Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A nation of dreary scowlers

We are so repressed and dull in this country.  whatever you feel about the royal wedding and the monarchy, it's an excuse to party.  get out, get some wine down you, jig on the spot, let your kids play with their kids, have a laugh, see everyone having a laugh.  Instead all we hear about is how bored everyone is with the forthcoming royal nuptials, the need to escape it yad yadda yawn... 

Says a lot about a nation that we're quite happy to ogle it on the box (apparently 58% of us plan to watch it on the telly) but couldn't possibly be seen to be doing anything that might be construed as enjoying it...5% will actually take part in a street party.  the British are crap at having a good time, even when it's offered them on a plate.   there's some kind of shame associated with it.  We have no joie de vivre - even the expression is bloody foreign.  it does not translate. The nation throws a party and nobody comes.

instead of using the event like the French, Spanish, Italians would, we'll be slobbing and scowling on the sofa like the Royle family, tutting over the cost of this and that - 'don't they know there's a recession woteva woteva'.  when we leave the house it'll be to drag our flab to the pub to moan some more into our six successive pints, so we can whinge louder uninhibited.

case in point...there's a busker in exeter who sings swing like one of those fabulous old crooners, accompanied by a Palladium big band courtesy of his ipod and PA system.  You can't walk past him and not be lifted by his 'Fly me to the Moon', flick a hip at his 'Lady's a Tramp', stomp the ground at his 'Mack the Knife' but everyone resists, suppresses, scuttles past, eyes down.  On the continent, people would stop, appreciate the poor guy, grab one another, fill the precinct dancing...   In this country, regardless of the sun shining and him trilling, we must get on, rush to get back to the dross - grey little offices, insipid boring lives.

I lived in Madrid for three years and discovered another way.  I recommend anyone feeling the drag into the vortex of incessant gloom and bah humbug that's so peculiar, and endemic amongst us brits get themselves to the continent sharpish and rediscover how to have fun.  Seeing and hearing this busker, we stopped, my two-year-olds and I.  The twins swayed, bopped, and waved their arms to the music and I had a little bounce with them.   We were the only ones.  They started moving to music pretty much as soon as their little brains registered it, dancing as soon as they could stand.  It's something I plan to encourage until I'm old and decrepit - succumb to the urge to move, party, have fun, and don't let the British default-to-dreary smother it.   Even if it means packing them off to Spain. arriba arriba.   

I know, I know, I promised not to be rant, but need to vent every now and then....

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