I have just come across a note I scribbled whilst raising money for the RNLI a few years back. Lady Somebody-or-Other nobbled me to turn up at 7 am at the Buckingham Palace tradesmen's entrance with a roll of stickers and seduce hapless Palace employees into putting money in my bucket. Any time before 11 am (that point when I can generally manage to talk) is clearly out of my comfort zone so I accounted this expedition way beyond the call of duty. Besides, I wasn't best pleased to get Below Stairs as my station, fondly hoping to bump into the Queen or at least a brace of corgis. (At least on this occasion I didn't have to wear yellow oilskins and a comedy red life-vest as I was once did outside Westminster Tube.)
Life Boat Flag Day 7.30 am B Palace
Looking alert: resting one buttock on maroon baize table rather than settling passively onto slightly tacky gilt chair with red satin seat. I feel like a BBC anchor woman at such a positive angle.
I like the men who burrow through layers of mac/overcoat to find a suitable lapel for my sticker.
Always try to establish eye contact.
Strangely unregal and unromantic vestibule.. pipework, lino, fire extinguishers etc.
Someone drops a knob of butter off his toast onto the lino - I point out its presence to a footman and two housemaids but it's ignored. I clean it up finally with the waxed paper from my stickers.
Yow! A footman and a groom together His jodhpurs marked all along the saddle area.
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