Double Dampness for Duchess

At film premieres, I am often privileged to mix with the rich and famous, sometimes even rubbing shoulders (or in my case shoulder to thigh) with royalty. The premiere of 'Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone' was no exception.

After entering the Odeon Cinema in London, VIP guests are offered drinks in the foyer area. After my glass of orange juice (yes, it really was orange juice), I thought it wise to nip to the toilets before the film. My wife also thought this as a good idea, so off we both went.

As a 'short' person, I encounter things that I can't reach on a daily basis. A bathroom is one of the worst places for this. I am lucky if I can reach the sink, but the soap is often too much to ask! But the Odeon was different. I could reach the soap and the sink. Thoroughly cleansed, I turned to the dryer. Now, it was someone's bright idea to install the hand dryer at an average persons eye level! Even if I had been able to activate it, I would have felt no more than a gentle breeze down at my level. I resorted to a quick 'flick' of the hands, and headed for the exit.

Back in the foyer, I saw my father-in-law talking to a lady. As I got closer I realised it was Sarah Ferguson, The Duchess of York. By now she had noticed me approaching, and held out her hand to greet me. As I raised my hand, I remembered the lofty hand dryer, and the fact that my hands were still wet! In what seemed like slow motion, we made contact and I noticed her grimace as a result. In return, an apologetic look washed over my face. I had to explain. Moments later, my wife returned from her visit, and I immediately introduced her to The Duchess. They shook hands and I noticed that familiar grimace appear on the Duchess' face again. Samantha had also encountered a hand dryer too far! Sarah commented