27 June, 2007

a new era

I have no photo for today, because I don't want to appear political and post either Tony or Gordon! But it is quite a day here, we have a new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. A solemn acceptance speech outside Number 10 Downing Street (did you know that even if the Prime Minister has been accepted by his party he still has to be invited by the Queen? Well, she did). And a very intelligent, I thought, and entertaining, goodbye by Tony Blair. Say what anyone might about decisions taken: he is a well-spoken person and a lovely family man, and it seems a bit sad to have his departure take this note. But it did, a bit understated, I thought. Ordinary removal men coming to pick up his bits and pieces, to take to the house in a nearby square that we drove past tonight on the way back from skating: "oh, there's his house."

At the same time I was thinking of the 1990-ish (we were headstrong newlyweds, not paying enough attention to politics), was it, departure of Margaret Thatcher that we witnessed our first time around in London: "It's been a funny old life."

And of course this weekend we're honouring the tenth anniversary of the death of Princess Diana. I remember so clearly waking up that morning in August 1997 with little Baby Avery, to the horrible news of Diana's death. All the cliches about a mother leaving her children, terribly real, me clutching a tiny baby in New York.

It's odd, not being either British or American on a day like this. You know you're watching part of history, and part of me feels that someone is being unfairly judged today for having followed someone else doing what he thought was right, and that an entire career and life is being put in only one prism. But of course we'll see in future what it all means. Much richer, and more personal, are things like watching our daughter at her rain-soaked horse show on Sunday, with Becky and me selling our hard-baked brownies and cookies and such for the benefit of the next farrier's visit to the stable, and a lunch with a friend Lebanese-born and British-raised, not sure where her allegiances lie, and planning a Sunday dinner with school friends who mean so much to us that we didn't know existed a year and a half ago. It's a sentimental evening.

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