Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Reflections on my BIG day out




  • My cousin May will always meet someone she knows although there are only 10,000 inhabitants in Oban! Congratulations to David Stuart Millward MBE, for voluntary service to the Fire and Rescue Service in Argyll. (By Oban, Argyll and Bute) who we met in the quadrangle
  • The guest toilets at the palace are almost certainly original Thomas Crapper with wonderful wooden seats with an integrated china handled flush which is pulled up not down
  • The immaculate guards could be mistaken for statues, mirror shiny gold breast and back plates, ceremonial swords and white leather boots
  • Hunting for the broadcasting sound system only to discover it was a live orchestra  on the balcony playing an eclectic range of popular and classical music
  • Great that Gurkha officers are present, continuing a tradition begun by Queen Victoria and reminding me of Joanna Lumley and the hilarious Ab Fab
  • The Queen's Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard, are very much smaller than I would have imagined rather like red with gold munchkins
The award was never just about me, it was always going to be about the people who made me "ME" thank you all.


My BIG day out


So came the day - 26th February 2015 my investiture, a CBE - Commander of the British Empire. 

The black cab driven by Jamie, my son Alex's mate, drove through the south gate and pulled up into the palace quadrangle just in front of the changing of the guards spot. The drizzle didn't dampen spirits. Adam my eldest son, held an umbrella over my cousin May from Scotland, she had flown in the day before. So that was it, my party, three guests and me.
We walked through security into the palace and waited for a while in a long gallery, very long sofas all red velvet, gold and beautiful paintings. 

Walking on plush red carpets towards the ballroom where the investiture was to happen we were separated into recipient and guests. I was to be 'rehearsed' in the Green Room, chairs and sofas upholstered in green velvet with the carved legs and arms in gold.  There was a glass of water and/or apple juice, not sure if it was Duchy produce.

Then its ‘you’re on’ queuing for your turn to curtsey (or bow) and the nerves, held at bay until now, threaten to take over. Deep breaths and its your name, summoned before Princes Charles. “Professor Caroline Elizabeth Whalley for services to education.”  I didn’t hear any of it and was just gently ushered from my frozen start to the dais. I think I curtsied but will have to wait for the DVD to see how I did.


Thursday, 26 February 2015

A couple of requests

So - we have had a couple of requests for short stories for young children - one I have promised to do about a rabbit in the Pyrenees and another to complete a second book about Arthur and his adventures in Bobbleworld - so I will do that this week.
Anyone else out there who has an idea for a book (within reason!!!!) - then don't forget to let us know!

I had an idea
I don't where it came from
A plan that was cunning
and then some.
I had a story
I don't know where it went
A tale that was mysterious
but it wouldn't come.
Then just today - it suddenly returned and hey presto
I'm writing again, another little manifesto.