Thursday, July 10, 2008
wild...embrassade, to see the Queen
Wild clematis if you like looking at it. Bindweed if your a gardener.
After more than 12 years away from the business scene, I note with interest how friends and acquaintences greet each other nowadays. At the Caterer & Hotelkeeper Awards dinner in London on Tuesday night, men and women , whereas a few years ago would have exchanged pecked kisses accompanied by the embarrassed "mew mew" sound, which has become an anglo-saxon attitude all of its own, have now developed a fulsome bear-hug greeting, accompanied often by tentative pats on the back. Men who might have been satisfied with a handshake now greet each with a similar hug, not unlike that practised by the gangsters in the Sopranos TV series.
A couple arrive on the London platform of Sevenoaks railway station. He is an army officer in dress uniform, (three pips on his shoulder). She is wearing a three-quarter length, mauve dress with a light flower pattern and white high heeled sandals. She holds a pale, violet hat in her hand. It being that time of year, they are almost certainly bound for one of the Queen's garden parties at Buckingham Palace. He poses, unsmiling, his hands behind his back. She snaps him with a compact camera and shows him the result on the screen. Now it's his turn to photograph her. I think to myself that she might well have spent days, probably weeks, thinking about what she would wear. While he has had only to shine his shoes and polish his brown leather belt. Though I expect it was she who pressed his uniform.