I don’t know about you, but when I have a bit of a do to celebrate a birthday or some other noteworthy event, I like my modest abode to look its best. So that requires a deeper clean than normal.
No corners can be cut: the sofa has to be moved and the Hoover gets to places it doesn’t ordinarily visit; the comforting aroma of Mr Sheen fills the air and all the glasses for the celebratory toasts are positively gleaming.
Like the rest of you, I only have one birthday a year where I have to go to such lengths. But there is one person in the realm that gets the birthday treatment twice a year and here of course I’m talking about HM Queen Elizabeth II.
Her Majesty celebrates her real birthday in April, when she will be 90, and her official one in June.
To help celebrate, the borough is joining in with Clean for the Queen – something organised by Keep Britain Tidy and Country Life magazine that aims to involve community groups, schools, businesses, councils and determined individuals in a mass clean-up of the country and there will be a special clean-up weekend on 4 to 6 March.
Now, I happen to think that this particular Royal Borough is just about the cleanest inner-city borough going. But, even we with our twice-weekly rubbish collections and army of street sweepers cannot completely hold back the tide of takeaway cartons, cigarette butts and the other detritus that pollutes our neighbourhoods.
Now for an avowed monarchist like me, and most of the country according to YouGov, the thought of taking to the streets with my bin bag and rubber gloves to do something to celebrate the Queen’s birthday is not at all difficult. Whatever the impetus for the big clean up, there is a real sense of achievement to be had in working closely with your neighbours to make where you live and relax look a bit better.
If you want to roll up your sleeves and join in with the big clean, then check out what’s happening locally. The Council has got seven fantastic events planned around the borough that involve tidying, picking up litter and planting bulbs and bushes.
We’ll be cleaning for the Queen in the Brompton Road area, Earl’s Court, Warwick Road, Holland Park Avenue, Ladbroke Grove, Acklam Road and Swinbrook Estate and I will be turning up at World’s End on the Saturday 5 March to lend a hand.
All the events can be found at www.cleanforthequeen.co.uk
And just in case you wondered why the monarch gets two birthdays, well it’s simply the result of another great institution: the British weather.
Parades, 21-gun salutes and Trooping the Colour are all far less likely to be rained off in June than in unpredictable April. Well, that’s the theory anyway, although I wouldn’t bet my house on it, much less my palace!