To mark my 50,000th tweet on my Twitter account, I have made this graph, detailing my time on Twitter and the major successes and failures therein. Think yourself lucky, I was considering writing that up as a blog post. (You may want to click on it to make it bigger, as it’s barely legible at this size.)
Recently, I was talking to someone from the Philippines through the world wide internet, and they got very excited about the prospect of the Royal Wedding. Since they are not part of our Empire (present or former), or our white western monoculture, I asked them what that was all about.
Apparently it was because it was a “fairy tale”, and they wouldn’t expect me to understand because I’m male. I readied myself to deliver a sarcastic rebuttal, but it took more thought than I expected. After all, it is a Prince marrying his long-term sweetheart. As fairy tales go, that’s pretty textbook.
I can hear angry men rushing to the comments box to destroy me now, and you’d be right, there are a few things stopping the marriage of Wills & Kate joining Snow White and Sleeping Beauty in the children’s section of the library. But most of the reasons we all gripe about the Royal Wedding are the trappings surrounding it, rather than the thing itself, no?
Ironically, what makes us cynical and bitter are often attempts by others to make it more of a fairy tale than it really is. Would it be more like Cinderella if William was marrying a blue-collar commoner, instead of someone upper middle class at the lowest? Of course it would.
But unfortunately he isn’t. And that’s before we’ve even discussed souvenir tat, the Channel Five TV movie thing, attempts to tie utterly unrelated products into the event for a quick buck.
But the reason everyone is now desperately trying to pump up the fairy tale value of the day is because they’ve seen that the spark is there. And there are precious few events nowadays that even manage that much. If the Royal Family serve any purpose at all in the modern world (I said if), it’s this: providing larger than life events for people to feel okay about buying into.
Don’t get me wrong, I will probably spend the Magical Day either asleep or watching an unrelated DVD. But if other people who want to feel that small fairy tale tingle, leave them be. Avoid certain TV channels, skirt around central London, maybe stay off Twitter for a bit and you’ll be amazed how quickly it passes you by.
The hay fever is toying with me. Normally as soon as the sunny weather starts, so too does the runny nose, itchy throat and streaming eyes, and I find myself popping pills to keep it under control. And this, of course, has a knock-on effect on my alcohol tolerance, etc.
This year, it’s been holding back. Friends who suffer with me have fallen one by one, Twitter tells of snot explosions far and wide, so I’ve been fully expecting my own insides to burst outwards in sympathy.
My mum always used to tell me that she once had hay fever and “grew out of it”. Every year in my late teens, I hoped this would finally be the day that I outgrew the need for a mucous outlet pipe from my face. But it kept coming back and back, and eventually I resigned myself to perpetual pollination.
But this year, I find my childish hopes of a magic cure resurfacing. I’ve not done anything to treat it – I hear you can try controlled exposure to local honey, or have yourself “desensitised”, which sounds horrifying – but it’s mostly quiet nonetheless.
I said “mostly”. On Saturday I went to a picnic and lay down in the grass for a while, almost daring the fever to break. And for about fifteen minutes, I thought I felt it coming. A tingle in my throat, maybe a teasing drip of snot. So I reckon it’s in there somewhere waiting for the most inconvenient moment, probably during one of my attempts to talk to girls.
Anyone else find the hay fever being weirdly quiet this year? Has the pollution finally killed off a certain type of pollen? Or am I just having a contrary 2011?