Monday, June 3, 2013

A Post Post-Crimefest

Are the Obamas very tall or the Queen very not so?
No respectable newspaper would ever hire me as a reporter. I would get an assignment, get distracted and send in a piece with little resemblance to what the original article was to revolve around. As a testament to this, today‘s blog posting was to be all about Crimefest but will go off in a tangent.

On the first evening in Bristol I happened to see the Queen on the TV news. She stepped out of a chauffeur driven limo, wearing one of those pastel coats and a pair of sensible queen shoes, a purse hanging on her forearm. The purse caught my attention and for the whole time of the festival I kept pondering what the queen carried around in that purse.

Regular, non-queen women keep all sort of stuff in the purses. A wallet, keys, make-up stuff, tissues, change and you name it really. But no matter what you would normally expect to find, very little of it would be of any use to the Queen. For one, she is hardly going to arrive at Buckingham Palace and have to unlock the door with a key. And she does not have much need for a credit card or money as she never goes shopping. The King is unlikely to phone her when she is on her way back home to remind her they are out of milk and ask her to drop by a grocery store. As for the rest, I don’t think Queens blow their noses much and they probably have a make-up artist to take care of the lipstick etc. Austerity measures might even have made it so that the make-up artist was made take on tissue tasks.

So what is in the purse? A telescopic scepter? At one point I came to the conclusion that she had to be a secret smoker. That is not something you get the servants to do for you.

But I was put out of my misery by the Crimefest team that found an old article online revealing what the Queen chugs around in that purse. A five pound note for church boxes, a lipstick and a hook. Three things in total. And one of them is a hook? Now before this sounds too interesting I must divulge that the hook in question is one of those gadgets that you use to hook your purse to the edge of a table when you sit down to eat.

I should really send her an e-mail. Stick the lipstick and the five pound note in your coat pocket and then you can leave the purse at home. You won’t need the hook since you no longer carry a purse so it can stay at home as well.

But further investigation led to another interesting queen purse fact, namely that the queen uses the purse to signal her staff. I did not manage to read how and for what but seeing that she is unlikely to start waving it in circles around her head, the number of different signals she is able to make are very limited. I could mention this in my e-mail as well. Get one of those laser pointers – you and your staff can work out a system for red dots on different body parts. A red dot on the chest could mean: Get me out of here or I will hang you from my now useless hook. A red dot on a trouser leg: I seem to notice corgi hairs on my dress, get the sticky roll. And so on.
Now where have you seen this photo before? And before that?
But I was supposed to provide you Crimefest news. These are the ones that matter most:
A.  Crimefest was great, better than ever. It will be even more fun next year so hurry and register while they offer a discounted fee.
B.  The Murder is Everywhere showing did exceptionally well on all their panels.
C.  Peter James was unable to make it as he was in a car crash while racing (in a race). He will recover 100%.
D.  Someone threw up on one of the panels although I was unable to pin this down with respect to who and on which panel. Zoe Sharp did find a bucket on hers so we know in which room it occurred. But I have forgotten the name of it.
E.  Team Ali Karim, Peter Rozovsky, Ragnar Jonasson and Michael Linane came in second in the pub quiz but would have won if they had not been second.
F.  No one likes the Icelandic drink Opal, aside from one Irish woman.
So that’s it and there you have it. Oh wait, I have one more photo to share. What I lack in reporting skills I make up for in amassing photos.
Barbara, Jeff and Yrsa - at the bar discussing world finance and peace. For some reason it is green outside. 
Yrsa - Wednesday


  1. Or she could carry a church key and fermented sheep's head in there and be the almost-Queen of CrimeFest. I say "almost" because all the world knows that, at CrimeFest, YRSA RULES!

  2. England doesn't have a king. Elizabeth is the reigning monarch and her husband, Phillip is the Duke of Edinburgh. He is also a prince, connected vaguely to the royal family no longer in Greece. Elizabeth has been the queen of England for 60 years. Her mother lived to be 102. Elizabeth is apparently in very good health. If she lives as long as her mother, Charles will be nearly 80 before he gets his turn. The young people, those few who want to see the monarchy continue, think Charles should step aside and let William and Kate take over. Charles has made it clear that won't happen. He has waited too long to get the crown so he isn't giving that up. If Charles carries the long-life gene, William could be close to 70 and people will have as much interest in him then as they have in his father now. Elizabeth is an icon because during WWII, when her father was king, the royal family remained living at Buckingham Palace even after it was hit by a bomb.

    As to the initial question, the queen was never a tall woman and she has likely been shrinking as we all will do. The Obamas are tall - he is reported to be 6'2" and she 5'11".


  3. I cannot resist pointing out the clear resemblance in the first two photographs between me and the Queen. That is that we barely come up to the level of the chins of people with whom we are posing. I will not describe the contents of MY purse. Suffice it to say that I carry everything imaginable, but neither a hook nor the kitchen sink.

  4. Thanks for the update Yrsa...did you bring any culinary gourmet delights this year?

  5. Purse? I think you will find the Queen carries a handbag. ;)

  6. My mother just got back from England, and in one of the places she visited, she was asked to be the stand-in for the Queen, to pull a rope, or something, because she looked to be about the same height. I'd put her at about 5' 4".

  7. I loved the Opal! (and I'm not sure you could mistake me for an Irish woman!) Highlight of my saturday night! Though not sure my head liked it the next morning!

  8. Yrsa - our queen is notably short - almost everyone who meets her comments on it. I'd guess around 5 foot or even under myself. And i bet she has a Kindle in that handbag these days - or possibly an MP3 player. She must get bored during all that travelling. And I don't know about you but I'd be very unhappy without tissues in my OWN possesion. As for the signalling - perhaps it has one of those noisy snapfasteners, and she signals in Morse code. And I'm dying to know about the Opal - beer, liqueur, spirits?