It’s been a busy old few months! Ever since the Royal Wedding was announced at the end of last year I have been speaking (or have been asked) about very little else. It’s wonderful news for the Monarchy, country and the couple themselves and I cannot be prouder to be British at the moment. BUT… could Prince Harry just wait at least three years before he announces his engagement? I need a rest.
That said, come early February I had thought the press and nation were not interested, as apart from one or two exceptions, I had received very few Royal Wedding-related press requests. However, come the beginning of March they soon enough started to roll in, snowballing. And they are still coming – just weeks away from the actual event. Having spoken to the wonderful television presenter Victoria Arbiter, whom I met whilst we filmed something for Canada’s CTV (airing sometime in April), she said that she had received very few media bids until quite recently. What has obviously happened is broadcasters had forgotten how soon things comes around and then all panicked at once as they put together their programming for ‘wedding week’.
Not only have I been living, talking and breathing the Royal Wedding, but also I have been preparing for my trip to China – which I begin on Tuesday. I have been invited over there on a speaking tour where I shall be addressing audiences on the essence of British-ness and what it means to be a gentleman. I shall be staying in Guangzhou, which is north of Hong Kong. I have heard all sorts of stories about the cuisine and various other things, so I was having mixed feelings, but I am actually (now) quite looking forward to the whole experience. I will be over there for 12 days, and then return for a week’s breather before ‘wedding week’ kicks off. I hope to blog from China – but I may get distracted so please don’t hold me to anything!
One of the most enjoyable things of my year, if not life, happened earlier this week. I was invited back to my alma mater, Clifton College, to sit on the judging panel of a fund-raising event entitled ‘Strictly Scrum Dancing’. My followers on Twitter will know that the BBC’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ is my favourite show in the whole world and so to be asked to take part in something like this was joyous. I had great expectations before the event and did worry that perhaps as I had been looking forward to it so much, the actual event would disappoint. Well – au contraire! It exceeded all expectations. Never have I had so much fun. I had been asked to be the ‘nasty’ judge (or, as I saw it, ‘fair’). Having hundreds of people booing you is really quite a feeling, and I loved every second of it. We did two shows – a matinee and an evening performance. What was good about the afternoon show (which was shorter than the second) was we could use it as a practice round for the main event, which for me meant I could be bitchier and my put-downs more finely tuned. I am not sure yet how much we raised but I suspect it’ll be at least £3,000 (having done some very rudimentary sums). I think I enjoyed it so much because for most of my life (as it’s the polite, and right, thing to do) I spend my time being nice to people and thinking of other people, there is very little scope, time or need to be ‘nasty’. And so I just let rip. I was even told in the evening (by the dancers) I could be even bitchier! Well, talk about red rag to a bull.
I had better finish off cooking dinner for my family, who are staying with me this weekend (Mothers’ Day tomorrow in the UK). We are having a pea, mint and pancetta soup, followed by Greek lamb tray bake, and finally white chocolate, almond and date brioche Panini.
Joi wooi (that’s goodbye in Cantonese!)
*Image courtesy of Amelia Allen.