Devonshire or clotted Cornish cream, spread over the layer of waiting red preserves, strawberries captured in the sugary aspic of pectin and held perfectly on the tongue, a zing of luscious summer fruits alongside the soft dairy peaks, and all of it on the top of crumble-in-the-mouth scones, freshly baked and imparting their heat into all the rest, so that it deliciously melts.
Washing it down with orange picot or English breakfast, blue china pot warmed first before the leaves from far-off lands are heaped to infuse their flavour into just boiled water. Such is a thoroughly British late June sensation, bursting white, red and blue along with the clouds, sky and berries, a blessed Union.
And these are our colours, for which we send our lads and lasses to fight in distant un-Anglican places, and the flags that we plant in other people’s backyards, pinking the globe in British blush. We will bulldoggedly wave them at the Last Night, until we imagine Britannia rules okay.
You cannot have one United Kingdom without the other, past and present are bound together like the jam and cream before us, in a commonwealth of sweet and souring, even as we head out into hedgerowed rambling after the Sunday service, where we sang Jerusalem with ignorant gusto.
Text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt Photo from Pixabay