for what seemed like an eternity of only 20 minutes - think the eternal dripping of mud into one's eye and the inability to see further than a foot due to the steam took the steaminess out of the mud rubbing part!

We then had an amazing dinner and we lit the fire in our bedroom and slept in the biggest bed I have ever slept in. It was a lovely Friday day and night and the next morning after a massive and delicious breakfast we headed on to Honiton in Devon to meet up with Charlie Wright, who was hosting a Jubilee weekend in his house there with some of our great friends.

The whole weekend was a joy. It was lovely to be back and amongst friends rather than being alone either on a bike or in a drab motel room and it was also fantastic to be in the UK so I could see and be involved in the Jubilee weekend.  It was amazing to see all the bunting and British pride pouring out over the weekend, it was so contagious that Kaye and I were swept up in it aswell, and by Saturday evening we had already aquired Union Jack place mats, mugs, jugs, tea pot and cake tins - they didn't have any bunting left. They came in very handy for when Kaye made an amazing Sponge cake as you can see in the picture.

The wonderful celebrations for the Queens 60 year reign were beautifully planned and executed. However, there were clearly some miscommunications - the weather Gods clearly misunderstood 60 year reign given their outpouring during the Thames Boat extravaganza. Though the BBC coverage was blighted by some chaotic and mindless reporters, it didn't detract from the huge demonstration of the support and love for the Queen that was shown by some many people braving the weather's worst attempts to scupper the event. The other charming miscommunication seemed to be that some of the American Artists at the Monday Jubilee concert clearly thought it was the Queens 60th Birthday as demonstrated by Grace Jones wishing her Happy Birthday and later by Stevie Wonder and Will.I.Am singing Happy Birthday - given the joyous celebrating nobody seemed to mind, but it certainly put a smile on my face!

I don't know if people thought this or agree, but I thought that Prince Charles' speech at the concert was on point, touching, respectful and had everyone in rapture - he nearly had his old ma in tears! It seems that since he has settled down with Camilla that he is enjoying life and it seems that he is starting to enter the Nation's Heart. I hope that when the unfortunate day does occur that the Queen passes that the Nation will welcome Charles III and not cry out for WIlliam instead - I think we have to remember that it is the Monarchy and not an X-factor popularity contest!
It was a lovely break but probably too long as I think I took the opportunity to fatten up like a turkey in preparation of the 2nd half of the trip a little too literally! However, the joy of those few days seems like an amazing precursor to the Olympics - I will be back for those and I can't wait to enjoy them and the atmosphere that they are bound to bring to London and the UK in general. But till then I had better get back on the bike!
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