So on the way to work on Tuesday morning I pick up the Metro and there’s a picture of Josh Lewsey on the back page and he tells us how being left out of the final on Saturday because of his pulled hamstring feels like “a dagger in the heart”, and he’s “devastated” and it’s “a bitter pill to swallow” and that “the pain in the hamstring is bad but not as bad as the heartache of missing out”, but it’s OK Josh, you’ve been in a World Cup final before and won it, so don’t be such a drama queen.
Plus I’m sure he’s still gonna get paid the same as before the injury and we know that everyone loves a sickie, so just chill out. Anyway, despite all this self pity we still love him, especially now that he has this stupid little beard going, which is not quite a beard, it’s more a collection of pathetic, whispy little hairs, and you’ve got to love a 30-year-old who’s a cute little bunny and can’t grow a proper beard.
Anyway then I go in the office but it’s a short day because I leave around 1300 to go to my British Citizenship ceremony. For this event I’m wearing a black Prada suit, black leather Hugo Boss shoes, white shirt from the Gap, a brown silk tie with pale blue stitching from Gant, white baggy straight boy underwear from Marks & Spencer, a Gucci watch and Hugo Boss black leather belt. I forget to take a picture of the whole outfit but here’s a picture of the tie, which I really, really like - but of course you can't see the colour and texture here clearly and this doesn't do it justice.
So Scott comes and picks me up and gives me a lift to Kensington Town Hall and at Kensington Town Hall the following things happen:
- There is a very wide selection of “new citizens” there, varying from the desperate runaways from global war-zones (I peek “Kosovo, Former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia” under place of birth on a guy’s certificate next it me) to enthusiastic Australian queens who want to extend their stay in London / party days in Vauxhall clubs
- I manage to bring the wrong ID documents they require to sign us in, but I blag my way through. The women gives me a look that says, “I’ll let you in this time, but...” I’m happy with that, because there doesn’t need to be a next time
- The ceremony involves us repeating an Oath of allegiance to the Queen, shaking hands with some guy who used to be the Mayor of Chelsea apparently but is now half dead, having our picture taken numerous times during all this and trying to stay awake for the 1.5 hours it takes
- When we have to do the Oath, it’s very bloody simple to be honest. We are given a card with the words on it, then have to take turns standing on a stage with some woman and repeat the Oath after her (3-4 words at a time, seriously). Still, this proves quite difficult for some of the “new citizens”, whose grasp of English doesn’t stretch to repeating “I will be faithful” 1 second after they’ve heard it. On two particular occasions, I am seriously tempted to use my newly found patriotism and report those imposters to the former Mayor of Chelsea / Ken Livingston / Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her Heirs and Successors / somebody who cares anyway
- Different people have different approaches to the ceremony: one woman is so tearful she can’t finish the Oath with breaking down (I can only assume she’s another war escapee) / the Australian queens camp it up and wave their certificates in the air
- Then they play the national anthem and I for a few seconds I’m under the impression they’ve put the wrong record on and everyone will realize the mistake and start laughing soon, but that’s mainly because I was expecting to hear the Star-Spangled Banner rather than God Save the Queen, because that’s what they always play in films
- Then it’s all over, we get given a framed certificate and a goodie bag that includes a passport application (this processes seems so industrialized it’s quite tragic), pick up a couple of biscuits on the way out and that’s the end of that
Following this momentous event and to celebrate, I go to Selfridges where I buy two 800ml glass bottles of Voss mineral water for £5.90, because I keep a water bottle on my desk at work which I refill during the day and it’s permanently there now so it’s a LOOK not just a DRINK, and my current tacky plastic Evian bottle just won’t do anymore.
I have 1 song by Delerium and I've played it 16 times
I have 1 song by Denise Williams and I've played it 5 times
I have 18 songs by Depeche Mode and I've played them 259 times