Sunday, 24 July 2011


Aren’t children wonderful for putting things into perspective? A couple of days ago, I took Sausage shopping (I really must give her a new nickname, she’s getting a bit old for ‘Sausage’ these days). It was Friday and school goes back from holidays on Tuesday, so town was busy. I drove around and around the carpark looking for a spot and was getting quite frustrated until Sausage shouted from the back seat, “Come on, people, make way for the famous author!” 

That simple remark held so much. First, it implied a pride in my daughter at her mother’s achievements. I won’t burst her bubble for a little while yet. I don’t mind being famous in my own house. It also put ‘fame’ into perspective. So what if I were famous? What difference would it make in this sleepy little hollow where I live, or even in this sleepy little state? I’ve driven around a fair few carparks in my life and never yet seen a bay marked ‘Reserved for the Famous’. Even they have to find a place for themselves…unless they have their chauffeurs do it, I suppose.

Why do people adore the rich and famous so much? Why is so much fuss made about them? Are they any different to the rest of us, really? 

Years ago, my father refused to go to a luncheon for Prince Charles at the place where he worked, because he objected to the amount of money that had been spent (money that the place couldn’t really afford) to repaint where Prince Charles would be visiting and to plant flowering plants in the gardens he would pass. He had nothing against the Royal Family, just against money being wasted. His reaction was considered strange by his colleagues. But in an interview before he returned home, the Prince was reported to have said that he’d had a lovely time visiting the state, but that he was saddened to see how much money had been spent on such things as paint and flowering plants in the places he’d been to. He would much rather that it had been spent on things that were needed. Needless to say, Prince Charles went up in our estimation after that. What a shame others can’t have that perspective. 

So when I'm rich and famous, don't worry, I'll still be the same. I'll still curse and swear while I drive around the crowded carpark! Or at least, I shall allow my chauffeur to curse and swear.


Julia Hones said...

I have the same questions. I don't even understand the existence of princes and princesses, either. The origin is rooted in monarchies of the past.

Clare said...

I don't get the rich and famous thing either, Katie - I respect integrity and compassion rather than bank accounts and names. (So don't expect me to stop insulting you when you're rich and famous and even older than you are now! :))
I'd happily share my sandwiches with your lovely family than dine with Prince Charles and/or his family, anyday!

Kate said...

They do seem rather anachronistic, don't they, Julia. But people still love them.

Clare, I look forward to that lunch! (And when I'm rich and famous and older than I am now, I won't change a bit - I will pay back every insult in kind, just as I do now.)

Julia Hones said...

Some people love them while others hate them. I'm indifferent to them.

Anonymous said...

A lovely post, and I completely agree. Money and fame are things that may happen to people, but most certainly don't define them! I applaud your view and wish you every luck in your writing (and other!) endeavors.