Going through a pile of old schoolbooks, pictures and cards at my Mom's house today, I came across my 'Silver Jubilee' souvenirs.
Now, anyone at school in the UK during the summer of 1977 will remember the Queen's Silver Jubilee. It was all-consuming and took over our thoughts and spare time for months. Well it did for me, anyway. I kept a Silver Jubilee diary...
19th May 1977
This week the Queen is in Scotland. The children in Glasgow had a special holiday from school. On the news on television we could see the children on the footpath to cheer and wave their flags. I liked the Queen's hat but not her dress.
3rd June 1977
Today is a very special day. We are going to get a free gift. We had to sit on the grass and we saw Miss Reader's Scottish dancing group. Mandy Webb was the lead-girl. The girls wore leotards and Neil wore shorts. Then we got our free gift. It was a spoon.
13th June 1977
Last tuesday was a special Jubilee holiday. We had a street party. Cars kept upsetting our tables. We had a knees up party in a tent. I drank a bottle of Babycham and half a pint of Pomagne with Neil.
20th June 1977
It was our school Jubilee party last night. I had two hot dogs, 14 cakes and 5 drinks but no Babycham. Neil was there. I went to bed at half past midnight.
The whole summer I was obsessed with things royal. I started to collect pictures of the Queen and liked to talk about what she was wearing. I wanted to design dresses for the Queen but my dad said this wasn't really a good career choice for me. That didn't stop me drawing the dresses though....
The whole Neil thing was something I had forgotten (although whenever I drive past his house I still think 'aah, that's where Neil lived'). As I went through the box, I came across cards (for all sorts of occasions) that I had signed from 'me and Neil xxx'. I'd even sent my Mother a Mother's Day card from the two of us.
Yet my family claimed the whole gay thing was a surprise.
I fear they were just being polite.