VE Day

Last Friday was the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day. What everyone needs right now is something to celebrate, so Londoners got pretty into the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day and attempted a “social distancing street party.”

The girls and I got into it too, decorating the front of the house with bunting and both Union Jack and American flags.

We had a home school history lesson about VE Day, and I’d say that I probably learned nearly as much as they did. E’s school made an “online exhibit” for VE Day, compiled by students who had asked their older relatives for memories, pictures, and memorabilia.

We went out into our front garden at 11 a.m. for the two minutes of silence, or at least for what passes for silence for a 3.5-year-old. We exchanged reserved smiles and waves with our neighbours, and listened to the peal of church bells.

We weren’t close enough to central London to see the Red Arrows flyover, but one of my friends was.

We also baked red, white, and blue scones (with raspberries, blueberries, and white chocolate) for the “tea and scones” portion of the afternoon.

At 6 p.m. we took drinks out front and toasted our neighbours, and had some nice face-to-face 2m-apart chats with several of the neighbours on our block. It’s incredible how much difference I can really feel between talking to someone in person vs. to their face on a screen.

It was such a beautiful day outside, and everyone has some level of cabin fever right now, so a lot of people were out. A police car patrolled slowly up and down the streets, checking to make sure people were still distancing. Unfortunately, in some cases that was definitely not happening. R and I took the dog for her evening walk to the common, and it was actually difficult to get there, because so many people were out on the sidewalks, having happy hour out front with their neighbours.

Just after 9 p.m., M and I were outside in our back garden enjoying a glass of wine on a pleasantly warmish spring evening, when we heard singing erupt from a few nearby households. That’s when I remembered we were supposed to have watched the queen and then sing “We’ll Meet Again,” which I’d never heard before, but seems truly suitable right now.

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