In these modern times, the daily ritual of receiving and opening Her Majestys post comes and goes without fanfare. With the advent of email and texts, our postmen & postmistresses are resigned to being bearers of bills, invitations to attend a sale and information on the new American Embassy and the Battersea Power Station developments down the road.

So Sonia brought our post in (usually left in pigeon hole at front reception) and the said ritual was performed, with all the pomp and ceromeny reserved for the event. Any cheques? yes. Bills and statements? yes. Trade account changes - file. To rrrrr-arse, cha.

The last unassuming envelope was opened and almost a month to the day, out came a sheet of paper carrying the AMU Logo. Dear Mr Barnett, we are pleased to advise you that.............

At last, written confirmation of our membership to the Association of Master Upholsterers, our membership number and yes of course, the obligatory request for money. The yearly annual fee. But oh how sweet!!

To rrrr-arse indeed!!

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