Dismay! I learned yesterday that Granny hasn't been accepted for a place on the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant , the 1,000-craft procession down the river on 3rd June 2012.
I was quick off the mark to apply, six months ago. Indeed, my application was the 116th received, so was in good time.
While there's sadness, then again it would have needed considerable effort and organisation for Granny to take part. And it would have required setting off for London a month earlier than planned. So, really, everything is for the best.
As a consolation prize, they have offered me two tickets for a 'prime viewing area', which presumably means the right to be close enough to actually *see* the procession.
My ideal vantage point would be on London Bridge, looking towards Tower Bridge. There is no greater river view in the world.
But all bridges will probably be closed on the day. They must be. Just think of all the juveniles waiting to droll and spit on the royal barge as it passes beneath. If you haven't been spat on by a yob on a bridge, you aren't a real boater.
I was spat on by a yob near Salford Junction last summer, and the humiliation was compounded by drops falling into a pint mug of ale I was about to drink.
Some years ago Granny was about to pass under a bridge in Manchester and I waved to two young boys, who waved back cheerily. As I came out the other side, a rain of maggots fell on my head, and the boys whooped with delight, waving their now-empty bait bucket.
Maggots found their way down my collar, and I had to stop, change my clothes and spend an hour sweeping up the wriggling detritus. I still found maggots in the bedroom as I was getting ready for bed, and dreamed of alien monsters for days afterwards.
Hmm, when I come to think about it, I'd rather be on the bridge than on the boat.