• Kernow bys Vyken!

    There's nothing like a good protest, especially when it's outside the Houses of Parliament. The last time I had such an opportunity was in the early 1970s when, as a member of the NUT I joined other students to protest about Mrs Thatcher (the then Minister for Education) removing free milk from our schools. Our cries of "Thatcher, Thatcher, milk snatcher" echoed around Trafalgar Square. I had arrived.

    The opportunity to stage a protest as a fully-fledged adult and to do it outside Westminster was hugely attractive. Even moreso when I discovered that I was going to have to eat vast quantities of clotted cream ice-cream whilst protesting! The job? For Kelly's of Cornwall who are doing an amazing job in promoting the Cornish language whilst also promoting their new Eton Mess ice-cream. Yum!

    Days like this often get off to an early start so having attended to my hair and make-up at the hotel at 6.30am I was ready to start at 8 am while the local commuters walked determinedly to their work-place like ants yet unable to resist a cursory glance as 'Charles and Camilla' posed for photos in the gardens adjacent to the Houses of Parliament. Needless to say a member of the local constabulary had to come and check us out but we soon placated him with an ice-cream cone. ("All in the call of duty!" I assured the nice man!)

    Our role as the Royals was to wave our placard and shout out a few words in Cornish, all of which was to be captured on camera and presented to the newspapers for their use. Easier said than done. Before leaving home I had done my homework, got onto Youtube and investigated how to pronounce a few of the phrases we'd been given. Two hours later I was still unable to remember even one. The Cornish language, I decided, was as much of a mystery as Czech (which I have been trying to master for some twenty years now). My attempts to memorise even the basic greeting of "Myttin da!" (good morning for those of you who are unfamiliar with the language) and "Meur ras" (thank you) failed to get into my short-term memory, never mind the mid-term.

    Fortunately our hosts had kindly provided a crib board for us so we were soon able to protest loudly to camera, waving our placard and shouting out a few words in Cornish. Job done. Now for Trafalgar Square!

    I don't quite know what I expected from our stint in Trafalgar Square. Our job was to encourage the tourists to tweet something in Cornish in return for a free ice-cream. Fine. Fine that is until you discover that the vast majority of the visitors to Trafalgar Square are from every corner of the globe: Argentina, Columbia, Sweden, Japan, India and many other countries besides, the majority of whom had no English. The problem was that my Spanish/Swedish/Japanese are even more non-existant than my Cornish. Trying to explain the concept became increasingly challenging and my charades seemed only to confuse people further. In the end we all decided it was a great deal easier just to give folk a free ice-cream. However, that too presented a problem. No-one could grasp the concept that anyone would be giving away ice-cream. Eventually we got the ball rolling and soon we had a good crowd who joined us in our mini-protest to promote the Cornish language.

    It was a great day and has been followed up by an inspirational advert for Kelly's: the first advert ever to be braodcast in Cornish and I have to say it's wonderful. You can watch it here (but you might need to stock up on Kelly's dehen rew (ice-cream) before you start watching! Kernow bys vyken! (Cornwall for ever!)


Welcome to the blog for Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall Lookalike, Jane Mosse. I hope to give you an insight into what life is like when the world thinks you look like someone else!

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