Wednesday, June 04, 2014
Royal Garden Party
I got back from a short visit to London this afternoon. I was down in the capital to sort out a number of tasks and to take up an invite to go to a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace yesterday. The invite was in recognition of my 27 years as a councillor in Gateshead. I was allowed to bring one other person so David came with me, though he came down to London and returned home on the same day - he had to get back to feed our livestock and get the poultry put away before the foxes treated them to their very own garden party. The train fares cost me an arm and a leg!
To get in to the Palace, we joined a long queue of people sporting mayoral chains, big hats and fascinators. No cameras were allowed in and phones had to be turned off. The national anthem at 4pm heralded the arrival of the queen, and the rain (which lasted about 20 minutes). Afterwards we were able to have a walk around the gardens. I did bump into two people I know - Mark Hunter MP and Don Foster MP. I think Don was there in some kind of official Whips' Office capacity though I didn't ask him what his role was (he seemed to be part of a group guiding Prince Philip through the crowds.)
And then it was time to leave. Everyone seemed to be getting out their phones to take pictures before leaving through the gates. So we snapped the above photo. It is my first ever selfie. David was suffering from a number of bee stings which he got on Sunday when doing a check on some of our hives. He was stung around the face, hence the slightly swollen eyelid.
If I were to achieve another 27 years on Gateshead Council, I shall be 77 when I reach that milestone. I wonder if that will result in a second invite!?