9 October 2012
As a nation of peoples renowned for our bashful awkwardness, our ironic sense of humour and our cynical view of the world, what a turn-around these past few years have been. Don’t get me wrong, long may the awkwardness, irony and cynicism continue, if only to baffle every one of the other 195 nations, but whaaaat a breath of fresh air. I mean, has it ever been so OK to be patriotic?
Kate and Wills melted our hearts, Liz’s Diamond Jubilee prompted street parties galore, Jess, Andy and Mo lived up to our (normally) impossibly and (always) unfairly high expectations.....................and Boris got stuck on a zip-wire.
Well may you ask: what next? Are we, the British, really capable of prolonged periods of patriotism? Apparently, the answer is a resounding yes.
From art to science, the Brits are on top. Mulberry have put together a frankly INCREDIBLE montage, entitled “Brilliant Britain” (http://www.brilliantbritainguide.com/), James Mylne must surely be the World Number One at biro drawings (no mean feat), and Sir John Gurdon well and truly defied his school science master’s expectations.
Mylne's work includes the above portrait of Audrey Hepburn. If you like what you see, get yourself to the Rook & Raven gallery in Soho for a closer look, and check out the rest of the Vintage Vogue exhibition whilst you’re at it. Old Etonian, Sir John Gurdon, meanwhile, has a mind-blowingly impressive resume, with his ground-breaking genetic discovery paving the way for modern stem-cell research. Not only does he have a Cambridge University centre named after him, he's only just gone and won a Nobel Prize.
Whilst our economy may be crumbling all around us and autumn may have arrived before summer even began, in the words of James Thomson: Rule, Britannia!