The raining monarch

I know it's not an original pun and we'll probably be hearing many more of the same sort over the forthcoming diamond jubilee weekend when the celebrations look set to be seriously soggy.

But I was in town today and couldn't help but notice the window display of my favourite retail outlet, The Animal Welfare Shop. It raises money for local charities that save and re-home unwanted pets. It's not one of your upmarket, glorified charity shops, and it hasn't received the Mary Portas treatment in the slightest degree. Anything goes, all jumbled together, even electrical goods that don't normally get flogged because of safety regulations. In fact I bought a perfectly good bedside lamp there - works fine and is only slightly damaged and not so as you'd notice.

Anyway, the window decor was rather fine. A collection of mugs bearing the royal mugs, the queen herself looking astonishingly youthful in fur-trimmed crown and ermine stole (a steal at £1.50!) with a Welsh element slyly introduced via the daffodils and one of those snappy dear little corgis that have been Her Madge's constant companions since she was 18. Apparently she's one of the few breeders to have started off with a Foundation Bitch. [No giggling at the back there!] The Daily Telegraph has the low-down, naturally.

And it was being low that gave corgis their advantage as cattle herding dogs. They scurried around the heels of the beasts and nipped the noses of any that broke away, forcing them back into the drove. They were also the only dogs able to herd geese. It's strange that these down-and-dirty little Celtic curs ended up as one of the trademarks of English royalty.

Many thanks to everyone who helped to put yesterday's Snail Sex in the spotlight. I regret to say that the pair have changed their relationship status, having now separated.

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