Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Cap Of Maintenance

Last Wednesday it was forecast to be 34 degrees in London, which is 93 point something. We had planned to go and see the diary exhibition at Somerset House (and did actually go the next day - very interesting) but then we suddenly thought: we are free agents; we don't need to go anywhere; we can just stay in the flat with all the windows open. (Poor Daughter 2 had to go to work, but fortunately she can walk there.)

So that's what we did. We lounged around and read our books and watched a bit of television. These are the husband's feet, not mine. It was actually very pleasant and peaceful.

What was on television was the State Opening Of Parliament, which I've never watched before, having been a working woman and then a retired woman with better things to do. But actually it was riveting in a way - the slightly hilarious way of thinking: what on earth must other nations think of us, with all that pageantry and silly cloaks and hats and things IN 34 DEGREES??? Velvet! Ermine! Wigs! Crown! (though the Queen didn't actually wear the Crown; she had a flowery hat).

Here's the throne on which in due course she sat, with Prince Charles by her side, to read out The Queen's Speech, which was all about what "my government" plans to do. I must say, she's in good nick for 91. She wouldn't exactly get a place in the Royal Shakespeare Company for the excitingness of her delivery, but she managed it all without faltering and never turned over two pages of her little booklet at once.

The best bit, however, was when things were processed in: the Crown (ok), the Sword (well, I suppose it's traditional) and then the Cap Of Maintenance.

The Cap Of Maintenance? Why had I never heard of the Cap Of Maintenance? It's a velvet and ermine sort of pudding basin, originally given to Henry VII by the Pope. I can't believe that this is the original one - it looks too pristine. Anyway, here it is, being borne in on a stick and solemnly handed from one chap to another.

And here it is, having done its duty of... sitting on a stick... being reverently taken out afterwards to its private car.

Why do I not have a Cap Of Maintenance? Wouldn't it improve life (on cooler days)? You'd heave the vacuum cleaner out of the cupboard to do a bit of cleaning, first popping on your Cap Of Maintenance, and the happy hours of Maintaining would fly past. Then, when appropriate, you'd pass it on to your husband to do a spot of DIY. So useful. (Actually, since his retirement, I've passed on the vacuuming to Mr L; he hasn't reciprocated with the DIY. Wisely.)

Daughter 2's husband has been in Toronto for some weeks with his theatre group, Showstopper. This bit of her mantelpiece shows a slice of their lives: a scan of the future Granddaughter-the-Youngest; a Showstopper leaflet; a little house (she's an architect);  my parents' silver (plated) teapot and a plant.


  1. I think I'd like such a cap too.

  2. Did I miss it in a previous post? Is daughter 2 expecting? How wonderful and exciting to have another grand baby. Congratulations to you and your children. Patty Mc

  3. Looking at the size of that cap, I think you'd be hard pressed to see to do any maintenance. It come down over your eyes and ears! If it was Henry VIII's he must have had a very large head.

  4. I think these modern scans are Showstoppers. I was shown one of a friend's daughter's scan, waving so clearly. She will be a grandmother twice within one month as both her daughters give birth.

  5. I'd like mine to be a Magical Cap of Maintenance - once on my head it would effortlessly dance me through the house, effortlessly cleaning and dusting, elevating me to those too-high-to-reach spots that get missed, all the while playing "Rule Britannia" - they're on special in Laa-laa land right now, if you head right over!!!

  6. That is way too hot! Your queen looks great for her age; can we have her? She has to be better than T.

  7. I am taking a momentary break between cleaning bathrooms and clothes shopping with a strawberry. I think that qualifies me for a Cap of Maintenance also. There's bound to be something suitable in T K Whatsit. I do love seeing other people's mantlepieces. It is blogging's finest hour. Maybe if I get some C of M dusting done later I'll take a picture of mine. Not quite as exciting as this one, I might add.

  8. I love this! We too watched it and had never heard of the Cap of Maintenance before either! It sounds like something out of Harry Potter, and I said I thought it looked a bit rude when they zoomed in on it sitting on its chair, but Tom said only I would see it like that.

    The crown got a car to itself of course, I wonder if the Cap travelled with it or if it had some lowlier conveyance?

  9. Ooooohhhhh, there SHE is!!! I can't wait to see that sweet little babe when she arrives!