Tag Archives: The Queen

Time To Start Using The Daily Prompts

13 Nov
English: Silver Jubilee banner A banner celebr...

English: Silver Jubilee banner A banner celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee hangs on the front of Cavendish House, now part of the House of Fraser group. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Write about the most precious thing you’ve ever lost.

In 1977 I compiled a scrapbook of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year.  It disappeared in one of my many house moves.  I mourn it still.



Take a complicated subject you know more about than most people, and explain it to a friend who knows nothing about it at all.

Oi!  You traitorous anti-monarchists: The Royal Family.  Live with it.



What’s the one thing you hope other people never say about you?

What a republican!


Write about a time you had a Goldilocks experience, exploring different choices and finally arriving at “just right.”

I lived under Labour: too liberal.

I lived under Conservatives: too harsh.

I lived under Apartheid: too racist.

I lived under post-Apartheid: too violent.

I lived in a flat: too high.

I lived in a house: too big.

I lived in a town: too industrial.

I lived in Sasolburg: too backward.

I lived in the real world: too real.

Now, I live in my head: just right.


Pick a random word and do Google image search on it. Check out the eleventh picture it brings up. Write about whatever that image brings to mind.

Okay, it helps if I read these prompts correctly.  I thought of the word cupboard; I Googled it.  The eleventh search – not image – brought up Google Images – Cupboard.  47 million of them.  My head exploded.  Not nice.  If your home has ever blown up while you were living in it, you know what I’m talking about.*

*You may be the only person in the blogosphere who does.  I hope you’re a monarchist.

Once I re-read the prompt and worked out what it wanted from me, I found this eleventh cupboard picture:

Write about whatever that image brings to mind.

One post in and already I’m wondering if I’m mad to go back to answering the daily prompts.


When was the last time you felt really, truly lonely?

When I got to the end of this post and realised everyone had left long ago. Maybe I should start a scrapbook…


Our Diamond Jubilee Picnic

4 Jun

I never got to the christening: although we Brits do pomp and pageantry extremely well – one thousand-boat flotilla, anyone? – we’re not so hot on public transport.  The earliest bus to get me to the church on time left on Saturday night.  I went to my church, instead; and to the picnic afterwards. 

One of our oldest members.

The service was nice; we finished by singing the national anthem.  I can’t remember the last time I sang it outside of my house – we Brits aren’t hot on national fervour; unless there’s a football involved. 

Our vicar!

And we’re definitely not hot on weather, unless you like your rain torrential.  We had to hold an indoor picnic.  The church needs new lighting and my camera is small, so the pics are not great, but you’ll get the flavour of the day.

Fancy dress was optional but most of us chose to wear red, white and blue.  I wore a white top under my red blouse but you can’t see it in the photos.  I raided my hair box for patriotic colours: 

I’m not big on style, but at least I’m enthusiastic.

Master of Ceremonies Mark and Arthur the Fox, who made the suit himself, were the sartorial winners of the day:

I made the mistake of stepping up when the call came out for volunteers.  It was a drinking contest.  This was church, however, so it was Adam’s Ale: we had to drink a bottle of water – from a baby’s bottle. 

That was some of the hardest work I’ve ever done – my jaw ached for an hour.  No wonder babies fall asleep when they feed; they’re exhausted. 

Photo Copyright Pam Robinson

I needed the drink after all the food:







And guess what?  I won!  Here’s my prize (from Google, because my picture was dreadful):

 After pass-the-parcel, we just had time for a natter before heading home. 

 I spent the afternoon watching the Thames Pageant on tv.  The Queen (86) and the Duke of Edinburgh (91 next Sunday) stood the whole time.  According to Wikipedia, Prince Philip is the United Kingdom’s longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch.   I bet most of that service happened yesterday afternoon – 1000 boats take a long time to travel up the Thames. 

I recorded the end and intend to fast-forward through it this afternoon.  Diamond Jubilees are all very well, but I wanted my dinner.

Happy Anniversary Diamond Liz

6 Feb
Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II X

Image via Wikipedia

The Queen has been on the throne sixty years today.  Anyone else would be allowed to retire.

"Princess Lilibet". Derivative image...
Image via Wikipedia

To celebrate, here are some interesting facts:

  • My Nan was born 18 April 1914 and named Elizabeth, known as Lil.  The Queen was born 21 April 1926 and named Elizabeth, known as Lilibet.  Coincidence?
  • The Queen is visited by the reigning Prime Minister every Tuesday that she’s home in Buck House.  Some jobs suck.
  • The Queen has attended 34 Royal Variety performances.  Like I said: some jobs suck.
  • The Queen has two birthdays, one the actual and one the official.  She gets to ride with handsome soldiers on horses in June for her public birthday.  Nice, but I’d prefer a box of Maltesers.
  • The Queen is the only royal female to serve in the armed forces.  My Mum was in the Army for three years, apart from the time she went awol.   She and a friend ran home to Liverpool from Richmond; my Nan gave them a meal, bath and bed, then took them to the police station next morning, to turn themselves in.  The Army took them back.  The Army didn’t know what they were letting themselves in for.
  • The Queen has nine royal thrones: one at the House of Lords, two at Westminster Abbey, six in the throne room at Buckingham Palace.  I have two: one upstairs; one down. 
  • Queen Elizabeth II is the fortieth monarch since William the Conqueror stole the crown of England.  From Bill to Lil in forty easy steps.
  • The Queen speaks fluent French.  Blame it on her Norman ancestry.
  • Prince Andrew was born in 1960, eight years after she came to the throne.  That makes her the first reigning Queen to have a child since Queen Victoria gave birth to Princess Beatrice in 1857.  The first Queen Regnant pregnant.

I would like to tell you the story about the Queen and the farting horse, but I’ve told it at least three times in this blog, and probably more.  Instead, here’s a link to it.

Happy Anniversary, Queenie.

Ma’am Spam

22 Oct

I think the Queen’s a reader! 


In my spam box:

Great website.  I will be visiting one’s blog for a long time to come.



More Six Word Saturdays here.

Call Me ‘El Presidente’

1 Jul
Seal of the President of the United States

Image via Wikipedia

Do you think you’d make a good president?

Of what?

My house – definitely.

Next door – they might object.

Virgin – disqualified because I’m not.  And I don’t like the beard.

America – I was born elsewhere and I have the birth certificate to prove it. Besides, I wouldn’t want to follow Martin Sheen; that’s too much to ask of me.  Though I wouldn’t mind a library.  Which leads me to one of the great unanswered questions of all time: did President Walken get a library?


The whole prompt is much longer than that one question; I tend to read only the subject in the email:

Do you think you’d make a good president? Or Prime-minister? Or King? If so, what would be the first thing you’d do in office?

I’ve told you before that I can’t be Prime Minister because Tory Boy is going to have that job one day and he won’t want to be accused of nepotism.

I could be King, I suppose, if I have a sex-change and learn to speak RP.  Does the job come with a chauffeur?  It’s not very dignified for a monarch to travel by bus or bike (unless you happen to be Dutch).

The first thing I’d do in office is remove that dreadful Microsoft logo.  Oo, oo!  Can I be president of Microsoft?  I hear the last one got rich enough to give away half his fortune and still rule Computerland.  I wouldn’t mind being that rich.

Bonus: If not yourself, who do you know that you think would make for a good president? Perhaps a blogger you’ve met through #postaday?

It would have to be Nancy, of course.  I don’t know anyone else firm enough.  Amy would make a great VP.

Wait!  What was I thinking?  I was operating on the premise that politicians not only have principles, but stick to them.  Sorry, girls: no motorcade for you today.



While trolling the internet for Presidential references, I came upon myself on page 1, number 12 of 1,80,000,000!

With that and and my recent WP mention, I think president is aiming too low: next stop, the world.

You can read that particular post here, or I could just include it in this post, because it’s short:

I read this years ago and I have always wanted to share it.  It is supposed to be a true story;  you’ll have to decide for yourself.  I soooo hope it is.

The Queen was entertaining a visiting head of state; they were parading down the Mall in a horse-drawn carriage, chatting nicely, when one of the horses made what can only be described as a rude noise.

QEII: I’m so sorry about that.

HoS: Please don’t apologise; if you hadn’t said anything, I’d have assumed it was the horse.



A History Lesson

29 Sep
The Palace of Westminster at night as seen fro...

Image via Wikipedia


Now that we have a new leader of the Labour Party, the time seems right to tell you about the adventures of a future leader of the Conservative Party (sorry, dear deceased Labourite Granddads). Tory Boy came back from his two weeks in Westminster declaring that it was the best fortnight of his life. Highlights appear to have been: access to a huge bedroom for the first time in two years (his guest room; not anyone else’s); an excellent transport system (45 minutes from Wimbledon to Westminster via bus, train & two tubes); and the Pope’s back.   


We’ll dispense with the Pope first (no jokes, please; respect the fact that my Nan was a Catholic and always displayed a photograph of the latest one in her home). TB sent us a text to say he was standing right behind the Popemobile and could see His Holiness’s back. It was an historic first Papal State visit to Britain, so I suppose it was worth a text. Tory Boy had a pass which enabled him to get close enough to see the arrival at Westminster Hall. I don’t begrudge him his little witness of history, even if he is an atheist.   

TB tells me that Westminster is like Hogwarts: corridors go off in all directions and people disappear down them and are never heard of again. He worked in the old Scotland Yard building.  He was given a tour of the Commons and the Lords and he says they were beautiful but small. He found the Queen’s throne ‘stunning’ and was surprised to learn that it stayed there permanently; I don’t know why he was surprised: someone would notice if you turned up at the front door with a moving van.  I hope.  The Speaker’s Chair was a gift from New Zealand. The doors behind the Speaker were donated by India. Much more of this and we’ll be hearing next that the Queen’s Speech is brought to you by the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis: Come stay with us; we’ll move a mountain to give you the earth.   


The four patron saints of the UK are depicted on stained glass windows in the lobby. Legend has it that St George leads to the Lords, because every Englishman aspires to be a Lord; St David leads to the Commons, because the Welsh yabber on; St Andrew leads to the bars, because the Scots like to drink; and St Patrick leads to the exit, because every Irishman wants out of England. It’s heartening to know that racial stereotypes are alive and well in our nation’s seat of government.   

Tory Boy told us that, contrary to popular belief, St Stephen’s Chapel is not a chapel, but a hall. Thanks for clearing that up, son. There is a myth that the section of floor tile that doesn’t match is the spot where Percival Spencer was assassinated. Coughing noises and blank looks elicited the information that PS was the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated. File:Assassination of Spencer Perceval.jpgThat was news to me: I’d never heard of him, or even that we lost one.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, when I Googled his name for an image, I discovered that I hadn’t been paying attention and it was, in fact, Spencer Perceval.  I’m embarrassed to admit that I could probably name more American presidents than British Prime Ministers – though I can name every monarch in reverse order, going back to Henry VII. (If you want to read a funny story about the Queen, go to this).   

Tory Boy spent most of his time doing research but couldn’t say into what; he did other things as well, but couldn’t say what they were, either. If it’s a matter of confidentiality, they’ve got the right boy: this is a child who, from the age of seven, when I collected him from school and asked him about his day, preferred to tell me that he ‘couldn’t remember’ than share even the tiniest piece of his life with me. He did tell us (we’re back in 2010) that he did case work, dealing with his particular MP’s constituents’ problems but, of course, he couldn’t tell us what they were…I can see having a son at the heart of government is going to be as much use to me as a bottle of bleach in a dirty kitchen.   

The days were as long as he wanted them to be, and some were longer than others; but he did make time to visit the Globe at the weekend, as I have previously mentioned. By the way, his comment that ”Falstaff gave me an apple” was as accurate as an MP’s expense claim: what really happened was that a number of apples rolled off Bardolph’s head and off the stage; one made its way into Tory Boy’s pocket, via his grabbing hand. The boy was born to be a politician.   


He fulfilled a lifetime ambition to re-create a scene from Bedknobs and Broomsticks: he walked down Portobello Road. He bought a couple of books from a charity shop. Before you get to thinking that TB needs to get a life, he also went to the opening of a think tank and to a wine tasting.   

He was taken to the wine tasting by his kind host, who works in that field.  Check out his blog.  It was held in the Vintners’ Hall, one of the oldest buildings in London; and the first to be reconstructed after the fire of 1666. TB said the building was fabulous, with Thirteenth Century tapestries hanging on the walls and even an Eighteenth Century Samurai sword (which seems an odd thing to leave lying around for a bunch of winos to get their hands on). Every Mayor of London leaves a gift in the Court Room; gifts date back to the 1700s.    


Tory Boy knows all this because he was given a tour. Tours are not given to the public in the Vintners’ Hall but Tory Boy decided to just ask someone who worked there; and that kind person obliged. Perhaps it was all the wine floating around.  Talking of which, TB’s host gave him a crash course in wine tasting and the first thing Tory Boy did was spy out every bottle of wine costing more than £30 and taste only those. My son will go far in politics; I just know it.    

Perhaps it was the wine; perhaps it was the double Pusser’s Rum at work; perhaps it was the excitement; perhaps it was the hard work; but his sleep issues disappeared overnight. He was in bed by nine most nights and asleep soon after.    

Remember when I told you he was going to Westminster and I said he was running the country? I may have exaggerated, but only a little. His MP was promoted on Tory Boy’s last day: clearly, TB is a man of influence. It’s nothing to do with us, of course; but his hosts, who were wonderful to him, and with whom he hopes to stay in touch. He couldn’t stop praising them. I bet he told them what he did at school when he was seven.    






What A Good Wife Am I

26 Jul

I had to laugh at this headline:

Slimming specialist keeps on growing.


I forgot to tell you that I finished painting the downstairs toilet; pale gold and mushrauve (actually pebble, but it’s a cross between mushroom and mauve).  It looks very nice and now our downstairs throne is fit for a queen.  I once heard someone say that the Queen must think the world is paint-flavoured because everywhere she goes has been freshly decorated in her honour.

As soon as the Hub has a good day he’s going to tile behind the sink; it’s not a big job.  I might help him and add another DIY skill to my growing repertoire: I know to unscrew the switch plates and paint/paper behind them; to take off all fittings; to strip, fill and sand a wall; to cover the toilet in cling film to protect it (if only I had remembered to uncover it again before using it…).  I slap on a pretty neat tin of paint and I can still make dinner for a family of four afterwards.  Now, if I could only learn to cook without everything tasting like cinders then I really would be Superwoman.


The Queen, The President & The Rather Naughty Horse

20 Mar

I read this years ago and I have always wanted to share it.  It is supposed to be a true story;  you’ll have to decide for yourself.  I soooo hope it is.

The Queen was entertaining a visiting head of state; they were parading down the Mall in a horse-drawn carriage, chatting nicely, when one of the horses made what can only be described as a rude noise.

QEII: I’m so sorry about that.

HoS: Please don’t apologise; if you hadn’t said anything, I’d have assumed it was the horse.

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