Sandra Chapman: We haven’t heard the last of this election and maybe Jeffrey will give us a smile eventually

It’s been an interesting week, what with Her Majesty unable to go to a most important event, the State Opening of Parliament, Labour Party leader Kier Starmer not knowing the difference between a social and a work event and tennis star Emma Raducanu needing “someone to hold my hand”.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 14th May 2022, 6:00 am
DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson  at the Jordanstown count
DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson at the Jordanstown count

So let’s see, what in my own life was remarkable this week?

Honestly, I can think of only two things which stir the senses, the first being finding a way to stop the slugs eating my lettuce plants and having a special lunch with a dear friend whom I met 65 years ago on my first day at secondary school.

A friendship which lasts that long is something to treasure and no, I don’t think either of us look our 76 years.

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Yes, I watched the election results coming in and the most unusual bit of that event was the way Mary Lou McDonald managed to find herself in front of Michelle O’Neill - the victor for the party’s election result – when Ms O’Neill came in to be lauded by her party members.

It should have been the other way around but maybe Sinn Fein do things differently.

Michelle looked glum at times but her party leader displayed a permanent smiling face.

We haven’t heard the last of this election and maybe Jeffery will give us a smile eventually.

I’m not the only one amused by this election. According to notable political columnist Ruth Dudley Edwards, writing in this newspaper, Fianna Fail Taoiseach Michael Martin had claimed to be “amused by all the speculation about this election leading to a referendum”, since it was “nearly buried from its documentation and its manifesto” but came back to centre stage as soon as the votes were counted.

That’s when I realised I don’t understand politics at all when many of those involved constantly say one thing which means something else entirely. Isn’t Keir Starmer a fine example of this too?

And what about Boris, half the time I’ve no idea what he’s on about.

He’s been promising or hoping to ditch the Protocol but it’s still there.

And as for the EU demanding we hang on to it, well I haven’t heard a good reason for that from them in all the time the issue has been raised.

Sometimes I think my cats have more wit than politicians.

My oldest cat will be 20 shortly and she thinks I can’t hear her – I admit my hearing at this age possibly isn’t 100 per cent - so when she wants something she gets out of her bed and bellows loudly at me and keeps this up until she gets my attention.

I think this is the reason my younger cat - 19 years - has taken to living in a quieter part of the house.

When she wants something she comes and wraps her tail around my leg.

These are the tactics of politicians.

The louder you are you might get noticed but the quietly gentle approach often, in the longer term, achieves more.

And so to that big event in London, the State Opening of Parliament, which has been graced by the Queen for the length of her 70 year reign.

But not this year as age slowly deprives her of mobility.

The Prince of Wales did a grand job for her but it was his son Prince William who looked a bit shellshocked knowing that in the near future he will be stepping down the same aisle in long, golden robes, a king at last doing a job he was born for. Prince Charles was faultless in delivery but Camilla looked deadly serious, probably realising for the first time how formal and grand the whole event is.

She will have to get used to it.

She’s a few years younger than me and if circumstances had been different she would be in retirement now enjoying the grandchildren and baking, which she enjoys.

Instead she will be a king’s consort with all the formality and protocol that involves.

So glad it’s a job for someone else.

I happily settle for a life with my yowling cat.