Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Cynical in the City

Three days and counting before the double bank holiday and I cannot wait. Like a lot of people I’ve booked off the three days between Easter and the Royal Wedding/May Day weekend which means I have eleven blissful days away from the office for the price of three. Bring it on.
So, how will I be spending these days of freedom? Well, there will be a trip up to Yorkshire to see Him Indoors’ clan, followed by three days in London pottering to my hearts content. Then it will be the Royal Wedding.
Will I be getting out my Union Jack and hitting the streets of London? Throwing a street party to celebrate? Splashing out on a commemorative teacup? No. I will be escaping to my mum and dad's for the weekend where I will be going to a craft workshop with my mum on Saturday and attending an old chum’s birthday barbeque on Sunday.
I’m sorry but I’m just not into the Royal Family and quite honestly don’t see what all the fuss is about. Thousands of people get married all the time and many of them end up divorced. And, let’s face it, the last two big Royal Weddings didn’t exactly end well, did they?
Okay, so maybe it’s an excuse for a party. But do I really want to head down to Westminster Abbey (I am assuming that is where kick-off will be) to get crushed by hundreds of tourists, pay through the nose to use the loo at the nearest pub and have to queue for three hours to get on a tube home? I don’t think so.
It is quite possible that I am a little cynical about these things. Take two recent sporting events, the Boat Race and the London Marathon. Lots of people turned up to cheer those amazing sportsmen and women on – and trust me, after attempting to improve my running beyond the occasional sprint for the bus, I have much respect for anyone who attempts the latter. But can I really be bothered to get up early on a Sunday morning to watch people running past me? I did consider heading down to the Boat Race this year but, along with the possible disruption caused by the protests, I didn’t fancy getting stuck on the South Bank with a load of Oxbridge types with no means to make a quick escape. As for the protest? Well, I had other plans.
Then there’s the Olympics. According to the government, EVERYTHING is going to be great by 2012 – public transport, homelessness, street cleanliness, you name it, it will be sorted by next year. Needless to say, I’m not holding my breath. Nor have I rushed to buy tickets. Despite Mr Johnson’s promises, something tells the that London will grind to a standstill, unable to cope with the sudden influx of people, and travelling anywhere, let alone to Stratford, will become near impossible. So next summer I will be planning my summer holiday to neatly coincide with the mayhem which I predict will ensue.
I know that some people fail to understand my apparent apathy. “What is the point of living in London if you don’t go along to these things?” You might say. And you may have a point. But there is plenty in London that I do enjoy - the galleries, the theatre, the nightlife, the shopping – and take full advantage of. But standing around on the side of the street waving just to catch a glimpse of a couple of aristocrats? I’ll give it a miss, thanks all the same.

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