I say, my dear readers, what a spiffing sort of day it is. I apologise for any glitches that may appear in this hologram - it's very fine work, but dear old Igor had little time to perfect it before I had to set it up to entertain you, my lovely chums. You see, I could not bear to leave you alone wondering what had become of me, especially after the attack of those dastardly awards in the last post.
So, to ease your mind, I will happily let you know that I am at my granny's, playing with my small cousins and getting ready to join in their celebration of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.
Personally, I'm a proud monarchist. I know our monarchs have been little more than symbolic for a long time now, but I believe they are an essential part of British history. Most of the great events of our little island - the Hundred Years War, the Wars of the Roses, the eventual union of England and Scotland, the battles of Agincourt and Crecy - they've all been overseen, and often instigated, by the nutters in crowns at the top. Britain is one of the last nations in the world to still have a monarchy - I believe Denmark are our only European counterparts - and I reckon it's something we ought to be proud of, not ashamed.
Sure, we've had some pretty revolting monarchs. I might mention Richard the Lionheart, the so-called hero of the Crusades ... who ordered the deaths of innocent Saracens across the Holy Land, impoverished his country and left us in the care of his not-as-evil-as-we-think, but still pretty useless, brother John. Or the Georges who followed Victoria, ruling at a time when England was heavily engaged in the slave trade and profitted from the dark side of the Industrial Revolution. And that's without mentioning all the political playoffs, wars, treaties, taxes and unpleasant vegetables the average pleb put up with in the thousand and one ages between all of this lot.
But, despite that, one has to admit that every country has it's good and bad sides. Yes, we advocated the slave trade for profit. Yes, we subjugated much of the world in our Empire, and were right pigs when they wanted their independence. Yes, we inflicted tea on America.
But our monarchy has also done amazing things. Elizabeth I, rousing her troops to defiance in the face of the Spanish Armada. Her father Henry VIII, breaking away from Rome and laying the foundations for the modern Church of England. James VI, King of Scotland, who united England and Wales with his own homeland upon the death of Elizabeth. Charles II, who brought the monarchy - and plays, and alcohol, and singing, and most other things one would consider fun - back after the end of Cromwell's republic.
Today, we still remember the charitable work of Princess Diana. Last year, the Royal Wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William was watched and dribbled over not just by their own ridiculously enthusiastic nation, but by the entire world.
And who can forget Queenie herself. When she visited the abbey in the sleepy little town where I live, the entire populace of every hamlet in the vicinity turned out to come and watch her. Her devotion to her duty, and this country, is something nobody can deny on pain of death by angry Brit.
Thus, over this long weekend, I think it's time for the nation to sit back and do what we do best - drink tea, eat cake, dodge rainclouds and be proud to be British.
And on a more personal level, to all of you here from me, irregardless of your history - I know we're hosting a few lovely Pond-Hopping Americans here, at least! - I wish you all a wonderful weekend. And to all my fellow Brits, of whatever ilk ... care to join me in a round of "God Save the Queen"?
~ Charley R