Last year, it was the dandelions, but, this year, it is the cowslips that have excelled themselves. The bluebells are very poor, but the leaves on the mighty copper beech beside the church are beautiful. It must be the weather. A duck has started nesting in the Waitrose car park, but ducks are always hopeless mothers. However, the starlings are already feeding their first brood, as the swifts and swallows show off between the showers.

Everywhere, events are cancelled because of the rain, but the preparation and organisation for the Jubilee weekend is reaching fever pitch. Our tiny village is taut with excitement. I’m of the generation that remembers the Silver Jubilee in 1977 with great fondness. It was a highlight of another period of economic uncertainty and I vividly recall the street parties and the whole nation coming together as one.

I really feel this Diamond Jubilee will be just as exciting, and hope my children get as much fun out of it as I did 35 years ago. We’re trying to do the lot: the boat pageant, the street party, the bell ringing and the beacons and, as my dear parents’ golden wedding anniversary also falls on that weekend, I hope it will be something we can remember forever.

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