The Public are Admitted

Saturday 15th June 2019

There’s been the visit to Frogmore Gardens (where she walks her dogs and in whose Cottage Harry and Meghan live – bored to death, I should imagine, alone in the Cottage, being Royal), the Private Breakfast at the Royal Academy for the Summer Exhib, a Queen Victoria Event at KP, the Leonardo Opening at the Queen’s Gallery climaxing in a superb encounter with the Head of the Royal Collection just as he was coming out the Palace (I mowed him down with all my Queen Mary stories ever and worked in that Cousin Paquita’s father was the Royal Librarian through four reigns), a 2-hour piece to camera on the Royal Jewels (Dainty Lady TV), a meeting actually in the mine pit in a hut (the man on the gate said into walkie-talkie, ‘There’s an Adrian Edge here to see the Director’. ‘An Adrian Edge…..!’ I wore my Topman dress coat which was suitably quite filthy). Moira McMatron had a barbecue, and I took two plays, ‘Our Town’ at Regent’s Park and ‘White Pearl’ at the Royal Court. This week I took a Brexit Play at the King’s Head, Islington. Val said, ‘Do you still have to endure the terrible school dinner sit-down before the play?’ We went to the King’s Head in the 80s specially to see how Jill Bennett was getting on with her new teeth. Val had witnessed their poor start previously in another venue. Her progress was minimal and she didn’t live much longer, full stop.

I’m sure I’ve left something vital out – oh yes! Glyndebourniana. I opened Glyndebourniana with The Damnation of Faust. Amusing encounter with the butler at the next door German table on the lawn. He said, ‘Is it just Richard Jones wanking?’ re: the production. He was a Cambridge grad, of course, filling in. Born within Glyndebourniana’s sacred brow, enjoying same view, he said, from his parental cott in Glynde. Degree in Old Norse and something .

I also took Longborough Opera for the dress rehearsal of Rheingold. Will now have to go there for the next three summers (if spared) to see the rest of the Cycle. Damn you, Wagner. The expense. Rheingold rendered much nicer than at C Garden last Autumn. Never realised before that the lovely yearning, tragic motif that goes all through the last act of Walkure, when Wotan and Brunnhilde are in such agony, is first sung by one the Rhinemaidens or rather played by the orch the very first time the Ring is mentioned in Rheingold.

The public were admitted to my garden last Sunday between 2 and 5.30 as every year. Nine lunched privately beforehand and ten took a seated tea afterwards. A new baby was possibly coming. Thank goodness he didn’t because the milk was one-day past its sell-by date.

One young man of the public wanted to know what to grow on the balcony of his flat so I took him up to my own terrace which involved entering my private bedroom. Much sniggering from Robert Nevil and Bruce McBain, needless to say. Prince Dmitri and Joshua Baring had an encounter with two fierce women. Joshua said, ‘It’s a very small garden, so I’m afraid you have to wait to get into it.’ ‘Oh, how precious,’ said one of them. The other’s idea of a contribution was: ‘If it’s so small, why are they taking so long to see it?’ Clever. Otherwise the public were delightful and admired my alliums as always. My theme this year was Decay in the Garden. I had a dying euphorbia in a central position, to demonstrate that in a garden something is always dying. Gardens have death just as much as life, even ones where life is encouraged. But nobody took much notice of my dying euphorbia so I never got a chance to mention my main theme.

I was quite pleased with the cold collation for the private luncheon – even though the tomato, basil and parmesan tart spilled out of its pastry case in the cooking and the salmon trout – I’d not thought that it was quite small (cost-cutting exercise this year) and left it in the kettle a little too long. But Joshua Baring pronounced it not over-cooked. If it was good enough for him…. Do cook your summer salmon trout (never a salmon, please, always a salmon trout) in a kettle though. Otherwise your summer will be plagued by hard, dry salmon trout flesh. The same with chicken for the cold table. Must be poached. Otherwise hard, dry chicken will thread your summer.

For the seated tea, this year I overrode Mary Berry entirely (she really doesn’t like me, that woman. Always glares whenever she sees me. It’s because I had the effrontery to address her directly about her gardener, Keith. I said, ‘Is Keith going with you to Henley?’ Ever since, she has always glared at me with unlimited loathing at every encounter). Anyway, I didn’t put any extra baking powder in the Vic Spong and it was perfect. The only disadvantage of the seated tea was the milk one day past its sell-by date.

During the seated tea, Joshua Baring revealed that two members of the public had peered into my dining room during the afternoon, both elderly, probably a husband and wife. ‘It’s very old-world,’ said one. ‘Just like your mother’s,’ said the other. Thrilling.

My Garden: Actually Quite Nice

My Garden: Actually Quite Nice

My Quite Nice Garden

My Quite Nice Garden

My Garden Looking Quite Nice

My Garden Looking Quite Nice: Note the Half-Dead Euphorbia 

My Old World Dining Room: 'Like your Mother's' one elderly person said to Another

My Old World Dining Room: ‘Like your Mother’s’ one elderly person said to Another

My Mine from Within

My Mine from Within

Posted Sunday, June 16, 2019 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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