Friday, 12 September 2008

Hob Nobbing (No, not the biscuits)

Yesterday I donned a posh frock, jumped into a taxi and made my way to the British Ambassadors Residence to have coffee with the Ambassadors wife Alison Quayle. She is the Patron of the BWG and had very kindly offered to open up her home and host a coffee morning - I think there were about 70 of us there in total. 'The Residence', as it's known, is absolutely stunning....the walk way leading up to the house is lined with trees and then you are greeted by a large white colonial style building....as I said...it's stunning!! We had a lovely time drinking tea, chatting and, in my case, attempting to stay away from the table laden with the most scrumptious cakes. (I failed....the scones and chocolate cake proved waaay to tempting!!)

There is a huge statue of Queen Victoria outside 'The Residence' and when Alison gave us a talk about the history of the place and I was astonished to learn that the statue is loved by the Thai people.....students on their way to University will wai (Thai sign of respect) the statue as it is believed that it will assist them with their academic achievement, women leave garlands, light candles and leave offerings at the feet of the statue as it is believed that doing that will help them conceive (She did have 9 kids of her own after all!!) and, at the insistence of the Thai people, during World War II when the statue was boarded up the Japanese left a peephole so that Her late Majesty should not be upset!! Apparently King Mongkut (King Rama IV) had had a close personal relationship with Queen Victoria - they wrote letters to one another and The King signed them 'Your Brother in Siam' and Queen Victoria responded by signing hers 'Your Sister in Britain'.

I found the talk fascinating - I love learning things like that!!

7 comments:

Debra in France said...

How lovely, coffee with the ambassador wife. Isn't it lovely that Queen Victoria is so well thought of there. Have a good trip back to the UK. Debra xx

Lane said...

I love those fascinating little snippets.

Sounds like a very interesting morning. And with cakes:-)

Debs said...

That is a beautiful house and what an interesting history too, no wonder you enjoyed yourself.

Nine children. She must be an incredible person.

Sarah*G* said...

I got here from Carolines fab widget! Hello!

DJ Kirkby said...

Ooooh get you! She even gave you cakes, how fab.

Carol and Chris said...

Debra - It's one of those things that I find kinda weird about living here - at home we would NEVER be invited to coffee with the Ambassadors wife. It was good though :-)

Lane - I love learning little things like that too!! I will never be able to look at a statue of Queen Victoria in quite the same way again!!

Debs - The house and grounds are stunning and it's something that I would never have been invited along to had we still lived in the UK.

Sarah - Long live Caroline's widget!! I shall be popping over to you to do a nosey :-)

DJ - I know!!! Coffee AND Cake....shame there was no Ferrero Rocher but hey....can't have everything!!

C x

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