About Me

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Worcester, Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Born in the year of the Coronation, I'm a Baby Boomer. In April of this year I decided I too would have a Diamond Jubilee celebration and completely change my life and that of my Husband's in the process

Saturday, 29 October 2005

Half Term

I've decided I don't like those mood boxes at the top, there never seems to be one that sums up what I'm feeling, which is mostly knackered.

I don't think I'm ever anything else in a morning, even as a child. I have vague memories of when I was young, having three mornings when I woke up and felt happy and refreshed. Does anyone else feel worse after a nights sleep, than they did before they went to bed, or is it just me?

The nearest to what I'm feeling today is worried, which I've just realised is what I feel most mornings. Worried what might come in the post, worried today is the day one of my family might have an accident, one of the pets might be ill, the car might breakdown, I won't manage to complete everything that needs doing today, we might get a houseful of noisy students move in next door in the house that's up for sale............On and on goes the list.

Good God! It's no wonder I never want to wake up in a morning, what is the matter with me?

As the day progresses my mood usually improves but I think I shall have to try to tackle this and be a bit more positive.

I have just had the week off school as it is our Autumn half term break. When I go back Monday you can be sure the C word will be mentioned in our diary of forthcoming events. That's right, it's the run up to Christmas. No sooner are we back than the preparations for the Christmas Production are under way. I foresee many tears and tantrums and as usual, that will be in the Staff Room. Oh well! No point worrying about that yet, I have today and tomorrow before I have to think about it.

This week I managed to do a number of things that had been hanging around for a while, like organising some of the research I've been doing and starting a website where much of it will be viewable. So I feel a little less stressed now about the mountain of paper that was, at times, flowing like molten lava from Mount Etna, out of the door of my office, into the bedrooms, slithering down the stairs and secreting itself on most available surfaces. 

Tuesday was a day out visiting people, dropping off and delivering various papers. I had lunch at the pub where we are hoping to have a bit of a school reunion, two weeks today, I had salmon kebabs with a jacket potato and salad and it was very good, so I think I'm happy with my choice of venue.

Wednesday I had lunch with my friend from the place I used to work. She is the only person I have chosen to keep in touch with, most of my memories from 'that place' are not happy, so I've chosen to put it behind me. They operated a divide and rule regime and boy, were there some back stabbers there! I have never known a place where so many people were signed off with stress.

Anyway this friend and I had worked in other places, where people were nice to each other, so we knew what it could be like elsewhere and became allies. The ones that had been there straight from school and been there all their working lives were the worst.

We had a lovely lunch at an old country inn, which has become one of our favourite eating places. I had stuffed marrow with proper home made chips.

Thursday I met my sister at Droitwich Brine Baths, she had never been before. Although I had warned her, nothing quite prepares you for just how much you float. Even when you are quite within your depth, it is nigh on impossible to get your feet on the floor without the aid of a handrail. For some reason, your bottom keeps wanting to suface while you are struggling to get your feet back on the ground and there were a few undignified struggles and much laughter.

After the Brine Baths, we went for lunch at The Old Cock Inn. The week has not done much for my weight loss regime! This time I had Crispy Duck Salad, mmmmm! Lovely.

The place has amused me for years, as some time ago my aunt had her 80th birthday party there. Her two sons kept telling everyone that they were having the party there because " Mum likes The Old Cock Inn"! Sorry, it must be my mind.

While walking around the town I managed to bump into two more people I used to work with at 'that place' which is now getting really strange as Droitwich is ten miles away from where we worked. When you think there were only around 60 staff there it is wierd, are they all spying on me, or what? 

Thursday evening, our friend who is moving to France next week came for dinner and stayed the night. She is moving there on her own, which I think is very brave but I'm sure she will do well and I'm looking forward to lovely shopping trips to Lyon. She is going to keep in touch with our lives through this Blog and will start one of her own so we can see what she is doing over there.

She had a horrible time in her last few weeks here, including have her car stolen at knifepoint when she was in Birmingham, which has caused her all sorts of problems. Birmingham people were voted the rudest people in Britain, in a survey that has just come out. I think my friend would agree with that and from what she tells me that he said to her, WELL! ....I don't think he went to the Lucy Clayton Charm School. All the best in France sweetheart and we'll see you soon.

So this week has been busy but fairly uneventful. That's not strictly true, while I was typing this I had a very interesting phone call but that will have to wait for another time.






Saturday, 22 October 2005

Is There a Plan?

Not putting a mood in the box at the top as nothing is appropriate. Why can't you type in one of your own? AOL, are you listening?... no, I thought not.

I bought a triple CD of 80's 12 inches recently. Remember them? One or two of the tracks are rubbish but some are very good, the Talk Talk track is wonderful and I could listen to it for hours, there's something quite hypnotic about it and yesterday it had me dancing round the kitchen whilst I played it over and over. Never assume that because my body is in it's 50's that my head is anywhere near there yet. 

We had a box arrive at the studio in the week for Mike, I have no idea what he must have said whilst on air but he's had 4, not just one, but 4 'My Litle Ponys' sent to him. We will make sure they go to make money for charity but first, I thought, I'd better get one out of the box and make certain it's OK.

I've never had experience of My Little Pony before. The four we have all have long manes with a little brush, a pointy hat and a  a dinky little wishing well. The wishing well has a handle on the side, which I thought might be a music box.

I'd sent Mike to the shops on an errand and thought while he was out of the way I would open one, just to test it you understand. In the well is a frog with a gold crown resting on it's blue plastic water. I turned the handle and ........ the surface of the water turned over and the frog had gone leaving just blue water and some lily pads. That was quite amusing thinks I, now turn it again to get the frog back. It wouldn't. Whichever way I turned it it was not having it. The surface of the water was locked in position and wouldn't budge. I tried pressing the water with my finger but there was no way it was going to move.

I'm now quite cross as I can't give these things away if they break the first time you touch them. I look for instructions but all it said, in 27 different languages on the side of the box was 'Crystal touches the heart on the wishing well.'

 Crystal was by now not touching my heart,I was supposed to be cooking dinner and she was seriously peeing me off! Right, I'll open another of the billious, blue, monstrosities and see if that one works. I very gently turned the handle to make sure I didn't force anything. I barely touched the handle and woosh, over goes the frog and now I have two broken wishing wells. There is no way they are turning back over, they are well and truely jammed.

I'm expecting Mike back any minute and I'm deciding to go for the, 'What do you mean, bringing this load of crap home!' attack is the best form of defence line, when I think I will just have one more look at the box. Still no instructions but there is a little note about magnetic parts. This starts a little part of my brain whirrring and I start to investigate the pony, Crystal. On the underside of one of her feet there is a large pink dot. Hmm!!!!   Crystal touches the heart on the wishing well? There is a small pink heart on the side of the well. I put her little pink hoof on the heart ( I can't believe I'm telling you this) and woosh... the water turns over again to reveal the little frog with the crown.

When I looked at the box again, I noticed it said not suitable for children under 3 years of age. I think it needs amending to not suitable for children under 53 years of age!

Last Saturday, as mentioned in my previous entry, we went out for lunch to Abbots Bromley, some 50 miles from here. I went in the summer to meet up with an old friend and was so taken with the area I wanted to take Mike there, as he had never been.

We had a lovely lunch, at The Goats Head, while we were in the pub I kept looking at people as  for some reason I expected to see someone I knew. After Lunch we went for a walk around the village.There are lots of old houses fronting right onto the pavement, very good for nosing into people's front rooms, a few pubs but only a couple of shops. A butcher's and a newsagent's.

We walked down a side street to the ancient church and had a good mooch around inside and out. There is a stunning modern metal sculpture on the wall above the main entrance. 

When we left the church I had an odd feeling of fitting to a timescale. Mike suggested walking down one path to the bottom of the churchyard but I didn't want to, I wanted to do a quick circuit of the church and get back to the main street.

I said I wanted to walk to the end of the main street on the one side and then cross over and go back down the other. I now felt I was needing to hurry and was walking quite fast, which is most unlike me.

We walked past the newsagent and I could not say if there was a car there or not. We kept going until I knew I'd reached the point where we had to cross. There were still houses either side but now they had gardens. As we walked back on the other side of the street towards the newsagent's I noticed there was a car parked outside. It's very quiet with not much traffic, as we drew almost opposite the car, the driver came out of the shop and walked round to the driver's door. We looked at each other and did a double take, he was a director of the company I worked for for 8 years, back in Worcester, 50 miles away. We used to chat quite a lot in break times and his birthday is the same day as my mother's.

I haven't seen him since he retired almost 4 years ago. The three of us stood chatting  for at least ten minutes, if not more and we were both pleased to have this chance encounter. But why? Why did I feel compelled to walk a certain route and to change the speed I was walking? Just a few seconds either way and we would not have seen each other. Why was it important?

Someone suggested that by that ten minute delay while we were talking it could have prevented either of us being in an accident, I don't know and don't suppose I ever will but from the time we left the pub until we saw Steph, I knew I was being directed.

It's not the first time things like that have happened. When I was seventeen my boyfriend had a soft top MGB. I always wore my seat belt, in his car, or anyone elses and used to get very cross with Mum when she wouldn't wear hers. I think the boyfriend  normally did as well but can't vouch for that.

We went to a Bonfire Party, it was a lovely evening, even though it was November and we had the top of the car down on the way there. I can't tell why neither of us put  our belts on on the way home, something stopped me, as if I knew it was safer somehow but that didn't make sense. Until later.

.We'd put the top back up then, which was another blessing. We'd only travelled a few hundred yards when we skidded on a bend, hit a tree stump, carried on along the hedge with my side of the car getting higher and higher until it flipped over and landed upside down in the road, where it continued it's manic journey for another ten yards.

Apart from a couple of deep cuts to my head, one where the quarterlight had caved in and stuck in the side of my head and the other, on the top, from the frame of the hood, we were just jarred and bruised.

We were sitting inside the car, on the soft top, which was now on the road, we had both been flipped over, out of our seats, which were now above our heads, people stopped and helped lift the car so we could get out.

When we saw the car later we could see the headrests had been sheared off from when the car careered upsidedown along the road . Had we been strapped in we would both have been decapitated, well, me more than him as he was a bit of a short arse!

I have had several experiences like this, where I feel I'm being guided. I can't offer an explanation but I never doubt it when I get these feelings, so far they have only been to my benefit.

School was busy this week as there was loads to cram in before half term. We had some interesting visitors for the children which could explain why one boy obviously got a little over excited and called his supply teacher a Slapper. Trouble was, he's not very bright and we knew he didn't know what it meant, so we all had trouble not laughing.

I've just been invited to the pub, so I'm off now, should I wear my seat belt, or not?

PS I just thought I would have a look at my German 'nearly' son in law's website for his punk group, to see if they have confirmed the dates for their UK tour next month. While I was there I had a look again at the tracks on their new CD.

How do these titles grab you?

Crash Cars Look Better Than Daisies.

When Oranges are Juice They're Dead.

Sheep, Sheep, Sheep.


Hmmmm! I think I shall be looking closely at Flo when he comes here at Christmas.



Saturday, 15 October 2005

The Joys of Children

Another week and I seem to be going backwards!

School has taken most of my time this week, various issues with children with problems and teachers who seem to find places to go, other than our school. I taught for 3 and half hours on Monday and I'm only a teaching assistant. If you ask me the world's gone mad.

I'm a reasonably intelligent woman but I'm an Insurance Broker. I never trained as a teacher. When I started part time work as a Learning Support Assistant, I did not realise that in three years time I would be taking whole classes for IT, or covering Maths and Literacy lessons for the SEN group, of which we have many.

It's mostly down to the goverment idea of teachers having Planning and Preparation time during school hours. What twit thought of that? It's like having a bus driver that doesn't drive!

As usual there doesn't seem to be adequate funding to bring in a supply teacher to cover and remember, in our school of 11 teachers that amount to 22 hours extra cover a week. So who does it get dumped on? Me and my other TA colleagues and because we now do PPA cover they seem to think that it's OK for us to cover for teachers on courses or at hospital appointments. 

Anyway that's just my rant for the week.

The other thing is the Head of the infant school, which is on the same site as the junior school is retiring and so the powers that be want to make the school one.

I don't actually have a problem with that, I think it will lead to greater continuity throughout those vital early years and I might get to find out why so many children come up to year 3, still unable to read.But the meetings we have to keep having because people are worried about their jobs. There is so much uncertainty.

Thursday afternoon we were all told to attend a meeting which the 'Big Knobs' would be at and they would make everything clear. There's one word that sums that up. B****ks!

Three turned up for the start of the meeting and waffled. Any difficult questions were met with the answer that so and so would be the best person to answer that but they hadn't turned up. One woman arrived about twenty minutes late but the HR (whatever happened to Personnel?) man turned up an hour and a quarter late.

Now I must say he didn't do much for English/Welsh relations, even though he was the person to answer most of the questions asked there was no apology for turning up 15 minutes before the end of the meeting and he then proceeded to belittle people with very genuine concerns, in his Tom Jones accent. I was squirming in my seat hoping no one remembered I had Welsh relatives and one of the poor TA's, a lovely girl  from Merthyr and as Welsh as you like said later that when he opened his mouth to speak her heart sank.

The upshot of the meeting was, our jobs are ringfenced (?) and all our jobs are safe, unless of course they are not, in which case, no one will be made redundant, as they don't like to consider that option until the end. So if you lose your job they will 'support' you to find another, which could be anywhere within the area, therefore miles away, as we know there are very few vacancies inWorcester.

I have never heard a bigger load of TWADDLE in my life.

I shall just carry on as usual and wait for whatever happens.

The little boy from our school who was found on fire by the canal in the summer holidays came to visit. He's still bandaged on his body but thankfully all the visible bits are untouched. Considering his was in a coma and in intensive care for a couple of weeks you really have to wonder at the miracles our hospitals can sometimes perform. He looked really happy and well, I hope he continues in the same way and his experience doesn't leave too many mental scars.


It's now Saturday evening.

Children can be a joy, they can also be a pain, or a huge worry.

On Sunday before my son left, to drive back down to London to his girlfriends', he let something slip. It was another of his classics, he really shouldn't lie as he always gets found out in the end. No, not gets found out, but blurts it out. I'm not sure if he does in to clear his conscience, or just forgets he lied.  

This revelation was to do with car accidents. He only recently passed his driving test, so when he was at college in Gosport, would often have a lift with one of his mates back home to Worcester.

I am a bit of a joke amongst his friends as I always say, drive safely, in a 'you'd better while you have my son aboard' sort of way.

About a year ago he mentioned something about when Carl wrote off his car. Oh! says I, (Mother's Radar working overtime here)  when was that? (smiles sweetly, in a Cruella DeVille sort of way, to encourage confidences). That time when we were going back to base one weekend and we hit a lamppost. Smile rapidly disappears, AND WHEN WAS THAT? Son realises mistake and tries to back track but had to admit that at a roundabout they had been pushed, ever so slowly into a lamppost by some idiot driver who pulled into the side of them. Hmmm! Mother is almost placated and is assured she wasn't told for her own good. It wasn't Carl's fault and he is a safe driver.

Well, last Sunday, I have no idea what was the reason but the accident was brought up again and now he's forgotten the edited version he'd given me. Let's hear the truth shall we?

They'd just left a dual carriageway and were heading down a sliproad to a roundabout. Carl was going to fast and didn't make it, the car  overturned and ended on it's side up against one of those giant lampposts you get at that type of junction.

Carl said what shall I do and son said, turning of the engine might be good. They weren't hurt but couldn't get out, as one side of the car was under them and the other was up in the air.

They were justdebating how to get out when son spotted something happening and said' shut your eyes'. The lamppost slowly toppled onto the front of the car, shattering the windscreen in the process. That solved the getting out problem.

Then there was the difficulty of continuing their journey. Carl had Relay cover but that didn't apply to accidents, however he phoned his rescue service and gave his location saying his car wouldn't start.

When the man turned up he took one look and said 'Well of course it won't start, it's on it's ****ing side!!!'

I had phoned son whilst they were getting it all sorted out and asked why hadn't he rung to say he was home. He told me was. Well in that case why could I hear cars in the background? That's because we went for a drink at the bar on base and we're just walking back through the car park.

His best foot in mouth episode is still a family favourite.

When Mike and I married, son was only four. There was a bit of male rivalry for my attentions in those days. We had very little money and were doing our best with a little Vicorian terraced house. Mike, who is the first to admit is no handyman, bought some pine shelves to put up in the alcove by the chimney breast, a place to keep our books. They weren't quite level but he was very proud of them.

At bedtime son was fiddling about with his pocket money, rather than getting ready for bed. Mike took it off him and put it on the shelves, which were now sporting a  large array of weighty tomes.

Later, we went to bed, we'd just slipped into the land of nod, when there was this awful noise from downstairs. I really thought we had been raided by the police and they'd kicked the door in. We all rushed downstairs to find Mike's shelves had collapsed and the large books were now all over the sitting room.

Mike was not a happy bunny! He went into a huge sulk over it for days and that is really not like him.

Several years laterSimon let slip to me, as he does, that after we went to bed, he'd climbed up onto the shelves, which were above an old cupboard, to get his money. I felt this was something that never needed to be disclosed, as did the rest of the children so it was never to be spoken of again.

That is, until a family dinner a couple of years ago when he decided to relate the tale. I wish I had a video of the moment. Mike was open mouthed, son was bemused and the rest of us became incontinent and incapable of speech.

If ever you have a secret, don't tell my son, not unless you want everyone to know about it.

Another of the delights of working with children is head lice, we have an outbreak at the moment and although I can't find any, I am convinced I keep feeling the marching of their little feet through my scalp. I spend ten minutes under the power shower every morning in the hope of dislodging any possible visitors.

We had a lovely day out today and yet another of those strange coincidences that follow me happened. I'll write about that next week.



Saturday, 8 October 2005

The Demon Drink!

What a week!

That's it, I'm signing the Pledge. No more drinking for me.

Why is it you don't go anywhere for weeks,.... months and then it all happens in a week? It's a bit like buses I suppose.

Thankfully 'The Squatters', my son and his girlfriend, are leaving tomorrow, it's not that I haven't enjoyed having them here on their holiday, it's just that, as they are holidaying, they keep partying and we somehow get sucked in with what they are doing.

I will for evermore associate son's girlfriend with Supertramps 'Breakfast in America'. They went into town last Friday, after first having a pint with us in our village Local. Unfortunately S'sG had a pint of the local Perry, she didn't stand a chance after that!

I had been preparing food after the pub visit, for the party next day and finally went upstairs to read my emails before going to bed. Suddenly the front door burst open and there was a bit of a bump followed by loud giggling. I went onto the landing to 'shush' the inebriates, as hubby was in bed snoring.

The sight that met me was S'sG lying on the hall floor in fits of giggles and my son, standing, just about but also hysterical with laughter. He looked up at me and said 'Look at my girlfriend, what a mess!' Ever since I have this mental picture of the two of them there in the hall with my son singing:-

Take a look at my girlfirend

She's the only one I got.

Not much of a girlfriend,

I never seem to get a lot.


I think that event set the tone for the week.

Sunday saw me recovering from Saturday's party.

Monday night we went to the local.

Tuesday night was quiet, as they went to a friend's for dinner and Mike was out doing a Gardener's Questions Forum. That was just as well because on Wednesday I was going on the year five trip from school, around Worcester, doing a survey of businesses. You do not want to be on your own with eight, ten year olds for four hours, when you have a hangover.  I managed not to lose any of them, didn't have to shout too much and I think we had the best time of all the groups as I got them into some places that others didn't think to go and showed them interesting features that they'd never noticed.

These are children that only really know playstations and DVD's. I pointed out a small alcove set in the wall of an old building at the top of the High Street and asked them what they thought it was, it was only about 18 inches high, with a thin metal bar set across it. The most popular idea was a coal cellar. I explained it was there to scrape the mud off the boots of people, back in the days when the roads were just earth. For some reason this really captured their imagination. When we crossed over to the Cathedral Close, one of them spotted a foot scraper outside the first house, this was a different design, not set in the wall but on the flagstones., They then realised there was one outside every house in the close but of different designs and shapes, they had great fun going up and down the close, trying each of the scrapers. If only it could be possible to capture their imaginations in the same way in Maths!

We went round the Cathedral, which they adored and behaved beautifully throughout and we lit candles to departed relatives. Not one of them had been in the Cathedral before, yet they only live about three miles away. How are these  children expected to expand and develop mentally if they are never given any real stimulus?

They were very interested to see the Knave was laid out with large round dining tables and delicate gold chairs and were most impressed when I told them it was for an Award Dinner, which I was going to the next night.Wednesday evening saw us at the pub again, it's a wonderful place, rather like the Cheers Bar, where everyone knows your name and discussions are always lively and interesting.

Next night saw us in the Cathedral for The Heart of England Tourist Board's annual awards. What a wonderful place to have dinner, to say it was spectacular is no exaggeration. I was very good and only drank a little wine, as I didnt want to show myself up, being on the top table. Unfortunately we had arranged to meet son and S's G to get a taxi home. We decided coffee and Jamesons would be a pleasant end to the day.

Very bad decision!

We got home at eleven thirty but got to bed at two am. It's always a bad sign if I get out the Vangelis 'El Greco' CD, a sure indication we should have gone to bed half an hour ago.

When we went to put the pets in the kitchen for the night we realised the oldest cat Fliss was missing. We thought weheard her but couldn't locate her, eventaully we had to go to bed.

I woke again at 5am, needing the toilet and a drink of water. Of course, then I was worried about Fliss, so, in my nightie and sandals I went off outside to try to find her. What a sight that must have been as I crept around with a torch, still half inebriated! I couldn't find her and went back to bed.

Harper Dog decided to start crying a short time later, so Mike went to let him out and came back upstairs a few minutes later to say Fliss was found, she was in one of the kitchen cupboards, I doubt she'll go exploring in there again.

Yesterday was a nightmare as I only had three hours sleep. I dragged myself through school and came home and went to bed for the afternoon. Then at seven I had to go to a friend's leaving party, She is moving to France, so I couldn't not go, even though I was still feeling awful. I got to the wine bar in town and had a mineralwater, followed by another mineral water. Mike had to go somewhere else first and was joining us about nine. When he arrived I had just had my first glass of red wine, he got me another and one for himself, we decided that would do for us and then we would go home.

Unfortunately as we were finishing our drinks, son and S'sG walked in. They insisted on buying us a drink and then another couple bought as another and so it went on. I ended up out on the balcony have a cigarette with a friend, who is a closet smoker and I haven't smoked for years!

One of the women start molesting my husband, which was very amusing as she has to work with him next week. I don't think she will actually remember but you can be sure Mike will remind her, in graphic detail.

I also seem to have agreed to a girlie weekend away. The very drunk woman said she couldn't come, as there would be no sex! I really have to remind her about THAT comment ! Eventually we walked home at twelve thirty. The kids stayed on and crashed in at three fifteen. Son can't remember if he walked, or got a taxi.

So we have all decided that is enough, we are not in the habit of so much alcohol consumtion in one week and I really need to give my liver a rest.

Tonight S'sG is treating us to dinner at the best Thai restaurant in town, as a thank you for having her. We had planned to go to the Austrian Bar first for a couple of halves of their excellent Pils but I don't think we will now. Then again, we could go and just have the one.............




Tuesday, 4 October 2005

The Party's Over (Phew)

Well, it's over and done with now. Perhaps I can get my life back, I seem to have been working towards it for weeks. In true Linda style I finished the grouting the night before I started preparing the food and and I was still preparing the food when the first visitors arrived at 2.30pm. The last ones left at 1.15am.

It was one of those rare occasions when everything was perfect. People made new friends and mingled and strolled around the garden and loved the food, the weather was good, I couldn't really have asked for more, except maybe a small team of caterers!

High spots of the day.

My sister in law was able to visit for the first time since her husband had a stroke three years ago and he made it too. They live eighty miles away.

My fairly new step brother and sister came and had a lovely time, it was so nice to share a family event with them.

My stepson was drunk. Always a very entertaining person after a couple of drinks.

My son wasn't. So good to see he seems to have grown out of the college binge drinking stage he and most of his friends went through.  

Having a party when I had lots of time to talk to people.

Vitually no left over food but lots of left over wine.

It was good to have a special day that lived up to and exceeded it's expectations. Not all occasions do.

One memorable event was two years ago. As a thank you for the work Mike did in his programme for the farmers of our two counties (We were then Hereford & Worcester) we were invited to a large country house to meet the Queen. Now I'm neither here or there when it comes to the Monarchy but I'm always one for a bit of a do. So off we went in our finery. About 2000 people had been invited to picnic in the grounds, where HRH was to do a walkabout and there was entertainment.

We, (swanky this) were part of the select few invited to take Pimms with the Queen and Philip in the reception hall of the house. We had to get in way before 'She who must be obeyed' arrived. Bizzarely they started serving the Pimms immediately on arrival and as she was running late meant we were mostly well on the way to being rather merry by the time she arrived. Then we all carried on drinking while she caught up.

By the time Lord & Lady Knob, or whoever they were, started leading the royal couple round to introduce us we were not really in a fit state to meet anyone. I was now in a huge panic as an Honourable friend, who is in the know about royalty had just whispered  that I really must curtsey, as 'We are not amused if you dont'.

Buggar!! How do you do that, in my Pimms befuddled state I hadn't a clue but I was fairly sure it would involve me falling over and what if, horror of horrors I landed on HRH, who was getting quite close and I'd just realised is nearly a foot shorter than me.

Philip got to us first and I was just having a very pleasant little chat with him, he's a twinkly eyed old devil, when, depending on your point of view a very good, or a very bad thing happened. The woman on our right keeled over in a dead faint.

Apparently it doesn't do to make a fuss if HRH is six feet away, so the poor woman was left on the floor, whilst HRH was lead away. Then they attended to the drunk on the floor. I was in a mixture of relief that :-

a. It wasn't me on the floor ...and

 b. I hadn't had to do the dreaded curtsey

but also a bit disapointed I hadn't got to shake the great hand. I had so wanted to remind her about the time she saw me in my red wellies in Halesowen in 1955, when I was two years old. lol.

Best plan in life is never to expect too much, that way you don't get let down and if it does go right then it's a bonus.