I’ve been keeping a self-imposed embargo on the following news items. I didn’t want to upstage the Prime Minister or the Archbishop of Canterbury or anything. These are two items, which I believe you will not find anywhere else in blogospheria Anglicana.

Item the first…

On Thursday morning, I was stationed at the top of Morton’s Tower at Lambeth Palace to do my photographic work. It was great to be up there. Terrific views, lots of history. However, at one point, nature called. I walked down the ancient spiral staircase a couple of levels and located a toilet (or, for American readers, a “restroom”). This is the exclusive: the chain that one pulls to turn on the lights has a little ducky on the end of it. Someone, somewhere inside Lambeth Palace has a touch of levity. The Anglican Communion is in good hands.

Item the second…

At the Garden Party, the Queen served tea, apple juice, iced coffee, and various foods, including cucumber sandwiches, chocolates, cakes, and other delicacies. So far, it was pretty normal (if one can consider attending a party at Buckingham Palace normal). This is the exclusive: there are no serviettes (that’s “napkins” for North American readers). Apparently, one is supposed to engage in one of the following activities:

  1. Bring one’s own serviette/napkin.
  2. Lick one’s fingers.
  3. Wipe one’s fingers on someone’s clothing.
  4. Avoid eating food.
  5. Have dirty fingers for the remainder of the party.
  6. Avoid getting food bits on one’s fingers.

Option 4 was out of the question. Not having been before, I expected this to be handled, so I couldn’t use Option 1. Option 3 seemed rude. Option 5 seemed untenable, particularly in the unlikely event I was required to shake the hand of someone important. Option 6 proved impossible, as the chocolate melted instantly, due to the heat. Later on, I stuck to eating the raspberry items, because there was no mess. So, like most guests, I ended up using Option 2. I would be interested in the insights of others on this, in case I am invited again. That said, now that I’ve posted this, I expect that will prevent future invitations.

When you post this on your various blogs, please be sure to credit the crack investigative team here at 7WD. If you are the Times of London, please do not tie these stories to the “imminent breakdown of the Anglican Communion.” Sometimes a duck is just a duck.

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3 Responses

  1. ginny says:

    Scott, Scott, Scott… it’s not an exclusive unless you got the shot. Show us the ducky!

  2. Scott Gunn says:

    I was told I could stand on top of the tower and take photos. It did not seem to be a good idea to be snapping photos in other areas of the Palace. You will have to trust the 7WD Investigative Team, much the way people are expected to trust other journalists. Except that I have no reason to make stuff up about the light chains, so you can believe me that this is real. Unlike, say the British religion press, who seem to just write fiction on their news pages and blogs.

  3. heidomaine says:

    My favorite UK bathroom experience occurred in 1983 in the National Portrait Gallery. While in the loo, I pulled a sheet (the wax papery, way-too-small squares I’d not seen since my days at Stittville Elementary School) and was highly entertained to see stamped upon the bottom of each sheet were the words, “Now Go Wash Your Hands.”

    So impressed was I by the Queen’s interest in my personal hyigene habits that I kept a sheet (unused) in my wallet for a number of years.

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