Waddling about in Kensington
It was like we were important for the day…
I’ve been thinking about what I could write for the Observer over the past week. I often find that I have an irrational urge simply publish something to make a point or to just state my feelings, but as of late, I’ve had a bit of a brain-block. But then I had a “eureka!” moment; let’s talk about the Summit that happened last Wednesday – “Mr. Puchowski, you’re a genius!” – oh, I know, but that’s for another article.
Apart from the inconvenient closure of the Chiltern Railway line from my town to Marylebone in London and the impossibility that is finding a parking space in Amersham in order that I could get the Tube straight into The City, the Summit, which managed to get over 10 nations represented, was actually a fantastic opportunity to meet other strange and probably ill people like myself and go home feeling smug that you’ve shook the hands of foreign royalty and the ever so charming Alexander Reinhardt. I can tell you, I slept well that night.
My mother and sister hopped along too. They had no real interest in meeting my fellow friends in the micronational field; no, they went to Harrods and such shops that contain items that one would require a mortgage to purchase. Still, I guess it’s human instinct to stare at things you don’t have… like Crown Prince Jonathan’s medal or Peter Bralesford’s never-ending supply of Egtavian banknotes. All members of the Puchowski household enjoyed their time in London it seemed but at least I got a decent meal out of it.
Speaker’s Corner, was well, speaker-less. As far as I can recollect, the ground was damp and the temperature was relatively warm. Yet, we all met there, by the gates and began those awkward conversations you have like when you meet your second cousin who doesn’t really know you but still insists that they know if you have a girlfriend yet or how school is going for you. Luckily, the girlfriend question was not asked. A total culmination met in Hyde Park, ranging in different ages, professions and interests and it sure was refreshing that these other micronationalists did exist and weren’t weird anonymous people staring at their computer screen because they want somebody to love. We walked. We spoke. Fantastic speeches were made by some of the most eloquently spoken and respectable gentlemen and flags and treaties were flung about as we sat in a circle by a big tree. It sure beats homework, I can tell you.
And so, we began to waddle about in Kensington, completing the mission that is finding our place of eating. After fumbling about with table bookings and who didn’t want to eat and the lark, our venture inside to the restaurant and seeing a long table readily laid out for us with water, cutlery and cloth napkins, gave, I think, most of us the shivers. It was like we were important for the day. Even Mr. Morris took out a little diplomatic Dorzhabadic flag and placed it on the table. Conversations about beer, university, the thickness of a margherita pizza and politics took place as we all started to ramble patiently as our food was being made; I was the only one to ask for spaghetti.
Lunch was eaten and we all assumed our roles as special young heads of state, wandering past many a park and shop on our way back to sit down somewhere to conclude the Summit. More conversations took place and even the impending doom that was discovering one’s GCSE results was a topic that made a few feel uneasy. We eventually took our places by a chestnut tree in another park and started to talk about Lethler, the MicroWiki community, our own personal education and the Microvision Song Festival as Mr. Reinhardt took mug shots of all of us as we gave our contributions to the discussion. Even Mr. Tierney took an opportunity to knock down a few conkers from the tree to check if they were ripened.
And so the time came when the Summit had to be concluded. A few group photos were taken and goodbyes were issued to one another… until we realised that we were all heading the same way to the same Tube station to get back home which made the whole ordeal somewhat useless. But anyway, we found our station and it was there where we said goodbye to one another. There were handshakes. There were exchanges of words. And then we all attempted to squeeze ourselves into a cramped carriage so we could get back home. I arrived safely at Trafalgar Square meeting up with my mother and sister and the Summit, was concluded.
I honestly could not have asked for anything else. It was a fantastic opportunity and probably one of the most prominent highlights of the year. We proved ourselves to be real and we went home happy. For a small little get-together, I think it went quite well.