It's that time of year again. Annual Council and Mayor Making.
This will be the tenth year I have been responsible for it, and I'm as nervous as if it were the first!
Something always goes wrong. This is a list, in descending order of heartbeats per minute:-0 (!) Being locked in the loo five minutes before the start of the meeting, when a screw fell out of the lock and jammed in the mechanism. I had to physically wrench the loo door off its hinges, with literally seconds to spare before the civic party made its way from the Mayor's Parlour to the Chamber, led by the mace-bearer.
500 At the mayor-making dinner - forgetting the menus and have to race back to the Council offices from the St George's Suite at Wicksteed Park, in the style of Lewis Hamilton, to fetch them.
300 Skateboarding kids playing noisily in the driveway outside the Chamber, jumping up periodically to stare in the windows at the Mayor giving his first speech in his ceremonial robes.
250 Planters and tubs of flowers leaking water all over the Chamber floor - and all the cleaning cupboards locked with no sign of an attendant.
200 The microphones packing up as the proposer for Mayor stood up to give his speech.
175 My naughty husband telling mucky jokes at the mayor-making dinner and showing me up.
175 My naughty husband thumping the new mayor on his shoulder saying 'Good on yer, congratulations mate!' Cringe. (You are supposed to address the Mayor as 'Your Worship'.) Mind you, the Mayor that year was my cousin's husband!
150 At the end of the Mayor-making dinner speeches, the new Mayor saying 'and finally I'd like to thank Anne Beasley for all her help'. This was my maiden name. At the time I'd been married for twenty-seven years. I could have crawled under the table in embarrassment because my naughty husband couldn't stop himself giving a very loud laugh.
Now you might notice that three of the embarrassing moments above involve my hubby. I can't avoid Mayor-making and most mayors send Rob a personal invitation so that I'm not on my own at the dinner. This year, unfortunately, is no exception.
Has anyone any ideas how I can make him behave himself next Wednesday night?