Can you Guess Who it Is?

Friday 18th March 2016

Yesterday, I broke off from eBay and agony to improve my home (I’ve got so behind and haven’t been spending enough: no chandelier in the back drawing room for instance. How could I? ). Glorious Spring day to the Royal Festival Hall for the Launch of the National Gardens Scheme Yellow Book 2016. Thanks to Royston King for alerting me to this event which I was able to crash with the weight of Dainty Lady TV. Much cream bouclé and pearls. A pre-breakfast at 10.30. Royston introduced the President of the Royal Horticultural Society. ‘Don’t worry. You’re doing jolly well,’ Royston exhorted and the President looked grateful. Rachel Da Thame was spotted as well as Joe Swift of TV. ‘His mother is Margaret Drabble,’ I muttered to Royston. ‘And his father is…’ ‘I know that,’ Royston barked. ‘Who do you think I am? They sent him to a comprehensive school as an experiment. That’s why he talks like that.’ We had a Trustee of the National Gardens Scheme. All these Greatnesses have in common that they never show any arse. They treat one on equal terms. It was time to file into the Function Room for the launch. Royston said he would be sitting in the front row but finally sat with me in the sixth, right behind the former Chair of the London area and another lady who was a bit of a ringer for Lady Freelove. Somehow the Lady Freelove lookalike knew my fabricist and we had some unexpected Gay banter about what might be going on or not in a certain Gay bedroom, the former Chair lighting up tremendously. She’d done the flowers for the podium as emerged when proceedings began. The Chair, the Chief Executive, the Head of Equities (Charities) from Investec (they’d given Smarties for the goodie bag), the Head of Policy from one of the Charities, the Head of Policy from another, an actual MS sufferer, then the Chief Executive again. Below it all pulsed gardens. Royston kept muttering: ‘We must go to that one… we must go there…’ So many gardens to visit: Frogmore, Stowe… the Investec man’s wife’s Essex garden… the Chief Executive’s family home garden…. Gardens, gardens, gardens… at the core of English life and now found to be superb for the mental life and prolongation of life (with exceptions, of course). That Trustee we met in the pre-breakfast phase is a doctor and he said: gardening has health benefits. Sensa question.

Anyway… the Chief Executive was back on the podium. ‘Our President is outgoing,’ he said, ‘but where is he?’ Joe Swift of TV nowhere to be found. Much hallouwing for Joe Swift of TV. Finally he emerges from behind a curtain. ‘I’ve got Netflix,’ he goes. ‘I haven’t been out for months.’ At once we’re in the world of TV. But he was outgoing. So who was incoming? Great hush and tremble … ‘We’re so pleased to welcome…. so honoured to have…. such a figure… of infinite benefit…..’ At length a tiny figure comes out from behind the curtain in an intensely floral jacket. Yes, it’s that Tesore Nacionzale, that insuperable Greatness… Mary Berry elle-meme. Complete gasps and wonderment from the assembled…. total miracle of presence. Nobody can believe it’s actually her. She takes the microphone: ‘I’ve been opening for years under the National Gardens Scheme…. try to find someone who wants to sell their honey or jam… let them have a stall at your opening.’ But really she’s an awfully good speaker. Immediately arresting. No notes. Very natural. I’m a great fan of her TV, especially the latest, despite the food and certain other things. Her world is whole whatever you might think of it and she’s so watchable.

Former Leader at the Lifts in the Royal Festival Hall Leaving the NGS Launch


Smarties in the Goodie Bag

Yes! It’s Her

A National Greatness in the Lunch Throng: I’m So Near

Posted Friday, March 18, 2016 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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