A crowd of posh pensioners carrying cameras obstructed my way as I attempted to drive my little buggy (illegally) along the pavement of Temperley Place, Hexham. They had their long lenses fixed on a doorway, in eager anticipation of snapping a celebrity couple.
‘Who are you waiting for?’ I enquired of an old lady who was almost bent double by the weight of her camera.
She named a distant member of the royal family, and former consort of the Queen, who (with her ancient husband) was on her way to a reception at the cinema. I had never heard of this woman. I didn’t even recognise her when she eventually emerged into the daylight.
A member of cinema staff later repeated my description of the supposed celebrity couple as ‘So old and decrepit they might have stepped out of the Thriller video’. She put her job at risk by saying this within earshot of the elderly photographer fans .
Meanwhile, in a section of the cinema that was partitioned off from the main event, TMcE was chairing a meeting of the British Computer Society. He explained to a less than enthusiastic audience of programmers that the next event to be sponsored by their professional body would be a trip to the pantomime in Perth.