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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

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steepholm steepholm
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The Royal Touch
So, tomorrow Elizabeth Windsor becomes the longest-reigning British monarch since King Lear. It seems strange to me that I've never dreamed about her, as far as I remember, despite dreaming about her eldest son on several occasions. I believe I've seen them each exactly once, both times in Romsey - for I prefer to let the royals come to me.

From the comfort of a chiropodist's shop window I saw Charles and Diana on their wedding day in 1981, driving from Romsey station to Broadlands for the first part of their honeymoon: they looked happy enough at the time, and were to remain so for at least another fortnight. But the Queen I encountered long before, in Romsey Abbey, where she was attending some service or other at which I happened to be present. I suppose I was about seven, and sitting at the end of a pew when she swept down the aisle with a small entourage. Her fur coat happened to brush my hand - or perhaps it would be more correct to say that I stuck my hand out to feel her coat. Either way, I was impressed by its luxuriant softness.

Now it occurs to me: did my youthful touch have some effect in ensuring that she would carry on breathing in and out for another 45 years? And in exchange, was I spared a bout of scrofula?

People have believed stranger things.

I think about the declarations made at the time of her accession that Britain had entered the New Elizabethan Age. That came out well, didn't it?

At least she doesn't go around in a red wig - though things might be more entertaining if she did. Perhaps she will name Nicola Sturgeon as her heir, in a last act of Dadaist mischief?