Those who know me recognise “Curiosity” is my middle name: I might have startled the odd cat in my search for knowledge but never killed one, I hope, while discovering the magic of dipping apple slices into chocolate sauce, an experience which adds luxury to my television viewing. This drive to learn “What is round the next corner” recently found me reading old letters sent between a deceased aunt, and my late grandmother.
It seems, in Victorian times, some distant ancestor, Bathsheba Splattersby by name, who worked behind the scenes at Windsor Castle, spent some time sharing the wonders of horizontal gymnastics with a resident Prince while hiding in a laundry room, resulting in the birth of my great ,great–grandmother: that’s the story anyway, according to my family and, let’s faces it, it adds glamour to an otherwise lustre-free life spent exploring various careers from taxi-driver through to my current occupation as an undertaker’s assistant. “Keep it glum, and lay off the chewing gum,” as my boss says, “And the job is yours for life.”
All well and good, sorted and ducks politely in a row until, oh joy of joys, his eminence, a royal prince is paying us a visit during a tour of our area.
I line up with other staff members, all dressed in somberest black, but now wearing grins of splendid welcome as befits the occasion: no gum obviously! At last the prince reaches me and says, “Enjoy your job do you?” and with an eye on the boss I say “Oh yes Prince@@@” or may I call you cousin @@@. Eyebrows are wiggled so to save the time it would take them to ask me additional questions I add, “My great grandmother, Beth Spattersby and Prince xxxxxx enjoyed a spot of bedroom pilates up at Windsor and I’m one of the results.”
Just to show that I was not awkward when dealing with relatives, I told him I was holding a “Cousins Party” back at 24 Lynchmore Crescent on Saturday and he was more than welcome to join us.
“That’s enough now” said my boss, not enjoying the revelation as much as I expected so I just tapped his Royalness on the lapel and said “Always nice to keep in touch with relatives. How’s the Queen by the way?”
Oddly, the Prince moved on without offering a reply leaving my boss to glance backwards at me in a manner which suggests promotions may not be forthcoming in the near future.
Is it time to seek out new career I ask myself!