Sunday, 29 January 2012

Peep-show! And Ruin on Rouen Road.

'What the courtier saw'... click on this link to see a feature about Queen Elizabeth I as you've never seen her (me) before! Thanks to the excellent Stacia Briggs of ECN for her very creative take on NMAS publicity!

...To say nothing of the disaster which befell me in the rain as I wheeled my trolley down the slope and away from the ECN building where the photo-shoot happened: The trolley was piled high with Victorian trunk strapped on with bungees, the flight bag I use for my Queenie toiletries, and my handbag. I was assailed by an EDP receptionist shouting 'lost a wheel?'. No, I thought, my trolley is going perfectly well.

 But on checking, I had indeed lost a wheel. I put it into my bag and carried on down the reasonably steep hill that is Rouen Rd. Of course, furnished with the knowledge I was now pushing a three wheeler, the trolley instantly veered wildly out of control and into a tiny pothole.

My brain was behind with current events, causing my foot to continue walking, smashing itself into the sharp bit where the wheel was, on the now stationary trolley. The impact caused my (open) handbag to fly off the top of the heap of bags, skidding its contents in a shamelessly pink, glittery arc down the kirb. As I reached, vainly, to stem the baggage avalanche, one of the bungees, already stretched to capacity over the Victorian trunk, ping-ed off ferociously and struck me smartly on the end of my outstretched thumb.

Result?  A bedraggled woman, still displaying remnants of white face paint, attempting to swear, hop, suck her thumb, pick up a Blackberry, a diary, several pens, and a purse whilst simultaneously trying to grab the by now re-animated trolley and - remarkably, after unexpectedly catching the eye of a bewildered passer-by, also trying to style it out with a heroically nonchalant snort of laughter.

I think I just about got away with it...

Friday, 20 January 2012

Alert the Media

Exciting news! I should be featured in the EDP on the 30th January as Queen Elizabeth I. Stacia Briggs, UK Columnist of the Year For The Second Time (yes, she is that good), will be interviewing me on Tuesday about all sorts of Museumy-based things.

I am having a media frenzy at the moment so please do 'Find me on Facebook' as they say: my QueenieLives page or my personal page.

I'm also on Twitter as @whatqueeniedid, but I'm not a frequent Twitterer. Honestly.

I suppose I should be able to attach clever Twitter and Facebook buttons to this blog but - well- nobody can really expect a historical Queen to be a technological genius!

Heavy Hangs the Head That Wears The Crown

The 2012 Tour of Village Hall Toilets has commenced with a local venue; the WI in my own village of Mulbarton invited me to speak for them this Monday. I went as Queen Elizabeth the First, which was a surprise for all of us, because it turns out they had booked Queen Victoria. Oops.

This was the first time I've ever brought the wrong Queen! I should have known, because Bess never came to Mulbarton when she visited Norfolk in 1578, she only came as far as Bracon Ash. At Bracon she accepted a gift of a silver cup containing £100 (an enormous sum then). How times have changed for this particular monarchy: naturally I reduced my fee by way of a sincere apology!

At any rate, the talk was very well received and I've been rebooked for Queen Victoria for next year. I guarantee I won't be bringing the wrong oufit again....

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Regal Greetings

Happy New Year!

I've just spent some time transferring diary dates on to the new 2012 calendar and I'm delighted to note just how many bookings I have for this year, both as Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria.
I've spent the Christmas holidays working on lots of QueeniePegs kits (see in order to sell them at each of my presentation venues. Selling the kits off the back of the talks has always been the idea, but last year it proved to be one piece of organisation too far! But this year has begun well prepared.

The QueeniePegs are tiny peg doll versions of Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria. I imagine them as Oliver Postgate-style characters- like the mice from Bagpuss- I'm convinced they come alive at night and have tiny power struggles and say 'Off with your head' and 'We are not amused' in tiny shrill voices !

The kits contain all you need to make your own QueeniePeg, wearing a costume similar to mine (only significantly smaller). All the materials in the kits are bits and bobs from the scrap box: old jewellery, silk scraps, ribbons, leftover beads, sequins and off-cuts from my own costumes. The packaging is made from sustainably sourced materials. Recycling doesn't come much sparklier than this!

I'll be offering the kits at a special 'presentation price' of £5.50, which is another good reason to come and see me in action, if you haven't already.