To be honest with you, I never went to finishing school, and etiquette lessons haven’t played a big part in my life.
I’m a bit rough round the edges, and Julia has trouble keeping me on the right side of social acceptibility.
It has been tough being a member of the National Trust over the last few years because the Trust, and most of its volunteers, actually seem to think they belong in the massive houses they look after. It’s very difficult not to point out that this is not the case.
My great-great grandfather, H. A. Carus, was active in the early cooperative movement and stood (unsuccessfully) in Local Elections as a member of the Independent Labour Party. I think I’ve inherited some of his outlook.
This is my ancestral home – nine members of the Carus family lived in the dark house.
This is the house at Clumber Park before it burnt down. It’s a bit bigger than the Carus house.
One of my other ancestors was possibly a Chartist who spent some time on the run from the forces of law and order. I have to say “possibly” because I can’t, so far, prove that they are the same man. They did have the same name, and live in the same town at the same time, so there’s still a chance I can tie it up.
There are worse people to have in the family.
Anyway, back to the point.
As you may recall, I bought Julia membership of the Royal Horticultural Society for Christmas. We have just had some emails about flower shows. It seems that they think highly of themselves, even more highly than the staff of the National Trust think of themselves.
If I want to book tickets they will allow me use of the a phone line that costs 7 pence a minute, in addition to my own charges.
They also demand that I obey their rules on reselling tickets. I’m busily trying to think of anything else I buy that I have to have permission to resell. If I break the rules I will be banned from their flower shows.
I also have to take a passport or photo driving license to prove my identity when visiting the show.
Yes, that’s official. If I want to go to the Chatsworth Flower Show I have to show photo ID.
A passport to go to Derbyshire!?
Has the world gone mad?
(Note the use of the Interrobang.) It’s addictive.
It’s the last time I join something with “Royal” in the title.