Here in the UK we have just had four days of celebrations for the Queen's Jubilee. Months ago, my sister suggested we stay overnight in London to go and see the Pageant along the Thames. As the day grew nearer I began to wonder whether it was such a good idea. There would be crowds, transport would be difficult, what would the weather be like? But these were all concerns, the stuff of everyday life and what the Pageant and the Jubilee celebrations offered was a chance to step OUT of the ordinary and to indulge in a little excitement, a soupcon of romance. In the end, there were millions of people in London, trains were packed to the gills and the weather was foul - cold and incredibly wet. But, the Jubilee delivered totally and utterly because it did give us the opportunity to step out of our routines, to see amazing things, connect with some different people and all in a positive way. It really struck me that the news was full of fun people, exciting happenings in which we could all take part whether that was by going up and waving our flags, having a party with friends and neighbours or watching on the tv. I think the ability to step out of real life for a time is also what readers and we writers get out of pocket novels. We get to 'know' new people in the characters, we get to go to interesting places we might never visit in real life and what's more we get to go there in safety. For Pocket Novel world is a safe place - we know there won't be any gruesome murders or hideous happenings! London and in fact the whole country felt safe and very friendly during the Jubilee. We connected with neighbours and strangers and despite the massive crowds, everyone got on marvellously.
We also saw some wonderful boats which took part in the Pageant. The boat at the top is Tenacious, the largest wooden boat built in England in the last 100 years. It has been designed to help disabled people go sailing and is huge, taking a crew of 40 able bodied and 20 disabled crew. The one below that though, The Matthew was the one I loved for its romantic look. It's very small, dwarfed by the other tall ships which took part in the Pageant, but it was just like I imagine a pirate boat would look. It's a replica of a caravel which sailed the seas searching for a sea route to the orient in 1497 and instead discovered north America. Seeing it floating on the Thames gave me an idea for a pocket novel which I must now go off to jot down before I forget it! How did other people spend their jubilee?