Welcome back, subjects, welcome back? Have you had a surfeit of faux-1950s reactionary bunting, sandwiches, knickers and beer? I managed to avoid the vast majority of the jubimadness, though I was pleasantly surprised by the way capitalism managed to so comprehensively cheapen the whole thing - even the sex shop round the corner from my flat (Vole Towers is in the most salubrious area of town) managed to get in on the act, with union flag posters inviting royalists to celebrate by visiting during 'jubilee opening hours'. The pop concert sounded like utter dross too - the usual parade of dull but inoffensive mimers, from Tom Jones to Robbie Williams to Queen's Brian May. I don't know whether it was him or the palace which was more confused by that invitation. They probably thought he was a relative, he thought it was to mark the band's 60th anniversary. Anyway, the sheer tawdriness of the entire event cheered me up mightily.
As for me, I had a great weekend. Chief pleasures were doing a (sadly short) photoshoot with the Nightingales, then attending their gig in Wolverhampton. Before an audience of friends and family, they played a storming set - anchored by rock-steady drums and bass rather than the previous line-up's mindless drug hoovers, the new sound - krautrock, post-punk with just enough early-70s guitar heroism overlaid by Robert's driest vocals - was triumphant. I've seen them so many times and often wanted my ears to fall off, but not this time. They're on tour - catch them while you can.
Other highlights - a walk up The Ercall and The Wrekin, quality hills in Shropshire. Deer, jays, rabbits, cuckoos, caterpillars, buzzards, martins, larks - all animal life was there. I'll stick up some photos later, but now I'm off to an English Department Away Day. Although 'Away' in this case means - literally - 'upstairs'.