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Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl but she doesn't have a lot to say

Posted on: Thursday, 27 October 2011

Bedders and myself ended up at a Rotary Club dinner the other night for reasons I won't go into.

I know. We're wild. Sometimes I wonder about the toll this crazy lifestyle is taking on my poor body.

I had no prior knowledge of the Rotarians. Well, other than they organised Public Speaking competitions in the educational borough of Sunderland in the mid-90s. Which I may have entered. And maybe used as a soapbox to project my views on sexism in soap operas. Or whatever.  

Anyhoo, so a Rotary Dinner we attended. I tried to prepare myself by having a snoop on their website.

There were lots of photos of men wearing medals and standing next to flags with their hands on other men's shoulders and whatnot.

I sat opposite the chap in the middle at dinner. I'm pleased to report that he was very pleasant. 

And lots of photos of men shaking hands. Ah, shaking hands.

'Secret handshakes and all that, I imagine,' I said to Bedders, nodding wisely.

'That's the Masons, you idiot,' he retorted. 

There were galleries and galleries of photographs. Galleries including photographs like this. 

Which I found hilarious. It's like those caption competitions they used to do on Have I Got News for You.

We arrived at the Golf Club (of course), the husband in a shirt and tie and me in a dress (NO DENIM!) and headed for the bar. I ordered a small glass of wine and, boy, it really was small. They served it in a teeny sherry glass.

Bedders collared a knowledgable-looking chap. Knowledgable-looking in that he was wearing a red jacket and a pink tie.

"Wat's this Rotary Club business about, then?" he asked flippantly. I swear, having a Yorkshire accent means you can get away with being cheeky ALL of the time and no one takes it to heart.

"SERVICE BEFORE SELF!" came the barked reply.

A helpful fellow came over before the meal.

"We're going in now. First, we eat. Before we eat, there's a grace. Afterwards, we usually make a toast, then business, then annoucements from the secretary. Then we toast the Queen, which everyone generally stands up for."

"Bedders." I hissed. "Bedders!" I hissed again, more urgently. "Toasting the QUEEN?"

"Calm down."

"I once LICKED a picture of the Queen in a PUB for a DARE. There's empirical evidence of it on Facebook. I can't toast the Queen. I'm not toasting the Queen."

"Calm down."

"I'm not toasting the Queen."

So we went to dinner and I sat between Norman and Tony (lovely fellas) and listened to the business and the toasts and had the craic about international security risks and training teaching assistants.

And everybody was very warm and friendly and totally unlike the bloke I sat next to at a wedding over the summer who was utterly unpleasant and told me in no uncertain terms that India is "remarkably dirty" and I'll probably die of dysentery in one of their squalid hospitals over Christmas. Buuuuh.

But I think he was a Mason, anyway, and not a Rotarian at all. Oopsy.

And they still do public speaking competitions, which I was pleased about.


  1. You licked a picture of the Queen and then wrote about it on the internet? You're totally going in the tower!

    PS I am now dying to know what on earth you were doing at a Rotary Club dinner. I remember going on the Rotary Club santa sleigh when I was little. It was the real Santa and everything.


  2. I too would like to know WHY you were there. I went on a GIN-ormous rant to the husband this morning about the Commonwealth summit and how Australia didn't need to be part of the monarchy. Husband goes 'didn't you lot have a referendum about that a couple of years ago?' me 'yes, but a, I was too young to vote then and b, I've EXPLAINED BEFORE why that VOTING SYSTEM WAS RIGGED' and then blethered on about the Hare Clarke system until I literally put him to sleep. Not that I really have a problem with the queen, as such...

  3. I'll reveal at some point why we were there. Ooo-err, mystery!


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