Popped down to see the lady off.

All the streets around mine were peaceful, policeful. I woke into reasonable quiet. Tom was giving a tutorial to the daughter of a South American potentate over zoom as I woke into the day. We chose to connect to the shared noise. The procedure of moving a body out of London with soldiers. So much spectacle. The crablike movement of the pallbearers was observed with a certain joy. We watched it on the large telly knowing that it’s a pageantry we are not going to witness on this scale again. As she was being loaded into her motor it occurred to me that she might go close to mine. It was a warm morning. “Ah sod it, I’m going for a walk,” I said to Tom.

The streets were empty right up to the pinch point at Queen’s Gate. There, all the people were gathered. They were standing on railings, halfway up trees, balanced on traffic lights, wherever they could be that wasn’t going to collapse and would give them height. “Switch to 3g,” said a woman near me, who actually probably was one of mum’s old friends, talking to her daughter not us, but in the voice of privilege where it is actually aimed at everybody. “Nobody uses 3g anymore, so it’s quicker than 4g.” She was right.

I stood there surrounded by slightly baffled people. When the motorcade came it was all so quick that it was gone before it arrived. I saw a flash of the top of it. We all gave a little yip. Nobody really knew what was going on. But we were there when *something* happened. Mister clever clogs wants to tell you she’s been dead for months, and Captain Critical will suggest that she was always a lizard anyway and that’s why it’s okay that his life doesn’t work financially. But she represented a huge ideal for me – a good iteration of the unelected monarchy. The thin blue line between us and president Liz Truss. Bred for diplomacy instead of ambition. A little less trussed up by deals with big companies. If you don’t have to fight for it you can’t be bought.

Watching Charles not sing the National Anthem was a study. He’s sung it more than most of us, when it was about his mummy. Now he has to listen and not sing because it’s about him. That moment, the first time he realised his job was to listen now, it must have hurt him. I felt sad on a human level. I’m sure the fact he’s now the servant of the richest diadem in the world will take the edge off for him, but your mum dying is the fundamental shock. His hat is worth so much money he will be fine. But I saw a human with a mountain to climb. With the Russian troll factories still in full swing, it is hard to avoid “Not my king” type narratives. This is another very good chance for St Petersburg to rally the easily swayed into acting against the greater interests of everybody but Putin. The next few months will be noisy…

For a bit now though I’m off again back down to Cornwall. Out of the smoke. I asked if I could drive myself as then I’ve got wheels when I’m down there. I’m sure I’ll get my mileage back at a reasonable rate too. Pretty much a full week of filming ahead of me, which is what took me out of Chile.

I have to move some instruments first thing though. It’s already getting late. I’m gonna go sleep as it’s a long drive to Cornwall…

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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