As we approach The Queen's Jubilee, I cannot help but get swept along with all of the excitement manifested in the displays throughout London; flags, banners, bunting and shop windows. Seeing the red, white and blue everywhere fills me with pride.
I did my first Jubilee concert yesterday in Catford, decked out in a full length (tasteful) Union Jack patterned dress with diamond accessories. I was relieved to see that the venue had gone to town too, with their own decorations covering the hall right down to the audience, who were sporting their finery with a red, white and blue theme. It was when I began to sing 'There'll Always Be An England' that the audience bowled me over as they leapt to their feet, waving their flags with gusto. There's something about the rousing anthems which we connect to our country - Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory, There'll Always Be An England, Rule Britannia and the like - which have such power to stir the soul. I never fail to get teary eyed when a crowd earnestly gets to its feet to sing our national anthem. Whether you are a monarchist or not, it's difficult to be too cynical about our beautiful diamond Queen, who has lead such an exemplary life and who unites the country in such a positive way. I'm sure this will be evident throughout the UK over the next few days when we see the turn out of the crowds in London, and communities coming together with street parties and events held right across the nation.
Working on The London Showboat for City Cruises has also given me an insight into how special The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant is going to be this Sunday, 3rd June 2012. They are frantically readying their fleet for all the momentous events they have planned. I was honoured last week when the BBC asked if they could come and film me singing on The London Showboat, followed by an interview where I talked about what it is like to work as a singer on the boats, and daily life on the River Thames. This will be part of a series of short documentaries televised throughout the BBC live broadcast of the Pageant, so keep an eye out for me!
With the current economic situation being as difficult as it is at the moment, I do feel a sense of pride in our country, rallying round for these big celebrations and embracing the festive spirit. Life is for living and it's important to 'always look on the bright side of life'. Don't worry about the things thst are out of your control, go with the flow and focus on the things you can control. So this weekend, get out and enjoy the sunshine wherever possible and relish the celebratory atmosphere that we can muster up as a United Kingdom.