Blog: The Actual Jubilee
Along with about a ZILLION other people we went to St Pauls in order to stroll down to the river... only to find it shut off. We (and everybody else) were suddenly presented with the simple FACT that, actually, there isn't a HUGE amount of actual SPACE by the Thames, and it looked like every single Event Security Officer in the COMMONWEALTH had been employed to ensure that none of us could get there.
As ever with large events they'd spent years planning, employed tons of security, but don't seem to have thought to provide anyone with communications, so we spent the past hour or so wandering THE CITY, along with an ACTUAL MILLION (approx) other people with no real clue what was going on. It was only when we got back on the tube again (having gone to Embankment to see if we could get anywhere there, and couldn't) that we heard that THE ENTIRE RIVER was closed off. Well done TFL for telling us, though it would have been nice if someone ON the river could have done the same!
Determined to see SOMETHING we headed out to WAPPING, just after the official finish line at Tower Bridge. We REASONED that the boats were going out further upriver to disembark, so we'd probably see something or other. We came out of the station, turned right, and noticed a few people following a sign to "The Thames Path" down an alleyway. We followed them and suddenly found ourselves ON the riverbank with a PERFECT view... JUST as the flotilla came by! Honestly, within A MINUTE of arriving the Belfry Barge came towards us, and we spent the next HOUR marvelling at all the different boats. To be honest the first bit, with all the canoes and other man-powered boats, was the best bit, but it was all JOLLY exciting. We couldn't believe our luck!
We ALSO couldn't believe how WET we were getting, so eventually headed off to see if we could get a look at The Avenue Of Sails, where the ships too big to get under the bridges would be berthed. Suddenly we came across a small crowd who, we found out, were waiting to watch the entire Royal Family drive past on their way home. After the ridiculous SUCCESS of our flotilla viewing with thought we'd LUCKED OUT again - I mean, I'm not a KRAZED ROYALIST or anything, but if you get the chance to see THE ACTUAL QUEEN on the ACTUAL JUBILEE then you'd be daft not to wouldn't you?
However, after ten minutes of GETTING SOAKED we realised that they probably wouldn't be coming for a good while yet, so strolled up to St Katherine's Docks where we saw a) loads of fantastic boats b) the fireworks on Tower Bridge (heralded by all the people in the posh flats on the riverside singing along while they watched it on telly) and perhaps most excitingly of ALL c) AMANDA REDMAN from off of "New Tricks" stood outside having a fag!
We headed back home, SODDEN, but very happy. When we watched the whole event later that evening on telly we enjoyed our first opportunity to say "We were there!" I expect to enjoy saying that AGANE AND AGANE for many many years to come!
posted 4/6/2012 by MJ Hibbett
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