With May, we have arrived at a busy month. It is a month that will be filled with pomp and ceremony (for better or worse). Some people aren’t too upset by the extra days off that accompany said ceremony!
Whilst King Charles III officially became king at the moment of the Queen’s passing, the elaborate (and some would argue, needlessly expensive during a time of austerity) ceremony marking his ascension to the throne required some time to plan and prepare for. Now the day is upon us, and I am not alone in questioning the wisdom of all this extravagance. Do we need all of this, especially at a time when people are struggling to pay their bills? I get that the Royal Family has a long history, greatly entwined with the history of the country, but these days – indeed for decades – the Royal Family’s power has been figurative. All of this for a figurehead seems superfluous to me. If we are to indulge in these ancient rituals and exultation of people by virtue of birth, should they not pay for all this themselves? It’s not like the Royal Family is short of a few quid…
Nothing I say can change that this is happening, and I dare say it will be a sight to remember. The occasion is an historic one, with the UK not witnessing something like this since Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation on the 2nd of June, 1953. I was not even a gleam in my father’s eye back then – my father was maybe a gleam in my grandfather’s eye?! For millions of people, all around the world, this is a milestone.
What’s unclear is what the weather will do for the occasion. April has been miserably inconsistent, and May has the potential to be likewise. I hope not, for I am craving sunshine and warmth. I’m pretty sure the King wants this too.
Speaking of kings and kingdoms…
Tears of the Kingdom
In a case of awkward timing, Nintendo were going to announce the name of the upcoming Zelda game on the day of (or might have been the day after) the Queen’s death. Tears of the Kingdom is a direct sequel to the hugely successful Breath of the Wild, and as of the publishing of this Muse, it is only nine more days before I get my grubby paws on it. I am quite fortunate to have the day off when it releases, and I intend to make very good use of the time. If you’re interested, I’ll be keeping a diary of my adventure (much as I did with Breath of the Wild). What awaits me in the land of Hyrule?
Just Stop Oil
I am on the fence with this one, because I agree with the message, but not the messenger.
This is the scene from the Crucible, during a first-round match of the Snooker World Championships. This is an event watched by millions, so I do understand that it makes sense to use such a platform for the message, but destroying the snooker table, and ruining the match for all concerned, is not likely to do much for the cause. Those watching the match – both on TV and at the venue – are likely to be angry that their entertainment was cut short, rather than pausing to consider what the protesters were trying to say.
I am all for moving towards green energy. I think we have to, for we are poisoning our planet with our reliance on fossil fuels. Gas, oil and coal are major pollutants, and eventually, we’ll run out of them. The renewable energy sector is a rapidly growing and developing one, and it will be the future of energy. Efforts to resist this are definitely in motion among the fossil fuel magnates, who fear losing their influence and wealth, but the future of humanity depends upon moving away from oil, coal, and gas.
The New Meerkat Mascot
This handsome fellow hides a secret. He was created via an AI image generator. I have considered calling him ‘Ben the Meerkat’. Yeah, I need to work on names. The AI isn’t perfect – the eyes are a bit weird – but this tool is getting more and more powerful. If and when Skynet rises, it will destroy us with memes and other weirdness, all the weirdness we’ve pumped into it.
On the 21st, I attended the wedding of my cousin and his long-term partner. They had originally wished to get married in 2020, so this has been a long time coming. The ceremony was brief, but emotional, with and the day itself was long, but good. The venue was a converted barn, and it’s clear they are now a well-oiled machine at hosting weddings, for everything flowed easily and naturally. For the first time, I had a beef wellington, and I rather enjoyed it! I also had a fair amount to drink! My family gatherings always tend to see a fair bit of that, and you know what? I rather like that.
What I hadn’t expected to see were alpacas. Right outside the venue was an alpaca farm! They were peaceful enough, and quite aloof towards humans. Mind you, after jostling through bustling crowds at King’s Cross station on the trip back, I felt rather aloof towards humans as well.
It was a good weekend. It was a tiring weekend, as is to be expected where travelling, weddings and parties are concerned, but it was good. The saxophone was unexpected, but also good.
The day after the wedding, whilst walking home from the station, my back decided to erupt into a pain that would not cease. Sneezing was absolute agony. The jolts would flare up, though thankfully they started to abate after a few days. Quite what brought the pain on, I have no idea.
Twice on the same day, I witnessed little acts of aggression. The first was on the way to collect my daughter from school. An older guy was sitting near the big clock in the middle of town, and he was saying something to a guy walking by him with a pram. I don’t know what was said, but the guy with the pram turned around and said something along the lines of ‘I have my kids with me, but I can come back without them’ in a pretty angry manner. Later, when bringing my daughter home, some guy walked by, and made some comment about looking at him. I think he was nuts, and I have no idea who he was talking to.
Well, not exactly lingerie. The 25th of April was International Lingerie Day. Far be it for this meerkat to pass up an opportunity to show off his own sexy outfit…
My apologies if I got your blood pressure up, and left you all flustered. What can I say, those socks are powerful.
The Dream within a Dream
Have you ever had a dream where you wake up, but you haven’t actually woken up? I had one such dream quite recently. I’d wake up in my bed, all snug, and close my eyes again, and end up dreaming, but I hadn’t actually woken up. It was quite surreal. To not know if you’re fully awake is quite disconcerting. At one point I dreamt I was at work, and I was under the stairs, looking for something, when I curled up and went to sleep! I also dreamt up some model sci-fi ships. I woke up feeling quite knackered, which is ironic, don’t you think?
There’s an upcoming Writing Prompt that will tie into this a little bit. It’s on the subject of oneiromancy.
No, I have not been promoted at work. This is altogether different. My former hometown football club, Stevenage FC, have won promotion from League Two to League One, completing an incredible turnaround from the previous season, where they were nearly relegated to non-league football. The manager, Steve Evans, has overseen a campaign that few could have predicted. Alongside some brilliant runs, he guided Stevenage to a fantastic FA Cup victory over Premier League Aston Villa, in one of the tournament’s biggest shocks of the season. The performances and results of Stevenage stand in stark contrast to my beloved Liverpool, who have floundered this season. Indeed, Stevenage have been the only source of sporting light for me this season. Many, many congratulations to everyone involved in this magnificent achievement!
Let’s end this Muse on that positive note shall we? By next time, I’ll have had the chance to sink my teeth into Tears of the Kingdom, so apologies in advance for what will inevitably be a flood of Zelda content!