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    « More of Rush's "spirited enthusiasm" | Main | A free press finds a fierce advocate »
    Thursday
    Dec062018

    Letter from the Court of St James's

    Update from Australia House ... HE George Brandis sends Christmas greetings from The Strand ... Marvellous party ... 100th birthday for Australia House ... Bronze bust to be commissioned of HE ... London Diary ... And more 

    Here I am stealing a moment from of my frantic schedule to bring you up to speed with my duties and responsibilities as the Commonwealth of Australia's High Commissioner to the Court of St James's. 

    Needless to say, the mammoth centenary celebrations for Australia House have consumed a portion of my vast energies. There has been the usual sniping about the expenditure to mark the occasion, but in every respect I can say, hand on heart, that the money has been spent, well and truly. 

    HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, did the honours with a marvellous speech about his great-great-great-grandfather Ethelred The Unready (1164-1195), whose bones lie underneath this very spot in Aldwych. 

    Liberal Party donor Anthony Pratt from the well-regarded cardboard family was among the honoured guests and he had commissioned a wonderful portrait of Prince Charles with a walking stick, donating it to mark the Prince's 87th birthday. 

    There was a small suggestion that Anthony is inclined to commission a bronze bust of yours truly to stand in my official office to be admired by my successors as Lord High Commissioner. 

    I have asked that either Rodin or Constantin Brâncusi be commissioned for the work and if they are not available then maybe Jeff Koons, one of my favourites, at least for his topiary. 

    His Excellency the Governor of Queensland, Paul de Jersey, AC QC, was on hand to suggest a sub-tropical libation for the celebrations, with silver tureens filled to the brim with Pineapple Pol, his favour party punch. His recipe is here for those inclined: 

    5 tins Golden Circle Pineapple Juice as required (large). 
    15 egg whites, beaten into a fluff.
    Half of bottle of Angosture Bitters.
    A can of Ortiz anchovies, with oil.
    5 bottles of Kahlúa.
    2 bottles of Fanta (large).
    5 bottles of cherry brandy (in honour of HRH).
    Stir, never shake, serve in a wine glass with maraschino cherries.  

    That soon had everyone dancing around and singing "God Save the Duchess of Cornwall, for she's a jolly good fellow".

    Naturally, such frolics are not the main game for the duties of a High Commissioner. I have been out and about promoting Australia and looking at new opportunities, particularly in the technology space, an area about which I have some intimacy. Here I am advising on the circuitry of a "chipboard". 

    Christmas beckons and I've invited Tim Wilson and his husband to join lonely old me at Stoke Lodge for some traditional plum pudding with sixpences. 

    I hear on the vine that things are going well back in Canberra although several reports suggest that they are missing my firm but gentle hand on the wheel. 

    That's pretty well it for now. Cheerio.  

     

    H.E. The Hon. George Brandis QC and Bar

    Australia House
    The Strand
    London
    WC2B 4LA
    UK

    Opening hours 10.33am-11.49am (Tues, Wed and alternate Thurs). 

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