10 September 2022
Gosh; a momentous week!
A new prime minister and a new head of state for the country. On Monday it is all about Liz Truss and a political lurch to the right. On Tuesday I feel trepidation at her early proclamations. By Wednesday I am wide eyed with terror. But as Thursday draws to a close an even bigger story breaks, the queen passes away peacefully at the age of 96 and a historic 70 year reign as our monarch draws to a close.
It dominates the news reels. The cost of living crisis, the rail strikes, postal strikes, barrister strikes … even the football fixtures make way for a brief period of calm as the country looks back on the life of the woman who was part of our world and history for seven decades. A reassuring constancy, ever dignified, ever diplomatic and often at the centre of an eventful family life.
Yes, one reason I think that, royalists or not, we can all relate to this moment is that the nation knew her as daughter, a wife, a mother, a grandmother and a great grandmother. Many of us have known first hand of family love, family ups and downs, the pain of family loss and … it resonates.
It certainly feels poignant for me, because Thursday 8 September, is also my late Dad’s birthday. At a time of change and new challenge locally as well as nationally, it is the perfect time to visit his grave and spend some time in the peace of the cemetery thinking out loud and hoping that, somewhere out there, he might be listening.
I tell him of the national stories and also update on news closer to home; Prom-dress daughter and her new Edinburgh flat, my eldest finding her feet on hospital placement, Small-boy starting sixth-form, new work for me, new friends for me, Forest back in the top flight of football and … of course my lovely mum, still bringing light, laughter and happiness into the world.
It is very therapeutic talking to someone who just ‘listens’. Feels good to re-ground myself as daughter, mother and friend. What a great foundation on which to prepare and look ahead to the new changes and opportunities that Autumn and Winter may bring.
All too soon it is time to head home, but as I turn to walk away, I remind him to ‘look out for the queen‘….