My friend and I say do have a lovely one
Under the Sky TowerKATHRYN CALVERT
Under the Sky Tower
OPINION: Dear Subjects of the Commonwealth,
No, I'm obviously not your monarch Queen Elizabeth. She is currently unavailable and sends her apologies. But, as a great mate of hers, I have agreed to step in at the last moment to deliver the annual Christmas message from the Windsor family.
I hope you'll all pay attention to my words.
Liz would have been here to address you all, as per usual, but she's really been frantic lately. The poor woman's had her husband sick with his heart and dicky bladder, little Harry letting the "boys" out for a game of nude snooker, Charlie and Camilla all the way over this part of the world for a bit of OE, and the whole jubilee itinerary that's quite seriously buggered her physically.
On top of that, she's suffered through the hospital crank call debacle, and is, as we speak, administering cream crackers and lashings of ginger beer to her incapacitated morning-sick new granddaughter-in-law.
The Queen is such a compassionate woman.
Frankly, I think Liz is well and truly over the whole speech- writing thing anyway. I know she has a team of highly trained PR people that handle the actual writing, but she's been doing the job of delivering the thing for so many years that it's hard to think of new ways to say old things.
Now 'fess up. Apart from that particular year when Charlie and Di split up - her "annus horribilis" speech, as I recall - how many of us can honestly say we've ever sat through a whole Queen's speech without making a cup of tea, going for a wee, telling off the kids/grandkids, flicking over to the other channel to see if The Sound of Music has finished, or kicked the dog for farting. Or a mixture of the lot?
Come on, be honest. The whole speech? Without your mind wandering to other topics such as who ate the Scorched Almonds (probably the dog) or what great- aunt-Hilda was hinting when she gave you a pair of size 28 underpants and a copy of the WeightWatchers magazine?
Let's face it, Liz may be a regal old biddy, but she's hardly Barack Obama or Bill Clinton in an oratory sense, is she? You don't tend to hang on to every single word that spills from her lips, because not hearing would make your life bereft.
So think of me as a breath of fresh air in your Yuletide Season viewing. A different viewpoint, for sure, and antipodean in nature, but one that's just as valid as the Queen's. And hopefully more entertaining.
Let me first say that I reckon 2012's been reasonably so-so globally. We've had a few wobbly bits, a couple of horrible wars and famines, and some mass murders to keep the newspapers in business, but generally things haven't been too foul.
The earthquakes have subsided enough for people in Canterbury to start living again without holding their breath, Dan Carter's having a baby (or at least Honor is) and the world didn't explode last Friday like it was meant to, which was a real bonus, I feel.
That bloke in Syria - old Bashar watchamacallit - has been a major pain in the bum for the rebels and protesters, Spain's the latest country that's needed help to balance its chequebook and Superstorm Sandy proved in New York that when Mother Nature has a bellyache, nothing short of a major dump relieves the gripes.
Lance Armstrong . . . well, what can I say? Whitney Houston . . . there's nothing to say. Jock Hobbs . . . rest in peace. Brendon Horan . . . rest in obscurity.
From my personal perspective, Brad Pitt and Angelina not getting married this year has been a major relief. I'm pleased that the hot guy from The Mentalist is still working for the ANZ after its takeover of the National Bank (because he is like an angel bank manager sent from above), and I'm also glad I didn't have to sit through any Jennifer Aniston or Sandra Bullock movies this year.
And I'm sorry if this upsets you, and you have to know that I'm as grateful as the next person for being able to call Sir Peter Jackson a Kiwi, but The Hobbit was 45 minutes too long and I spent the last half an hour texting my daughter sitting next to me about what she alleged to be a 'same-sex love situation' during a battle scene and whether I had any M&Ms left.
I also felt like slapping Cate Blanchett around for her serene and ethereal depiction of Elf Queen Galadriel . . . as the only female speaking role in the movie, couldn't the woman have one PMT moment and lose her cool for a split second, for goodness sake?
So what have been the highlights? Ummmmm, let me think. Obviously the Olympics were reasonably exciting, if you like that sort of thing. Valerie Adams' eventual snaffling of the gold medal for shotput was satisfying, if not a little tarnished for being held in a shed at Auckland's waterfront instead of in front of Prince Willy in London.
Rugby this year has been a bit ho-hum, but at least we didn't lose to the Aussies. Netball's been not bad, but we did lose to the Aussies. And don't even start with cricket - we'd lose to a mixed team from my gran's resthome in Merrilands with the "talent" we have today . . . and probably by seven wickets.
What I - and I think I speak for Lizzie when I say this - really want for the coming 2013 is not only world peace, the dearth of hunger, despair and poverty, and for our prime minister to get a private journal and use it to REMEMBER things he says and does, but also for Kim Dotcom to take the Government to court and win New Zealand as compensation.
Can you imagine the parties, the giraffe sculptures, the music, the movies, the frivolity of 2013 if that happened? The Queen's loyal Commonwealth subjects at the end of the Earth would be, if not healthy, then decidedly happy.
Have a lovely New Year and (in the loosely translated words of my bestie Queen Elizabeth) live well, take your pills and basically just be nice to each other.
- © Fairfax NZ News