I invariably begin stories about adventures from my time at Herstmonceux Castle with the phrase: “Once upon a time…”
Let’s begin this one with: “We were so lost.”
AB and I were trying, with limited success, to catch a train to the eastern coast of England to visit a friend from the dorm at my former high school.
Apparently established by whim, whimsy, and river routes, European streets are chaotic circles of changing names that lead easily to bakeries, coffee shops, and book stores, but far less easily to museum appointments, train departures, or pre-arranged rendez-vous points, and even less easily to the same bakery, shop, or store you saw before. This is all the truer when you don’t have a cell phone.
As we inadvertently circled Buckingham Palace for the twelfth-hundredth time, we came upon what appeared to be a small parade. The side walk was blocked on this pass, and the gates to the palace were mysteriously opening up.
As several black cars puttered past, we noticed that everyone else on the side walk was waving (courteously but furiously). Not to be outdone, we waved, too, as a small woman in a blue hat was driven past us and escorted by her motorcade through the gates.
Thanks to AB’s interpretation of this mysterious ritual, that was the day I found out that Canada has a queen.