Old folk at lunch

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

St. George's day

I had a rather full day today, with plastic surgery at 2pm and a small party I hosted at 5:30pm.

The party was a celebration of St George's day, a celebration of Englishness, as St George is patron saint of England.  St George was a Roman soldier in the early days of Christianity and is venerated as a Christian martyr.  The legend of him slaying a dragon in Libya and thus saving the King's daughter is a medieval accretion.  Devotion to him in England goes back at least as far as the venerable Bede in Anglo-Saxon times.

Two of the party were English-born but glad to be no longer living there.  They did however have some attachment to their old English ways so brought along pork pies and ordered cod n' chips for their dinner. I shouted whatever people wanted but half of us ordered Indian on the ground that Indian food has become thoroughly English these days.  The fish shop and the Indian restaurant are side-by-side so having a choice was convenient.

Susan as usual  did us the signal honour of fetching the food  -- which we had on my verandah.  She also provided us with a magnificent bread 'n butter pudding  with icecream.  She also washed up, so when she was leaving I told her she was my hero.  She also managed two little kids amid it all.  In Longfellow's words, she is “A noble type of good. Heroic womanhood. ”

A small thing I noted:  When Susan arrived carrying Elise, Jenny immediately got up and held out her arms.  Nothing was said but Elise was immediately given to her. Grandma was of course the most trusted custodian of the precious bundle.

The men talked a lot about English food and the stockmarket.

When it was time to go, I suggested that we sing "God Save the Queen".  Our two expats jibbed at that however, saying that they came to Australia to get way from all that.  The rest of us rose and sang the anthem but they remained seated.  All very amusing.

I told them that Australia is a monarchy too but they were unmoved.  The fact that three members of the  Royal House are in Australia at the moment and getting front page coverage in the papers day after day only made the disgruntlement of our expats all the more poignant.

 It was a pleasant party anyway.  I forgive them for disrespecting the Royal anthem so I hope they will forgive me for singing it.

I think that people who don't like the monarchy have got no romance in them.

St. George's day is a big deal in England these days

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