Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Tuesday, 4 August 2015
I love England
Sometimes, I seem to travel the same road many times in the same couple of weeks for different reasons. This time it's the road through Cirencester from Bath and last time it was for Colin. This time it is for a block of carved marble weighing about 4 tons. It's a good job I like that road.
It takes me past a lot of interesting things, one of which is the back lodge to Badminton House - a typically mystical set of pyramids designed by Vanbrugh in the early 18th century. I wouldn't mind living in it.
A few miles of neat dry-stone walling later and you go past Westonbirt Arboretum, best seen in the Autumn, as a load of old people will tell you.
A few miles after that and - as you approach Tetbury - there is the unassuming front gate of the residence of the Prince of Wales, blocked by about 8, filthy, plastic, police bollards. I am always shocked that nobody ever cleans them. They are an eyesore which I cannot believe Charles approves of, but then again he never sees them - a policeman clears them to one side when he arrives or leaves. I think he should be told.
Of late, I have taken to looking in the opposite direction when I go past Highgrove. There is a stunningly beautiful, 17th century, Cotswold farmhouse set back on the other side of the road which hardly anyone ever sees because they are too busy trying to catch a glimpse of the future king.
This house is 100 times better than Highgrove, but has the disadvantage of being quite visible from the road, making it unsuitable for a royal residence.
Charles is constantly plagued by the paparazzi who make use of a public footpath which runs just above his garden, and who regularly congregate there with telephoto lenses.
Every now and then, he snaps and comes storming out of the house to shout and swear at them, rather like his father. The paparazzi enjoy this. As he shouts, "This is a fucking footpath! It is meant for walking on! Get walking!", they smile, make snide comments and - above all - take lots of photos which they will, possibly, one day be permitted to publish.
That is what I absolutely love about England. Even the future king cannot get a footpath moved by applying to the local council.