Monday 10 December 2012

Watching Inside Claridges

The Emperor and Empress of Japan are at Claridges – it’s quite significant as “they were at the original coronation”. For some reason this means about fifty people lining the staircase for their arrival. The manager is worried that they might not have space to bow. Would the Emperor wonder why there wasn’t someone bowing on the staircase? Or just treat it as any other place he passes where this is no-one bowing. I know there is a world of difference between my lifestyle and that of The Emperor of Japan but the concept of being thrown by walking past a space where there was no-one bowing is something I cannot get my head around. I can get my head around ordering someone’s execution. So there we have a rough idea of what I can and cannot get my head around.

Apparently people used to ring there and ask for “The King” only to be asked, “Which one?” That is supposed to show how amazing the clientèle are but it merely highlights how poor the switchboard were at the time. This seems to be something still part of the culture of posh places that deal with Royal guests. I didn’t want to comment on the woman who killed herself after being caught up in the prank call by some Australians last week but I ended up doing today on Twitter. I don’t think anyone dying is something to be flippant about. I am in danger of being flippant about this death, though, hence the lack of comment.

I don’t get why the prank/hoax was taking place. I don’t get why someone has killed themselves on the back of it as is being suggested. To blame the Australians for the death, as some people seem to be suggesting (I’ve assumed they are being blamed), seems crazy. Committing suicide because you were duped by some Australian DJs making a prank call pretending to be Prince Charles is not a commensurate response. Neither is trying to make the DJs take on the guilt. You’re meant to be slightly annoyed and then laugh when something like this happens. Jeremy Beadle and Noel Edmonds have done loads of stuff like this and everyone loved it. Loved it – until they got bored of the whole thing.

Ultimately it is clearly fucking tragic that this woman has taken her own life and that it is being linked to her part in this story about a silly phone prank. I’m not prepared to suggest that the DJs have anything other to answer to than the charge of doing a prank call as means of entertainment. It makes a nice narrative for newspaper editors at the moment: vilify journalist (pretty vague sense of journalist so doesn’t seem like they are having a go at their own) for causing someone’s misery/death then turn them into the victims by showing how repentant they are and ultimately that they have learned their lesson because they are really sorry. And they wont do it again, honest. Not at all like print journalists at the moment – the main difference being these Australian DJs were doing a joke that went quite badly wrong because of the jokee’s reaction and the tabloid journalists intentionally ruined people’s lives by breaking the law to get into the personal business.

The decorator at Claridges has just told the documentary crew that he tells people he just works at a hotel and doesn’t say which hotel as people would think he was a bit flash if he said he was the decorator at Claridges. I would just hear the decorator bit if he told me he was a decorator at Claridges. And if he just referred to himself a a decorator I doubt I would ask him where he decorated. Putting wallpaper up is putting wallpaper up at the end of the day.

Apparently there is no place for salt and pepper on a table in a restaurant. The concierge has just said that if the salt and pepper is on the table when you’re having dessert then something is wrong. Imagine the works of Shakespeare if he had been immersed in the rights and wrongs of Claridges dining room etiquette.

Some very tall people are going for afternoon tea at Claridges. They are excited because their grandad worked there. They show a picture of him (I presume he is dead). He was very tall. Genes.

Strawberry then marmalade then raspberry. That’s the order of popularity of Jams at Claridges. Just so you know. Almond and Apricot is a threat to this, though, as it is to be added to the list of available jams.

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