Sunday, 31 July 2011

Mistaken identity


In the course of the village street market this morning J. and I met our friends M. and Mme Hector. While we were chatting I thought I recognised Mme Martin, a secretary at the Mairie (a sort of village town hall) and her husband coming towards us. They're neighbours, they live just up the lane from us.

I detached myself, smiled, held out my hand to be shaken and greeted them warmly, fulsomely, even. I asked them how they were, remarked how good it was to see so many people at the market, asked how the family was. They shook not only my hand, but J.'s and the Hectors', as courtesy demands. We wished each other good day, and they strolled on.

'Who was that?' Hector asked.

'But you must know them! Why, that was Mme Martin, the secretary at the Mairie,' I said. 'And her husband. He's a chauffeur to senior members of the regional council.'

'That wasn't Mme Martin,' Hector said. 'Nor was it M. Martin either.'

'She might have looked something like Mme Martin, but that certainly wasn't her,' J. said with great firmness.

Abashed, I said: 'Who were they, then?'

'No idea,' J. said. 'I've think I've seen her before. She might be something to do with the village drama club.'

So I've spent the rest of the day in a squirm of embarrassment.

* * *

Apparently once on a drive in Windsor Great Park, in the early days of his madness, King George III ordered his carriage to be stopped. He stood up, got down and walked a few paces towards an oak tree, which he addressed as the Prussian Ambassador.

Am I going the same way?

J. Zoffany (1733-1810): H.E. Baron von Bomburst, Prussian Ambassador to the Court of St James (Royal collection)

20 comments:

Dave said...

I don't know. Do you have any colonies in the Americas you plan to lose?

Martin H. said...

In your carriage, or out?

Tim said...

Distinguished Lady to Sir Thomas Beecham at a reception: "Ah, Sir Thomas, and how are you?"
Sir Thomas: "I am well, thank you." (desperately trying to place her) "And you Madam?"
Lady: "Oh, I'm all right." (sighs) "My brother works too hard though."
Sir Thomas (scraping around for conversation): "Ah. And, er, what is your brother doing these days?"
Lady: "Oh, he's still King."

Christopher said...

BOGOF, Dave. While stocks last. Best hurry, before Carol or Virginia get their feet in the door.

Martin: Trolley rather than carriage, I think.

Tim: Ho ho. Where would we be without these splendid anecdotes of yours? And do you think the time is ripe for a Sir T. Beecham joke blog?

Everyone: You may be interested - if you aren't, read no further - to know that I'm now fully teethed up and am now gnashion with passion.

Geoff said...

Maybe she thought you were auditioning for a part.

Z said...

They are equally abashed, since you obviously know them, and are still wondering how they should know you.

Vicus Scurra said...

Excellent, but after the first sentence I am disappointed not to hear more of Judi Dench.

Rosie said...

You've certainly taken a leaf out of the same book or something.

Christopher said...

Geoff: Perhaps. Blind Pew, I should think.

Z: I'm sure you're right. All the same I hope he isn't saying to her 'Why, wasn't that M. Croquemort the undertaker? He was certainly eyeing you up and down.'

Vicus: I'll do my best to put this right in a future post.

Rosie: Hi, Mum. Thanks for dropping in. Is tea ready?

Sarah said...

Hmmm

Christopher said...

Haven't we met before somewhere? Cub camp, could it have been? Weren't you Akela, back in...? Oh, I forget. When the world was young and we scrumped crab apples to throw at passing cyclists from behind the hedge.

Tim said...

I only know one other Beecham anecdote, the one about the lady cello player, which is probably not repeatable here.

Christopher said...

Very true, Tim. Some of my readers have very refined sensibilities, tho' regrettably others have none at all. And the Beecham story to which you refer probably predates drugs like Clotrimazole.

Rog said...

I came in here for something but I've forgotten.....

Christopher said...

I think it may have been for Vicus' reminiscences of Judi Dench.

Friko said...

I don't know, you're the best judge of that.
But if you wish to go that way, feel free.

Christopher said...

Thank you, Friko. I do, I can, I shall, I will.

letouttoplay said...

Well if you do go that way, do let me know, Windsor Great Park is just up the road somewhere. I can't immediately remember where though so don't ask me for directions.

Christopher said...

Maybe just as well. I understand the place is crawling with the Corps Diplomatique.

Norma Stitz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.