I really liked 2012; there were nice holidays, brilliant events and some great tea towels. 2012 was only four years ago but it seems like a lifetime, so much has changed. I have already written blogs about nineteen tea towels that I acquired in 2012 and I have many, many more to go. The reason I have so many tea towels from 2012 is that the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the London Olympics and Paralympics just generated so many tea towels. In addition to that, firms that do not normally involve themselves in tea towel production, got themselves involved. For example, Marks and Spencer did a three-pack of tea towels which were celebratory, patriotic, that captured the spirit of the Jubilee and the Olympics but were not specifically related to those events. They were all different. The three tea towels at the top of the page are very good quality cotton, hemmed all around the edges with a hook sewn across the top corner. The colours are vibrant with a ‘twist’ on the Union Jack, almost like sponge-painting; one of them has a corgi in the corner, recognising the Queen’s love of Corgi dogs. The tea towels are better enjoyed from a distance, rather than close up. The tea towel at the bottom of the Blog is made from towelling and was a twin-pack bought from Tesco; the two tea towels were identical. I don’t like buying identical tea towels. I can clearly remember buying all four tea towels because I hadn’t seen any other tea towels commemorating the Diamond Jubilee or the Olympics and thought I needed something. It was a couple of months later that there were tea towels in profusion and I couldn’t resist those either (just wait until I Blog about the 10 Jubilee tea towels). I suppose these tea towels were part of that feeling, generated in 2012, of being proud to be British, of liking the country we live in and enjoying the planned celebrations. They generate the feeling that the Jubilee, Olympics and Paralympics are all part of the same thing, a ‘feel good factor’. People hung Union Jacks outside their houses or in their bedroom windows throughout the year. It was a celebration for the whole year, not just a couple of weeks.
But 2012 was a lot more, beyond the Jubilee, Olympics and Paralympics: Andy Murray was the first British man to get to the finals of Wimbledon in 74 years and the first British man to win a Grand Slam since 1936; Bradley Wiggins was the first Briton to win the Tour de France, ever; Manchester City won the Premier League for the first time since 1968; Chelmsford, Perth and St Asaph were awarded City status, after a public vote, in recognition of the Jubilee (must remember that when it comes to tea towel blogging); the Woodland Trust created 60 new woodlands of 60 acres each (except for the one which was 600 acres); Chelsea won the FA Cup for the 7th time; there was a first woman to become a Commander of a Royal Navy warship – Sarah West became Commander of HMS Portland; after years of messing about, the police finally charged and successfully prosecuted the killers of Stephen Lawrence, bringing some measure of justice; Greenwich became a Royal Borough; Cambridge won the 158th Boat Race after the race had to be stopped halfway through because of a swimmer in the river; two million hours of voluntary service were donated as part of the Jubilee celebrations; the last typewriter to be built in Britain was built in North Wales; Duchess of Cambridge became pregnant; the tower of Big Ben was renamed the Elizabeth Tower (I should think a significant number of buildings were renamed during the year including the Main Gate at Kew Gardens); Boris Johnson was re-elected as Mayor of London (was that something to celebrate?); it was 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, with many events to mark the occasion; a lot of people who were significant in my past died this year – Max Bygraves (my dad’s favourite singer and I have a lot of 78s of his plus a wind-up gramophone), Robin Gibb (loved the Bee Gees), Clive Dunn (loved Dad’s Army), Vidal Sassoon (loved those hair styles in the 60s), Eric Sykes (loved him with Hattie Jacques but not in Carry On films), Jack Ashley MP (one of the biggest fighters for the rights of disabled people who influenced all my working life); Bob Holness (didn’t you just love Blockbusters?), Kenneth Kendall (great newsreader); it was the wettest year in England, ever, and the second wettest in the UK, but that didn’t spoil the enjoyment of 2012.
Personally, 2012 was a very enjoyable year (including watching every minute of the Olympics and Paralympics). I had a fantastic holiday in Wales and followed the Olympic Torch in Conwy and up Snowdon (it will never happen again in my lifetime); a great holiday in Italy on Lake Maggiore which introduced me to the beauty of Italian tea towels; a brilliant holiday in Kent in some of the hottest weather I have known in March, with a lot more tea towels and some steam railways. 2012 was a lot more than the Jubilee and Olympics and as I use these tea towels I will always remember that.
PS: In due course, I will write a Blog about the Diamond Jubilee and one about the Olympics and Paralympics. These will be posted as Pages (listed at the top of the Tea Towel Blog) rather than amongst all the other regular Blogs.
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