|You Don’t Need To Bring Me Flowers.|
|Main Image – Dog Rose Hips|
|Overhanging willow tree – Delf Stream – The Ropewalk|
|Music Score –Wonder – Morning Light Music|
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|Suze and l have been busy this last week with the allotment and have been up there almost daily, so much so that we haven’t even been walking in the mornings with the usual regularity. I am not short on my steps, though. Each day l am clocking them up in their thousands. |
I will write about all of this soon enough, but with Suze being away for a month from Monday there are certain tasks that need to be taken care of this week.
These photographs are from Tuesday’s morning walk. It is a lovely time to walk and enjoy the season of autumn.
I find myself watching the events of recent times with some curiosity. Queen Elizabeth II died last Friday. A week later, l still find myself pondering upon the enormity of the flowers and their waste.
I am not a true Brit in the British sense of the word. I have never been typically British, either. I place this down to living and growing up in Australia and Malaysia when l was younger.
My parents emigrated to Australia when l was two years of age in 1965. By the time it was 1968, we were then living as a family with my newly born sister in Malaysia and then by 1971, we were back in Australia and stayed there till 1977.
I had a holiday for three months in England with my family in 1970, but overall Great Britain was as alien to me as it would have been waking up on a distant planet. I didn’t consider England my home; l considered myself an Australian.
I have lived in England since 1977, so for the last forty-five years, l have resided in this country and felt as far removed from it as possible. By 1990, l no longer felt like an Australian, but l didn’t feel British. I was l used to joke a Limboite! A man stuck in between two worlds.
Because of this feeling, l found l couldn’t quite understand certain things British – their beliefs and cultures. Many years later, l wondered if this was perhaps down to being on the spectrum with Aspergers. I see things very differently at times to others, and so what is considered naturally ‘anything’ or typically ‘conventional’ l struggle to comprehend the emotionally attached logic.
I didn’t feel close to either of my grandparents from my mother’s or father’s side. They may well have been Martians for all l cared, so when they tried to instruct me in the doctrines of this ideology or that, l looked at them with distaste and amusement.
I will believe in what l choose to believe in until l no longer believe in it. I used to say much to their annoyance.
My Irish grandparents wanted me to become more of a Catholic and support the IRA, which l couldn’t do – l mean who wants to support terrorists! My English grandparents wanted me to support the Monarchy and the Queen, which again l felt too far removed from to want to.
Both of my parents were royalists and my Irish father was devoutly so, much to the annoyance of his parents who were anti-royalist.
In 1977 when l was hot off the boat from Australia and living in north Wales waiting to move further down south, l happened upon my first and last active royal experience. It was the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II. Standing on a street, somewhat baffled as to why in Llanrwst holding a plastic handheld flag of the United Kingdom and waiting for the Queen to pass by in her car and for a brief moment, l saw a face and a flicker of hand flesh that l was supposed to wave at.
It was over in less than ten seconds, and my mother said, “Oh, how do you feel having met the queen?”
“I didn’t meet anyone, mum; l stood on a cold street in a welsh town waving a silly plastic flag at someone who l didn’t even clearly see who l assure you didn’t see me in a crowd of faces!”
Then, my mother may have realised that the Monarchy and being a royalist meant nothing to me.
Years later, my views never changed; l was never a royalist. I couldn’t understand why thousands of people supported this system. I would never speak ill of any royal family, and l didn’t wish to see anything wrong happen to them, but l have never been interested.
I did like Diana and was saddened when she passed, but l didn’t weep or be overly emotional like that. It was just sad because she could and did rock the firm and they needed rocking. it would of course happen years later and it will be interesting to see what happens now.
After her demise in 1997, my slight interest in the royals was gone forever.
Yet here we are in 2022, twenty-five years after Diana and Queen Elizabeth has now passed away at the grand old age of 96, which is a good inning for anyone.
I watch all of this current goings-on with strained bafflement as to what is going on. I understand in the briefest way that people are upset; l get that. It’s not something l need to express. I don’t need to travel miles and miles and bloody miles to stand in a queue with thousands and thousands of other people to walk somberly past the Queen’s casket paying respects.
I don’t get that.
Something else l don’t genuinely understand is why people consider buying flowers the best way to pay their respects. Sure l know that the flowers will all end up in good compost and that organic matter will be added to the environment. But consider further ALL the money that is being wasted on the flowers in the first place.
The Queen was an avid supporter of charities, and she had several favourites – why can’t people use that money spent on flowers ending up in compost and donate the funds to a charity of the Queen instead? That would be money better spent, surely? Then the charity could have produced perhaps a floral card with condolences written on them.
That would be more environmentally friendly, and money well spent and channelled into better causes than flowers lying prone on the grasses. This isn’t a new thought for me; l have thought this way for years regarding the pointless act of awarding flowers to the dead who can’t enjoy the vibrancy of the colourful blooms because they are dead.
According to recent surveys, 8% of people in the UK said they would be more likely to donate to a charity the Queen supported. Australians were urged to donate to charities instead of buying flowers.
The Queen, for instance, supported Blind Veterans UK, a worthy cause alone. Still, she was also a frequent donator to charities for animals, children and the elderly, which could all have done with some valuable funding in today’s climate.
I love flowers, l love colour and sure l love composting too. But l don’t like to see money wasted on pointlessness. I wasn’t, and l will never be a royalist. I have never felt particularly patriotic to this country because of being a Limboite – but l think the money could have been better spent by those who are than it has been. Even Queen Elizabeth II herself would have supported charity donations, considering how much she helped others.
People will always do what they think is best, but l believe with times changing as they are, it’s time for a rethink on the laying flowers like this and look at spending money more wisely. Let’s not start on about the blanket news coverage or the waves of black attire for a lady who loved colour and wasn’t big on media – let’s not start on the ironies here.
But maybe that’s because l am and have been more of an environmentalist than a royalist.
|A ducky gathering …|