Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Royal Flush

I live in fear of being tagged with one of those " Tell the world twenty interesting things about yourself" tags. I cannot begin to think of two things let alone twenty things about me that would interest anyone: messy divorces, speeding tickets and embarrassing moments I can do, but nothing charmingly surprising like: I was once considered good enough at ballet to be short-listed for selection by Agrippina Vaganovathe to join the Mariinsky Theatre. Or, I am fluent in three of the Malay dialects. Or, I am tenuously blood related to, oh I don't know, a film star or sporting celeb. Can't do those.

Fear does concentrate the mind wonderfully though, and gallivanting through my life's history, obsessions,and quirks, a few ideas have come to me. One would be when I was introduced to HRH the Princess Royal. This was quite memorable for me, as - well it's not every day that you meet a major royal personage. It probably made less of an impression on the young Princess Anne (as she then was) as I was just a boy soldier dressed from head to foot in a (N)uclear (B)iological and (C)hemical warfare suit and respirator. I was effectively in disguise. I was an anonymous example of: "what the soldiers are wearing today your Highness." My star struck face, incidental; unimportant, completely distorted and completely out of sight.

The wearing of these face things is a dispirting experience. It feels like there's a giant rubber sink plunger attached to your face which can, if you don't make a monumental effort to compose yourself, make you feel as if you are suffocating. Big gulps of sweet air to fill your starved lungs of airy nectar are just not on the agenda. Staccato, shallow breaths - a little, often - no gorging - are all that's on offer. If you try for more you'll want to drag the rubber fiend from your face and gasp in huge drafts of air like a nearly drowned man finally breaking the water's surface. And if you do this, (so the thinking goes), you will suffer or die, or die suffering. But you wouldn't really want to be wearing one of these when being introduced to royalty. Not if you had a choice.

A by-product of the wearing experience is that they steam up inside. This leads to impeded vision. The glass eye windows start to resemble the inside of car windows cavorting couples end up with after damp-evening smolderings of in-car hanky-panky. Looking out of these... glass-eyes, things take on a misty look. Figures, vague and hazy. The Princess, no more than about 28 years old, dressed in white looked to me like a ghost floating in front of my face. Her hand was offered and her lips moved, mistily, revealing those famous white, toothy teeth. "I'm sure you're very hot in there," she suggested. "I am," I squeak-blurted. And that was it. Not a moment to cherish necessarily, but a moment, nonetheless.

Not the circumstance to do a cheeky Emlyn Hughes on her, then.
what's a cheeky emlyn hughes when it's at home? (or meeting royalty, for that matter)
Question of Sport. A long time ago. Emlyn was cheeky to HRH. No one had ever done it before (being cheeky to a member of the Royal Family).

How we laughed.
was he borderline, "crackerjack" sort of cheeky or did he show her his cock?
I'll take that one. Cheeky chappie Emlyn was chided by a stern HRH for being over familiar and chummy. I think he likened her muddied rear, seen in a photograph, to be more like a man's - which didn't go down well.

On the cock theme, given that he was nicknamed 'Crazy Horse,'and his tackling during his football days was said to resemble 'cumberland' wrestling, I hope he didn't.
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