The toddler looked around the bank and smiled. “Acceleration,” she pronounced. Or at least that’s what it sounded like.

She was about two; wearing spotted wellingtons and an Alice band from which bobbed twin union flags in the shape of crowns. A child’s fascinator.

“What?” asked her parent.

“Celebration,” she said, rather more clearly, and in case she still wasn’t understood, waved her arms at the bunting draped across the walls.


With the end of May fast approaching, my thoughts are finally turning to the Jubilee. London is bunting mad. When did bunting become cool again? Free cycle is full of requests for old material to cut up and drape across the streets of sunny South London. If I had time, I think I’d make some myself.

I wouldn’t describe myself as a royalist, but I do have a fondness for the Queen. Thanks to a fifteen-year-old who has been absorbing the more arcane facts about Her Majesty like a sponge, and then relaying them prefaced by “Did you know….?”, I think I might do quite well at a Jubilee Quiz Night. I now know that the number of units of alcohol she has every day puts her in the at risk category; she likes detective fiction, which explains why P D James is in the Lords; her favourite Blue Peter presenter was John Noakes; and she currently has three corgis, Holly, Willow and something else. Willow is not a name that makes me think of corgis. They have rather short legs and are solid little dogs. Willow suggests something rather more, well, willowy. She was a fan of Kojak in the eighties. Who’d have thought it?

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Spot the Odd One Out

I was in the West End today and the whole place has gone flag and bunting mad. I was in a bit of a hurry so couldn’t take the photographs I should have liked, but thought you might enjoy this little gallery of flags from today and recent weeks.

Maybe you can spot the odd one out.