Friday, April 29, 2011

Cucumber sandwiches, champers, strawberries and scones

The day Chuck and Di shimmied down the aisle in 1981, I was 11. I was besotted by her dress and wondered if one might attach a hose to her train and play waterslides at the afterparty.

Then, in 1983, as a Perth Modern 'muso', our choir performed in Perth for the visiting couple and my Mum's photos of Princess Diana in her pink chiffon were...well, distant. But mine.

Me and Them

Them and Me

In 1986, I played 'princesses' with my year 10 class as all 26 of us managed to include those ridiculous puffball Diana sleeves on our debutante gowns. I looked like a melting snowman.

Me and Them

Then Diana died and, in our Carnegie apartment block, we refused to believe, for it was the acknowledged mad woman at number 13 who went about spreading the news. Subsequent distress ensued. That sort of surreal space where your mind cannot seem to connect the person with the situation in any way, shape or form.

For umpteen years afterwards, I didn't care about the royals. Much like my abandonment of the West Coast Eagles in the wake of all that Ben Cousins rubbish. The Queen's 'Miserable Year' I deemed as having been brought on by herself. I kind of liked Fergie too. Thus, in 1999, I did what I mistakenly believed everyone would do and voted in favour of Australia becoming a republic.

So here we are and I'm back on the wagon. Today. I'm chuffed to bits and getting the point that somewhere in our psyches, the search for meaning and purpose can be validly found in anything from footy to Oprah to a royal wedding.

My daughter's also a Kate. Her middle name, Elly, happens to be a derivative of my own, Elise, and mine of my mother's, Elizabeth. So, we have a small connection going on there and she's going to eat cucumber sandwiches and take a sip of Earl Grey tea tonight (whilst mummy gets shemozzled on champers). This is because, lucky for me, due to the fact that my own mother, Elizabeth, was au pair to the Queen's composer in London during the 1960s, only four degrees separate Wills and myself, thus rendering me invitation worthy. One up from my sister who only gets to watch it from the sidelines amongst the throngs in London.*

So I, Lady Sharleen Foxy-Hump,** could do nothing but reply to her Majesty in the affirmative...

Do sing along now. And have a jolly good night.

Pork on your fork

The grand old Queen did talk,
refined, as was her yen,
to all assembled hither at her
table once again.

She dinged her little fork
on her wine glass and then
the hush spread through the dining room
and thus she did begin.

‘My Ladies and my Lords
I think I need a gin;
with Wills and Kitty now engaged,
it’s time to marry them.

I know my Charles did baulk
and stuffed his up, but then,
he roosted with Camilla, yes,
that sourfaced feathered hen.

‘So we must walk the walk,
stop youngsters living in sin
and rally with our guest list,’
and with that began mayhem.

The Grand Old Duke of York,
that’s Andrew, had his pen,
and marched right up to his Mummy’s side
to write it all down then.

Like finest cheese to chalk
the list was odd, but then,
if Posh Spice is invited, surely I?
But when? Oh when?

I waited, just like Thorpe,
nine days, or maybe ten,
right at my humble letterbox
and prayed, Dear Wills…amen.

But nothing came at all,
whilst Kate showed off her gem,
‘til one day, oh surprise, surprise,
in hand scribed fountain pen,

‘Miss Leesie, come for pork,
for Wills is marrying.
Wear finest shoes and bestest gloves
and then we can begin.’

The plane it had great torque,
the wedding was akin
to something out of Dynasty
with all that next of kin.

But I heard voices talk,
those gossips, of my sin,
of how my gloves weren’t properlike…
I lost my royal grin.

For when they were up, they were up
and when they were down they were down
and when they were only halfway up
they were neither up nor down.

Perplexed, I popped a cork,
sipped champers in the din,
kicked off my thongs and partied hard
with Kate and Will-i-am.

Copyright Elise Batchelor April 2011

* bitch
** One's royal name for this occasion comprises your grandmother/grandfather's first name. Your surname is the hyphenation of your first pet followed by the street you grew up in. Oh, and due to the rights of poetic licence, I may have used mine.

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