I suspect that my day so far is not one that many of you will be experiencing regularly. Royalty came to visit the village. I, however, would not have had a clue "It" was coming had I not gone to have my hair done yesterday and seen the piece of paper on the coffee table asking clients not to park near the entrance to the shoe factory today. Because royalty was visiting. The Princess Royal, to be exact. Princess Anne. I have enormous respect for her, I have to say - she is incredibly hard working (who would want to visit a shoe factory, for goodness sake) and has managed to raise two beautiful, normal kids to adulthood unscathed.
So, because of you lot, I arrived on Jean's doorstep at an early hour, armed with the camera, and off we went.
Autumn is beautiful round here. The skies were blue then (they are not now) and the sun tried to shine. And we took up position outside the baker's. They were making bacon rolls and I cannot tell you how wonderful the smell was. I resisted the temptation. There was a real party atmosphere - everyone talking and armed with cameras. Lots of older people, and young mums with their babies. And we waited as all the children from the Infant and Junior Schools in the village arrived on foot with their little union jack flags to wave.
Dressed in pyjamas for the most part. Teachers too. It is Children in Need Day today - a major annual fundraising project, so of course they would be standing outside a shoe factory wearing pyjamas waving flags to welcome royalty.
They practiced their waving for the official photographers. We were still standing outside the baker's shop drooling - the bacon, remember..
More flag waving practice.
And then at 10.10 (she was late) I saw a black landrover sweep around the corner and in the time it took to say "I think she is coming" she had swept past at 30 miles an hour. She waved at me as I tried to take a photo. Why the driver did not slow down so she could be seen, I do not know. It was ridiculous. And my attempt at a photo????????????
I was not successful. She was sitting at the back on the right hand side of the car. This is such a stellar photo, you have to agree. I have surpassed myself. (But wait....) And the children....well, the planned welcome - the cheering and the waving - was over before it began. They didn't realise she was there and it all got a little haphazard and late. They did their best. Maybe being in pyjamas made them a little dozy.
This is even better. See that black boot on the bottom left???? That belongs to the Princess Royal's left leg. Oooh! You can spot a bit of the leg. And the skirt!!!
This is why I am not a reporter, or photographer. My skills are sadly lacking.
So then, she went inside the factory and everyone went home or back to work / school. She is going to be there for 40 minutes say some and 2 hours say others. Whatever. When she comes out, there will be NO-ONE to cheer and wave anything at her, and she can depart at speed once again.
We walked back to Jean's place, and had a word with one of the policemen, and even he said that he could not understand why they did not slow down and let everyone see her and wave.
I tried, people.
Day 18: I am thankful for a sense of humour. It can make a real difference to the way I see things. I am also thankful for hot coffee. That aids the sense of humour, which makes a diff..........