The Nymph and the Royal Engagement


We don’t have a telly. Haven’t had one for the last 15 years. Thus I get my news from the radio and the papers. The method has one distinctKate's engagement ring. Image by  Remko Tanis advantage – I don’t feel bombarded by images.

The Royal Engagement must have received a lot of airing on TV last week –  judging at least by the many comments of my Facebook friends who have already had enough.

I haven’t. So far I’ve only seen one engagement picture – the official one, where Kate has passed her arm through Will’s and both smile at the camera. I was impressed by the matching blue colour of the ring and the dress. You have to admit that takes some beating.

I am delighted for them. Why not? May they be happy for ever after. In fact, I decided to send them a present. Stone in a Landslide and Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman – two beautiful love stories.

To be honest, the idea is Peirene’s. Initially I didn’t even take her seriously.

“Peirene, I am sorry, but I am not wasting two precious books only to receive one of those prefabricated thank you notes from the Palace.”

“Who says we are sending the books to the Palace. We are going to send the books to them personally.”

“Fab idea” I mocked my nymph. “Let’s just google them and I am sure an address will pop right up.”

Peirene threw me a dismissive glance. The next day she put a piece of paper with an address on my desk. “There you go.” A smug grin on her face.

I was truly amazed. “How did you manage that?”

“The concept of six degree of separation.” She stated, turned around and walked back to her desk with her head held high.

I had heard of  that concept before. But its validity had clearly not fully registered with me. It’s also called the small world problem. Somehow we are all connected. And if we put our mind to it we usually can reach anybody we like by six intermediaries.  So even an ancient Greek nymph can get close to the future king of England.

Needless to say Peirene is thrilled. On Saturday we went out and bought a beautiful engagement card to send with the books. The nymph is sure her books will soon be photographed in the royal hands. I’d be thrilled if she were right. Although I am aware that there are two small obstacles remaining. Kate and William do actually need to open the package and read the books. But if we don’t send the gift in the first place we might never know.

Image by Remko Tanis.

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