Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Tuesday 16/10/07

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

22 comments:

Christopher said...

The fact the whole process sounds surreal and ever so slightly silly makes it a thoroughly appropriate form of induction.

For all my bitching and wincing at anything approaching national pride, I do tend to agree with the closing line of Andrew Marr's recent book and edu-tainment series: "And yet, to be born British remains a fantastic stroke of luck." (Or paid several hundred pounds for the privilege in your case).

Thinking of 'National Treasures" I thought of this blog briefly yesterday evening as I watched Nigella on BBC2 (Monday's are far too traumatic for me to contemplate doing anything in the evening, and I love Nigella).

It's like forbidden carb & cholesterol porn for us self-denying/starving folk. You have to admire lines such as "some may think it a little excessive to use half a kilo of chocolate to make twelve biscuits".

London Preppy said...

christopher: Agreed :-) Of course I have to maintain my consistent manner of being jaded and making fun of things etc, but of course I'm very happy about the citizenship

As for the food porn, ha ha, I've got to tell you, every lunchtime whilst eating my two chicken breasts and salad I read messageboards on chowhound.com, and live vicariously through people who LOVE food and eat anything they want

tyler said...

tyler<------------loves food and eats mostly everything he wants when he wants...eventually.
cograts on your becoming a citizen of a country you obviously love.
now you're ready to really hear the star spangled banner and apply for dual citizenship in the old u s of a.
afterwards we'll go to q's and play with the surfer dudes, drink beer and eat chocolate brownies that i will bake just for the occasion.
peace,
tyler

DAMO said...

I have wondered if...one day, you will write about what made you choose to come to England? And what your time in the North was like good/bad?

The British citizen event sounds very bland and basic, even in terms of formality. I mean they could have brought on some of our national treasures to present it eg Jeremy Kyle, Jo (s-club) Rose West etc but no...you just get some old coffin dodger. hehe (especially after all these tests and tens years of waiting and well over £800's!, I think that you all deserved a bit more than this!!!)

Are you still going uni next year?
Have you got any particular uni in mind?

London Preppy said...

tyler: Ha ha, that's what my Dad said today - are you going to be American next? Hmm...I must say if US citizenship comes with free surfer dudes AND chocolate brownies, I might have to consider it...

London Preppy said...

damo: :-) What a random selection of national treasures! You're right of course - what an underwhelming ceremony. Not even a show from Jemini or Nikki French or something (the best of British)

Still considering Uni. Will discuss with parents when I see them. The osteopathy college I'm looking at is in London

Good idea about past stories - I'll put them on the list for slow days ;-)

Cooper said...

Congratulations on your big ceremony! I think citizenship ceremonies are kind of the same everywhere. A Brit friend of mine became a US citizen, and the ceremony was pretty similar to what you described (except they did play The Star Spangled Banner).

seahorse said...

online time very limited tonite, hopping on train to mate in SOHO quickly but I thought i owuld pop into drop my CONGRATULATIONS to you on becoming a citizen whom will be entitled to benefit payments one day...lol.

Celebrate away!

laterz

Impressed Guy said...

Geia soy Preppy! Congratulations sweety, I wish you the very best. Hope you'll never forget you are greek though.

BTW I also have a Voss bottle on my desk just for the looks which I fill with water every now and then.

London Preppy said...

cooper / seahorse: Thank you, thank you :-)

impressedguy: Fxaristo patriotim na'sai kala. Fysika panta kai protista Ellinas, ta alla einai etsi, gia na menoume edo...

M'aresei i istoria Voss sou, poios na to perimene ha ha!

Traverse Le Goff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
h said...

sounds like citizenship ceremonies have probably got the zeitgeist right - london perspective and suspect it would be different elsewhere but thats london i guess

Bobby Vanquish said...

Baggy M&S underwear?! You've not been British for a day and already you're going native by wearing bad underwear.
Or as the British say: "wha-up wiz dem threads mon?"

Mike said...

...that would have been me, the tearful one not finishing my oath...

Love the tie, a lot...

And what-up with Scott? Why didn't he take a photo of your attire? He should be taking a more active roll (remind him you have a blog), by taking photos of your outfits, and not just escorting you to the bash! :)

Impressed Guy said...

Ta koina mas de periorizontai apla kai mono sth Voss mpoukala, epipleon kai egw eimai gennhmenos to 1980 kai mou phre aiwnes na kanw kati ws gay (ekana prwth fora gay sex sta 25 para kati mhnes) ws tote kai egw eixa apla kanei kati xaza me kopeles pou de mou elegan tipota :)

Knight said...

LP! It's a great idea that you include what underwear you wear when describing your clothes! It in a way signifies your style too! People wear diff types of underwear for diff occasions!

Troystopher said...

I really like that tie!!! I also really love your blog! :0)

JC said...

Cheers for that.....I just threw my (refilled) Evian bottle, that was on my desk, in the bin.

Andre said...

I was wondering how citizenship cerimonies in Kosovo might be like and what you'd find in the goodie bag...

george said...

congrats.....did you do your national service as a greek citizen?........george

DJ said...

Hey LP,

Congrats on becoming a British citizen! Love it how you go out and celebrate by buying fancy bottled water that will look good on your perfectly ordered desk. I bet it has been placed somewhere for maximum visibility and it must be returned to that exact spot after each use. lol

DJ

London Preppy said...

andre: I'm guessing a grenade must be included in the goodie bag at least

george: No, because I'm living abroad permanently I don't have to do that

dj: You have no idea how right you are. I'm actually gonna write about the organisation of my desk later this week