Archive for December 9th, 2008

This year *qua* Charon I have a small gift for all barristers who haven’t yet got their CPD sorted. I have negotiated a small discount on the CPD Channel’s online programmes.  They will charge you £295 for a high usage 12 point annual subscription.

IF YOU EMAIL ME using this email – with your real name and a telephone number.  I can get £25 quid off for you – enough to buy a couple of decent bottles of Red to drink while you do your CPD.  Can’t say fairer than that.  You have to email me to get this deal though…

If you email me.. I’ll call, check what you want and pass on the details confidentially to the CPD Channel who will organise it all for you.   You will then save £25. I will, of course, get that wonderful warm feeling of assisting a barrister reader of my blog and from the mulled wine. mince pie and a pair of socks  that I feel sure the CPD Channel will bring round on Christmas Eve to get me in the Christmas mood.

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A bit of pomp and circumstance…

I haven’t been to many coronations… in fact… I have only been to one;  the coronation of former Lord Chief Justice and Lord President of Malaysia, HRH  Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak. This relative poverty of coronations in my life is due, of course, to the fact that those of us who aren’t Sultans or Monarchs have birthdays, weddings (several in my own case), christenings and the odd piss up at a funeral.  We don’t have coronations.  I knew the Sultan reasonably well, having visited him several times when he was Chief Justice in Malaysia and having had the pleasure of teaching law to several thousand Malaysians over nearly twelve years.

This lack of coronations in my life, as I thought about it over a coffee at the  Chelsea Bun – a cafe off the King’s Road in Chelsea –  reminded me of the only other time in my life I have met a reigning Monarch. It was at Buckingham Palace in the early eighties.  I had not emulated the tidy work of the famous burglar who ended up chatting to H M The Queen in her bedroom one morning, I had been invited to attend a party for Queen’s Award winners.  My then law school won a Queen’s Award in 1982.  It was a curious affair.

Briefly… My then co-directors and I convened,  duly suited,  at a flat in Ecclestone Square owned by a co-director.  A friend of his with a silver Royce Royce had offered to drive us there.  My co-director was twenty years older and a bit of a snazzy dresser with grey shoes to match his expensively tailored grey suits.  I had thought he might put the grey shoes away for his visit to the Palace and go for a more conventional black brogue  or Oxford.  It was not to be. After watching him spray most of a mouth freshener spray dispenser into his mouth, the thought …“Jesus Christ… you’re not going to snog the Queen, just shake hands with her”… popped into my mind, putting me in a rather surreal mood which persisted for the remainder of the evening. We arrived at The Palace.  We were met by some guys in penguin suits and we were ushered upstairs to gather in a corridor and be briefed by someone from The Lord Chamberlain’s Office.  Briefing done, we were shown into a grand over decorated chamber.  I couldn’t see any thrones, so assumed we were being entertained in a  less formal room.

As far as I can recall… and time dims the memory of bloggers who drink red wine to exceed government approved guidelines… H M The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and a number of other Royals appeared  through a sliding bookcase in the wall, reminiscent of the descent of the alien being from the spacecraft in Brief Encounter.  To cut a long story short, we were plied with double gins, allowed to smoke away to our heart’s content (I did) and so it was when I found myself being approached by H M The Queen herself, handbag slung from the crook of her elbow, a large glass of gin in her hand.  We had been told to shake hands gently and to bow our heads.  I’m a republican in conceptual terms so I passed on the head bowing nonsense.

H M The Queen was astonishingly well briefed about the award recipients.  She merely looked at my name badge and knew exactly why I was wondering around one of her drawing rooms, smoking and drinking gin. I was most impressed.  A very  charming woman who sounds nothing like she does when she does The Christmas Message.  She was very amusing.  I also had the pleasure of a quick chat with The Duke and even  met Margaret Thatcher who was being followed around everywhere by Willie Whitelaw and a group of very strange people who made ejector seats.  They seemed most anxious to talk with the Prime Minister – but at that moment…  she only had ears for me and  told me that she knew a lot of Roman Law.  I responded that Roman Law as a good subject for a legal academic to pursue.  She asked why. I replied… because I was young and frivolous (while today I am simply young)… “No updating, prime minister, leaves plenty of time to do other things.” This, obviously, did not accord with her famous work ethic.  She smiled wanly at me and moved on.  I think she could sense that I was a Labour voter.  It may have been my red tie and red socks.

Well… there we are… a post about absolutely nothing of any value to your quest for news.  It is good to reminisce occasionally….  I shall turn into an old fart in about twenty years… so I may as well start practising now.


Pic from Freaking News.

PS. I have just been reminded that I have, of course, met King Arthur – at The Bollo pub in Chiswick, West London

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A bit of bad taste to start the day…

Reviewing my options for posts to the blog over a coffee, I decided to go with a ‘bad taste’ feel to kick off the day.  Hat Tip to @infobunny on Twitter for this pastiche.  Click here to read the advert in full technicolour.

As a counter to this ludicrous lapse in taste, I am providing a link to the John Cleese Monty Python sketch about The Albatross – rather appropriate given that US Attorney, Colin Samuels of the Infamy or Praise blog, wrote another epic Blawg Review (and a good one) yesterday on the theme of The Ancient Mariner.

The Infamy or Praise Blawg Review by Colin Samuels is well worth a read: Blawg Review 189: The Rime of The Ancient Mariner

Hat Tip: to the ‘mysterious’ Ed of Blawg Review for Albatross sketch.

I shall be returning, later in the day… a piu tarde….

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Daily legal news from the media and the blawgs now up on Insite Law

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