No, not as in “and Joy.” We are certainly not saying the “C” word yet, even though Marks and Spencer have Percy Pig Advent Calendars in already. I wouldn’t get too worked up about Christmas anyway. It may get canceled yet.
I just wondered what people were doing for comfort in these interesting times. The answer may well be “sleep” or the telly (this evening, we are trying to decide between Casablanca and a documentary about Dennis Neilson, the serial killer). Or maybe a good book. I am splitting my time between a Tony Curtis autobiography (I like my movie stars to be the kind of people who spill the beans with no thought for privacy or propriety) and a book about how our phones are actually changing the way our brains work. I will report back but it is very sobering reading.
I am working towards getting one of these Lindor Pick and Mix stands installed in our entrance hall. I am sure this will provide the kind of comfort level I am aiming for at the moment.
This week has seen the 400 anniversary of the Mayflower setting sail from Plymouth. The story of the Pilgrims’ voyage is complicated involving as it does, a race of indigenous people who were already in the “New World” and, despite them hunting through all the places where they usually keep the papers that need filing, they couldn’t find any evidence that they had invited these people over to take over their country. It is a big picture but Plymouth, to its credit, is trying to make sure that this is not just some jingo stuffed nonsense.
I can say this because I have met some of the people involved. As part of our charity’s work, we had quite a few meetings with the team who began to plan celebrations years ago. I remember thinking how fantastic it was going to be. There were history trails around Plymouth, works of art, performances, and events. Then COVID happened. Suddenly, there would be no crowds of Americans coming over, no theatre performances, no dancing on Plymouth Hoe. In the end, there was a low key event with the American and Dutch ambassadors launching an autonomous boat called the Mayflower 2. It is an excellent boat that will collect marine samples and actually be useful, which is good. There will be more things to follow, including the opening of a new museum – The Box – which I have visited and will be excellent. But, in the list of things that COVID has kicked the legs out from under, something like this, despite no lives being lost, is still such a shame. However, although I’m not from around here, I was very proud of Plymouth. It looked beautiful and it is trying to tell a complicated story around rights and responsibilities whether it’s the undoubtedly brave souls who set off to pursue religious freedom, the Wampanoag people who suffered so much as a result of the colonists’ actions or the things we can learn about the future of our planet and how we care for it.
It may not have gone as Plymouth expected things to go but there is more to come on this story so watch this City. I don’t think it is finished with this yet.