The Changing Of The Guard

It’s nice to know sending all our sons and daughters backpacking overseas for gap years is really helping to spread the Australian culture.

This morning a lovely retired client of mine was taking me through the highs and lows of her recent trip to the northern hemisphere. She and a friend visited Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales, France and Monte Carlo. They’d eaten pancakes beneath the Eiffel Tower and even tried haggis in a Scottish castle (one of those was a high, one a low – you guess which is which).

But the highlight of her telling of the trip was the changing of the guards, because the way she tells it is a riot. I wish you were all there with me to hear it, but in lieu of that I’ve tried to use her words where I can:

“At Buckingham Palace they were so stoic, so in command. You could tickle their top lip and they wouldn’t budge an inch to smack you in the head, like they probably should to people who tickle other people’s top lips. But you don’t really appreciate how impressive they are until you go to Monte Carlo,” she said knowingly. “In Monte Carlo the guards were leaning against things and smoking and had their hands all over girls who wanted their picture taken with them. At Buckingham Palace they stand rigid, their eyes remain fixed and intense. In Monte Carlo they’re grinning like coneheads for the cameras. Plus at Buckingham Palace, when the changing of the guard takes place, they march out and salute and everything is very regimented and impressive. At the changing of the guard in Monte Carlo, when the new guard saluted, the retiring guard gave him the thumbs up before sauntering off.”

I don’t know: it all sounds a little familiar to me. Maybe some Aussie backpackers have picked up a bit of holiday work in Monte Carlo, what do you think?

What do you think?

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