Monday, 25 April 2011

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

I don't know if it's glorious spring sunshine, the drama of landing like a newcomer in my own land, or maybe the way my eyelids have swollen up and I can't see properly, but I have this beautiful focus on England right now, and to me this country looks fantastic. You have the world's most fantastic hedgerow blossoms! You have gentle curves of rivers through fields! And birdsong! Do you hear that? It's just AMAZING.

So I'm afraid this blog might become no more than a sequence of blurred pictures of rural England for a few weeks while I come over all Enid Blyton and rush around shouting AMAZING.

But that can't be all, can it? You've got something else here, and it's the English.

Aren't they FANTASTIC? They do stuff like this. Today at Wrest Park we drive over a field and park our cars in a proper line, attending carefully to a man in a yellow jacket who points exactly where we should park.

Everyone follows him, they do, even though all the opportunity of the field exists. People could go berserk! They could park anywhere! But they don't. No one wants to cause a fuss by parking a teensy bit out of line. Everyone follows each other, smiles, says thank you, then goes round the back of the car to fumble with picnic blankets and thermos flasks. I totally love it.

Then these people are so polite! Even the ones who have got more tattoos than skin and a few who have studs in their faces like they have met with a horrible industrial accident and had to have their cheeks nailed up. They stand in queues and shuffle politely to one side to let you past. It is BRILLIANT.

Then what could be better than this.

We all sit down to watch a dragon be knocked over by a man on a horse, and we can BOOO and HURRAH by which time I have become faintly hysterical with the wonderfulness of it all.

But there is more. There is warm beer and medieval music and people who dress up and make terrible jokes and we all laugh.

So no mocking of England or the English, none at all. It just puts a big smile on my face to be surrounded by this countryside and these people and their fantastic silliness and brilliant dressing up and the way they all shake out their picnic blankets, climb back in their cars and neatly follow each other in a line across the field to go home.

Brilliant. Just brilliant.