Friday, 29 April 2011

Memories of Royal weddings

Thirty years ago I was invited to contribute to a British academic journal. It doesn't sound extraordinary, but at that time I was living in the Soviet Union, and if I hadn't known that I would soon move to Sweden, I would have ignored the invitation and hoped that the postal service censor wouldn't report my inappropriate correspondence. As it was, I decided that a publication in a British journal would be a good start for my new career, so I wrote the piece and asked a foreign journalist I knew to mail it for me. Some weeks later I received a postal note to collect an overseas parcel. Again, in a different situation I would have burned the note, but I went to the post office and had to pay import tax which I am sure exceded by far the value of the parcel, at least in proportion to my salary. There was a short letter from the editor: "I have been told that it would be pointless to send you a fee, so please receive this as a token of appreciation". The parcel was a tin of biscuits with a picture of the Royal couple, HRH Prince Charles and Diana.

My friends were impressed by the tin, but less by the biscuits. I didn't take the tin with me to Sweden, so I guess one of my friends kept it and may have it still. It must be worth a fortune now. 

No comments: