|The bronze nymph in England's glory|
'They've run out of scones,' he says. 'So I'm having a gin instead.'
Several gins later and he's ready for the pram race. Darling Loggins, her friend and I are pushing 'Princess Margaret' (Bubbles Champagne-Charlie), complete with bandaged feet, in a wheelchair with a gin bottle 'drip' attached.
It's hard work, this running, especially in dark glasses and a nun's habit. On our first lap Bubbles loses her hat and we are nudged into the verge by The Walking Wounded, with a bandaged Champagne-Charlie the passenger in another wheelchair being pushed by Mr Grigg, Anakin Sheepwash and Number One Son.
They are closely followed by Celebrity Farmer in a pig mask and assorted members of his family wearing animal heads. Postman Pat rushes by and four blue Smurfs shoot past, the drizzle making their paint run.
Team Red Donkey (the Bancroft Boys) career down the road ahead of everyone. There are boos as the person riding Arkwright's bike, accompanied by Granville and Nurse Gladys Emmanuel, is seen to be pedalling up the steep bits.
Lap two and we overtake a go-faster wheelchair with slick tyres and a much younger pushing crew. One of the front wheels comes flying off The Walking Wounded's entry.
We are jubilant as we fly up Heartbreak Hill to the village hall, the sounds of 'Go Granny, go!' ringing in my ears as Number One Grand Daughter whoops and cheers us on.
We don't win but we don't come last either.
This morning, there is a big turnout at church as the new vicar, a jolly woman with three young children, commends the village on its community spirit. Not enough service sheets have been printed so some of us are singing from a book of hymns which have different words to everyone else's.
The pews are draped with quilts made by the Quilting Club and the windows are bedecked with flowers and Royal memorabilia, including my mother-in-law's painting of her champion Welsh corgi, Blake.
Nobby Odd-Job is smarting because a late-night pub reveller has stolen the ears from his Prince Charles scarecrow. And up the road, Prince Harry's scarecrow head was last seen rolling down the lane accompanied by a can of lager.
|HRH before the ears went missing|
This afternoon we sit down to the Thames pageant, drinking pink fizz and eating Coronation Chicken made from Mr F Word's recipe in the parish magazine, followed by the Queen's favourite no-bake chocolate cake for pudding.
And then it will all start again tomorrow.
That's about it.
Love Maddie x