Taking it on the chin

06Jun12

Claiming myself – without irony – as a person with unfashionably deeply held monarchist views (for reasons both whimsical and hard-headed, but we haven’t time to go into them now), it is somewhat ironic to admit that I did practically nothing royal-related over the jubilee weekend. Though as a London-dweller who has endured the assault course that is Green Park for the last few weeks, I can possibly claim to have taken part, in some tiny way, in the celebrations. Even if I didn’t always ALWAYS feel terribly jubilant at the time, thwarted and corralled and foiled as I was at almost every attempt to head due south from anywhere on Piccadilly.

I did go to a party on Saturday, but it was a birthday shindig. Because of the restless caprice of the weather, it had moved across London, from Hampstead bathing ponds to the host’s flat in Dalston. So there I was, in a fabulously trendy ex-factory building (‘It’s Baltic in the winter,’ whispered host’s sister in agreement to my tragically uncool question. ‘No insulation – and just look at those windows!’), filled with fabulously trendy people – discernible by their indifference to an effective damp course.

Anyway, as I gazed around I was delighted to note that the ginger gene is still alive, well and swimming vigorously at this latitude. How can I be sure? I was in East London, see? No? Still no light breaking? Well, hovering some distance north of the banana/lime/mango-hued shorts, and a little way south of the too-small headgear, is The Beard. And the ginger gene can lie fallow amid chestnut locks or blonde curls, but the beard is the opposite, of, well, a beard. It reveals your true nature. And on the evidence of afternoon sunlight on chins, the Jinge is strong. Hurrah!

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