Yesterday was our ninth wedding anniversary. We have two anniversaries - the anniversary we started going out and our wedding anniversary. My husband bought me pink paeonies to match the kitchen table and promised me dinner out tonight. We did not make it to dinner; instead, he took me to a show and lunch.
The show was Tony Blair's last huzzah at Trimdon Labour Club. It is a long time since we went to a show. (I do not count the school nativity play). Unfortunately, my husband had forgotten you have to buy tickets. We looked for a tout. But I think the number of yellow-jacketed police put them off. We ended up standing in the crowd with the school children and the Trimdon locals who have mobile phones which can take photographs and the same foresight as my husband. We waited like Stage Door Johnnies to see the star and his wife. If you do not count several hundred journalists and camera crew, there weren't that many of us outside. It was ever so slightly pointless. My husband kept saying: "It's history." He wanted to see the only other man in the world who feels the same way as he does about Iraq. I exaggerate there are three of them.
The Labour Club is a matter of yards away from a stone built church on the village green. As Blair was saying his "goodbye and thanks for having me's", "Nan" was being carried in to church in a coffin for her own "goodbye and thanks for having me". Everywhere I go, there's a coffin lately. At least, this one was not open. The one in Ireland was open. An open coffin can be quite scary if you are not expecting it. In Trimdon, hearses, flowers and mourners sat next to armoured plated cars, satellites and more mourners. I am not sure if the grieving relatives knew what was going on as they drew up to find the world's media and half of Durham's constabulary parked up on the green.
A handful of anti-war protesters shouted their outrage; two of them in orange boiler suits with bags over their heads. I think they would have been better shouting: "Hurray, hurray" if they wanted to win hearts and souls. Instead, they had a loud claxon and shouted things like: "Come out. the building is surrounded by police." That was quite witty. They also shouted: "Shame" which is an utterly pointless thing to shout at any politician. Their banner said they were "Sedgefield against war". Maybe they were. The locals I heard talking to them said things like: "You're a bloody embarrassment, you are." If they are local, I do not think they have a big following.
It was a bit like the Oscars. The Oscars if just Billy Crystal turned up . Everyone got very excited when the BBC's political editor Nick Robinson appeared. Make that Billy Crystal and Ellen DeGeneres. Blair made a quick exit. He blew a kiss. Not to me. My husband was watching. Cherie waved at all of us. I waved back. She waved again. Not to me.
I thought about "Nan". I wondered if she would have gone along, if she was able. Whether she would have minded about Blair. If you get dead, and then you get buried. You want your funeral to be the biggest show in town, don't you? In any event, I have told my husband, next time, I am booking the tickets.
Not for me. No funeral. No show. No 'biggest show in town.' Sorry. I do not want anything to do with any of it. I don't believe that I can be the only one? Am I ?
Did you see me Wifey I waved - but there were a lot security guards and such in the way. Eventually one of Grans relatives told me to "shut up whooping and get down" as I was being disrespectful;-well I didn't know that northerners don't like you standing on coffins..
What a mad romantic fool your husband is! Given the chance, what would he do for your anniversary next year - take you to the wrestling?
I am curious about something with all this talk of funerals. Was there a wake for your aunt? My mother's family has an Irish background and even though we are now firmly southwestern Americans (heavy on the southern), there is still the occasional wake for my older relatives (think in their 90s).
I've told anyone who'll listen that there are to be no tears at my funeral and only laughter and a goodly quantity of alcohol.
By the way, the DT had a small piece about Cherie today. They hit the nail on the head when they suggested she was not a nice person.
If that's your husbands idea of an anniversary treat I'd tell him to eff off back to London! Fish'n'chips on the harbour would've been preferable.
Your husband was wrong. There are four of us - since you must count me in too!
Though I admit my bright hopes have been considerably dashed, since the day they brought Saddam's statue tumbling down.
And are we now to witness the longest goodbye in political history? And will there be tears at last, when we hear that TB was "the People's prime minister"?
(Omigod, what have we come to, here?)
You are in good (or is it in fact rather poor?) company with the pink table etc..
Did you see that at the new Wembley Stadium, the sun has bleached the red seats pink?
My condolences on being taken to such a show on your anniversary. Hope the lunch made up for it.
I take it you weren't tempted to reach out and grasp for a last sentimental cuddle from Cruella de Blair then?
No, I didn't see many others tempted either.
was there much beating with slippers?
I suppose it's (just barely) acceptable to differ from me in his opinions about Iraq, but for your husband to want to see the staged farewell is just beyond the pale – don't ask, "what pale?".
I met the plonker once, Blair, not your husband: he came to Brüggen when we launched the raids on Kosovo. He said nothing, smiled for the cameras and left. It must have been the Kosovo campaign that got him thinking that he had the hang of this warry business; it's a large and smelly shame that he didn't quite while he was ahead ...
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