Tales from the Watercooler: I still get a thrill from a good motorcade

Merkel swept past me as I was riding my scooter to work this week

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The Independent Online

Motorcades – those police-escorted mini convoys of half a dozen huge black cars – are fairly common in London. You fill a city with VIPs, they are going to need shifting from A to B. That was especially true this week with the visit of Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Her motorcade swept past me as I was riding my scooter to work. Now, growing up in Glasgow, the closest we ever got to this kind of automotive show-of-force was when warring ice cream vans would try to run each other off the road. So, even though I have lived in London for years, I still get a thrill when a motorcade passes by. The biggest, most impressive example I ever saw was when Michelle Obama was in town. Hers must have consisted of 10 gigantic Secret Service Lincoln Navigator SUVs with flashing blue lights and blackened windows. It was impressive. I had to stop myself yelling: “Yes you can, girl!”

Coincidentally, I saw another motorcade this week. As I rode along The Mall away from Buckingham Palace, a cluster of Rollers came gliding past in the opposite direction. As one of the cars passed, I caught a glimpse of a face staring sadly out at the world. Our eyes met for an instant. It was Princess Anne. I think I would have preferred a swerving ice cream van…