Monday, 14 May 2012

Jubilee Frenzee

Fig. 1
It was the Belligerently Optimistic Flatmate's birthday recently. Off galavanting in Dusseldorf, I could not be there, so I've been trying to make up for it with the provision of treats. 

Happily, this doubles as an opportunity to cram the Pad with Jubilee baubles. I've been cultivating a bit of a habit. This means that if I see something with the Queen's face or a Union Jack on, or (even better) some combination of the two, I buy it. Anyone in the UK at the moment will recognise that, with three weeks until Flotilla Day, this could lead to personal financial catastrophe. Shops are rammed with the stuff.

Fig. 2
And it started so well. Union Jack-flavoured Body Wash [Fig. 2] and Jubilee Marmite [Fig. 3] are - I'm sure you'll agree - perfectly useful items. Not to mention that there's a recession on: it's our duty to spend ourselves to safety. But how much shortbread can a small household of two realistically consume? Even if it does come in a tin with Grenadier Guards [Fig. 1] emblazoned upon it.

BOF, as you might expect, is very much on board with the flag-fest. He's spent the past three weeks trying to instigate compulsory bunting on his desk at work, to no avail. It's almost as if his colleagues are becoming hostile to the whole event.

Such domestic support makes my themed oniomania even harder to restrain. It's also vicarious. We don't need to actually own the tat to take pleasure in it. Much better to force it on other people.

Fig. 3
It goes like this:
BOF: Do you know I saw the most amazing Union Jack luggage the other day.
KITC: You should probably get it.
BOF: Yes! No. I'm saving for school fees.
KITC: (downcast) OK.
BOF: Is there anyone we know with a birthday coming up?
BOF: My mum could probably do with some more Union Jack crockery - let's get that.
KITC: And we'll need another Grenadier Guard tin to put it in. 
BOF: Good thinking.

It was as I found myself, all Jubilee-Special-Carrie-Mathisonbeing gently removed from the picnic section in Waitrose by a concerned BOF, grasping for 'Royal' Moet as I passed, that I realised it's becoming a problem. There is just not enough money in the world or space in the Pad for this.