It was most generous of the parish of North Lambeth (or "NoLa" as I like to call it) to invite us to be a part of their summer fete, and for the Archbishop of Canterbury to give up his garden at Lambeth Palace for the purpose. So we had wares displayed and made a special Lambeth Walk t-shirt for the occasion, celebrating the long forgotten musical artist Lupino Lane. He made the song famous and there is a block of council flats on the Walk named for him, but how many of the residents, we wonder, know why.
In the programme of events, we noticed there was to be a dog show and wondered if there might be a "Naughtiest" or "Best at Chewing the Centre Tube from a Toilet Roll" category. There was not. But there WAS a Fancy Dress section. And so we made Brian an antique lace neck ruff (ruff) and four little paw rug (ruffles) and a velvet hat trimmed with a cockerel feather. We entered him as...
The Earl of Bedlam, as painted by Van Dyke.
And he came First. That'll be A#1. The Top Dog. He beat the Archbishop of Canterbury's mutt on home turf. Simon le Bon came for his fitting a few days later and enquired, "Where's Brian?"
"He's a bit busy doing press, interviews," I replied.
At the moment of prize giving, both Brian and I were (quite) hysterical. I thought I might explode with unholy pride. Brian just wanted to get his paws on the squeaky hedgehog that was part of his haul of trophies, and which took him about ten minutes to eviscerate. No photograph exists of him wearing all components at the same time, as that lasted about .001 of a second but this should give the gist of the majesty.