11 things that made me smile

So friggin’ busy of late that ‘real’ blogging is really falling by the wayside. Making time this evening to share a few recent highlights that I meant to share over time but never got around to…

1- The town where I live has been celebrating its 750th anniversary and the old church has opened its rooftop to visitors. We finally went up two weeks ago to take an eagle-eye peek at our town. It was beautiful.

2- Cats. One sleeping on a tray, the other cuddling on top of my daughter’s head.

3- Speaking of my daughter, she has started her applied sciences university and is studying nursing and loving it. She’s bang in the middle of this group picture taken the other day.

4- Honourable mention for my son. Since the fall of 2019 he’s done internships, finished his vocational college online and had a gap year, so he basically hasn’t been in school for three years. He has now started applied sciences university in The Hague, studying sports management. Going back to school again is a bit of an adjustment for him but it looks like he’s off to a very good (albeit exhausting) start. We’re very proud of him for giving this a real and serious shot.

5- Rainbow last week.

6- I thought I’d play the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon thing the other day. I thought I was four degrees removed, then three but now I realize it’s two!

Apparently even Kevin Bacon himself reacted to this one…

7- Nicola Walker is joining Richard Armitage in narrating the audiobook Geneva that he wrote! It can almost tempt me to listen to an audiobook, because I think Nicola Walker is awesome…

…. but just like some other fans already requested, I’d love to see a print version of this book too.

8- While I’m at it, this picture of Richard as Father Quart appeared. Don’t think I’d seen it before but it’s fascinating. I can’t seem to take my eyes off it.

9- So yes, I watched Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral at the beginning of the week. Fascinating and impressive pomp and circumstance with so many impressive and some touching images but I think I liked this image (by artist Eleanor Tomlinson) best, made just after the queen died.

10- I was clearing photos off my phone camera and came across this image that I snapped very quickly back in June or so. I was leaving the metro to go to the office and saw Anne of Green Gables infront of me! That’s who she reminded me of in any case.

11- The situation in Ukraine remains depressing and very scary but I did enjoy this bit from a Dutch comedy programme offering a referendum for all Russians (made by the same people who made the ‘America First, The Netherlands Second’ video after Trump was elected president).

Right, off to bed now. Another busy work day awaits tomorrow.

The Queue, part two

In the comments on my previous post, Ellen (Nell) mentioned a thread of someone’s personal experience in the queue. Again, for posterity’s sake, I’m deciding to post that here, in case it gets deleted at some point…

In an extremely off brand move, decided to queue to see the Queen as A Bit. Open to being commissioned to write an anthropological study of royalists who are willing to devote 4+ hours to their time to quickly see a box that may or may not have an old lady in it.

Timeline so far: went to @haywardgallery to see lovely in the black fantastic exhibit closing on Sunday. 7.30pm brought my queuing friend a sandwich. It was moving at a reasonable pace so walking and talking as we went. Thought it would be funny if I stayed but hadn’t committed

8.15pm at London Eye, got wristbands which read LISQ (lying in state queue), quite exciting. Pace quickened, at one point we were practically running ! with Westminster on the other side in sight. This was ill fated naive optimism.
Photo of Westminster taken whilst running
9.15pm. Oh dear. Arrive at Westminster faced with a US immigration style queue which rumours suggest will take 45 mins – 1hr 45. Morale is low.
Long zig zag queue.
10pm. We’ve been unmoving for ages. I sit down and do some yoga. Rumours now of a “changing of the guards” style security shift change. As i’m writing we start to move, to glimpse another giant zig zag on the other side of the park. Despair.

Helicopters overhead which is quite exciting! Also tried a vegetarian Percy pig for the first time. There are some Priests in front of us and someone in a pink Lamé suit so look out for him on the live stream.

It’s looking like we have a Long way to go and it’s quite slow but I’m simply too far gone and also my Dad said he was proud of me. Are we in the bit where it gets worse before it gets better? Could I make this into an ESRC funded study of group mentality & performative mourning?

It’s been suggested I tag #QueueForTheQueen

Overheard “it’s the 7th level of hell”. Not sure an appropriate metaphor in the circumstances (all of a sudden I am reflective about death)

It’s also at a weird stage where if you make friends in the queue, you don’t really have a natural end to the conversation because you will be standing next to them indefinitely.

The only way this will be worth it is if 1. I’m on telly 2. I go viral 3. Something dramatic and unfair happens just after I go in, like they cancel the viewing.

Current queue debate: can we verify that the Queen is actually in the coffin, and if she isn’t does it matter? Is there something fundamental about the ~feeling~ even if it isn’t real

Something quite surprising is that people aren’t really talking about the Queen? I’ve tried to manufacture some nostalgia, “wasn’t it funny when the Queen said cows!”, do you think she enjoyed doing the James Bond olympics thing, etc. but it didn’t really catch on.

You can call me The Queue Whisperer 😎

We think another hour. So 3 total to get through the palace gardens. #QueueForTheQueen at your peril

Thinking about co-writing a play for off-West End called #TheQueue, a meet-cute about an unlikely pair from opposite walks of life, brought together by their shared grief and respect, perhaps a can of Diet Coke and packet of cashew nuts.

Also the @DCMS 2.6 miles etc update is basically nonsense because the distance probably doubles just within the zig zag line in the Palace Gardens.

STILL in the zig zag. We keep on saying “it must just be another hour” in a very existential way. We can sort of see the end. But I think it will be 5 hours in the gardens. Someone got a hot chocolate but we don’t think it’s worth the queue for the cafe. Yet we are in #TheQueue

Trying to come up with inspirational reflections for LinkedIn. “Our 7 hours of waiting was nothing in comparison to your 70 years of service, Your Majesty”.

This is the Platonic ideal of a Queue. Apart from sleep I’m not sure I’ve ever done something consistently for such a long period of time. We slip in and out of remembering why we are here. Avoid the portaloos at all costs. Has there ever *been* a longer queue?

It’s become an out of body experience in that if you had told me 8 hours ago I would be doing this I just wouldn’t have believed you. In fact, I spent the first hour of #TheQueue adamant that I wasn’t in #TheQueue. There’s a sort of metaphysical pull, to be a part of history?

Actually a bit peckish now.

It’s been suggested that I’ve entered into a delirious state, and to be honest I’m not at liberty to deny that. #TheQueue

We’re at the end of Purgatory (Victoria Palace Gardens) and now we enter an aimless single file queue. Is this all a metaphor for death?

I just really didn’t think it would take this long. The arrogance of man.

ALERT no liquids at all including toiletries, hand gel, etc, allowed in #TheQueue.

Indeed, it is the light.

THEY’RE CLEANING THE HALL AND WE HAVE TO WAIT. This is May Day. We’re at wit’s end. If you’re in #TheQueue, are you sure you’re ready for this?

In light of this, there is very low morale. Conspiracy afoot. Is it cleaning / rehearsal / someone important? Those in #TheQueue are not best pleased.

Back on the move! 🙏🏻

Items confiscated by very armed police: mini pastel highlighter, beloved uniball pen, fork from my packed lunch. #TheQueue

Fin. It was very quiet and beautiful and humbling. I think worth it. #TheQueue

Originally tweeted by Anoushka Alexander-Rose (@AAlexanderRose) on September 14, 2022. (https://twitter.com/AAlexanderRose/status/1570153886886903808)

Thanks for the heads up, Ellen! That was another fun and fascinating read. 🙂

The Queue

I know there are many more important things to comment on during the mourning period for Queen Elizabeth II. There is the overwhelming pomp and circumstance that no one else does like the British, there is new King Charles III and his grueling schedule while he also grieves for his mother, the other royals like Princess Anne and her devotion to accompany her mother, the endless Meghan bashing that never seems to stop, the reactions to anti-royalist protests, etc. etc. etc. but all that requires too much serious discussion that I don’t have the energy for right now.

Then this morning I came upon a Twitter thread about The Queue for The Queen which I find absolutely brilliant. So, I decided to post that here in case the tweets ever get deleted:

“Right, everyone. I need to be serious for a moment. Because the greatest thing that ever happened is happening right now.

I don’t particularly care either way about the Queen. But the queue? The Queue is a triumph of Britishness. It’s incredible.

Just to be clear: I don’t mean the purpose of the queue. I don’t mean the outpouring of emotion or collective grief or the event at the end and around the queue or the people in the queue. I mean, literally, the queue. The queue itself. It’s like something from Douglas Adams.

It is the motherlode of queues. It is art. It is poetry. It is the queue to end all queues. It opened earlier today and is already 2.2 miles long. They will close it if it gets to FIVE MILES. That’s a queue that would take TWO HOURS TO WALK at a brisk pace.

It is a queue that goes right through the entirety of London. It has toilets and water points and websites just for The Queue.

You cannot leave The Queue. You cannot get into The Queue further down. You cannot hold places in The Queue. There are wristbands for The Queue.

Once you join The Queue you can expect to be there for days. But you cannot have a chair and a sleeping bag. There is no sleeping in The Queue, for The Queue moves constantly and steadily, day and night. You will be shuffling along at 0.1 miles per hour for days.

There is a YouTube channel, Twitter feed and Instagram page, each giving frequent updates about The Queue. Because the back of The Queue, naturally, keeps moving. To join The Queue requires up to the minute knowledge of where The Queue is now.

The BBC has live coverage of The Queue on BBC One, and a Red Button service showing the front bit of The Queue.

NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD JOIN THE QUEUE AND YET STILL THEY COME. “Oh, it’ll only be until 6am on Thursday, we can take soup”.

And the end of the queue is a box. You will walk past the box, slowly, but for no more than a minute. Then you will exit into the London drizzle and make your way home.

Tell me this isn’t the greatest bit of British performance art that has ever happened? I’m giddy with joy. It’s fantastic. We are a deeply, deeply mad people with an absolutely unshakeable need to join a queue. It’s utterly glorious.”

Originally tweeted by ❓🦎 (@curiousiguana) on September 14, 2022. (https://twitter.com/curiousiguana/status/1570067806028464128)

Somewhere else, I can’t remember where, someone wondered why the queue wasn’t called “The Elizabeth Line” – same as the new London underground line. That made me grin as well. As I post this, the waiting time in the queue is at least 9 hours…

Screenshot from the live queue tracker on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJxDwDzAwEs

Mr E is completely fascinated, keeping himself updated on the queue regularly and even I find myself checking it on occasion. This whole mourning and funeral ritual is quite fascinating in itself already, but I had never in a million years expected to be fascinated by a queue. It’s truly a phenomenon.

Rest in peace

News has just broken that Queen Elizabeth II has died.

Whatever you may think of her or the royal family, it truly is the end of an era. She certainly held the promise she made on her 21st birthday in 1947: “I declare to you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and to the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

I like the statement from our Dutch prime minister…


May she rest in peace.


We’re just hearing that Roe vs Wade was indeed overturned by the Supreme Court in the USA, ending women’s right to abortion there. My 18 year old daughter’s reaction: the USA has become the worst Western country in the world along with it’s stupid gun culture and laws. We’re livid.


Maybe it’s time to pass a law on men’s bodies, I can think of a few…

Modified to add this…