In Which Your Scribe Meets Princess Olga...
It seemed like just another ordinary Friday here in Greenwich. Your scribe was sitting at a computer terminal in the library wondering what he should blog about today when he noticed a young woman asking for information at the reference desk. Something about her looked vaguely familiar, but from a distance it was hard to pin down.
Then the young person walked over to the staircase and started to ascend. The long blonde hair and the slim denim-clad legs set more bells a-ringing. By the time she was halfway up the staircase the penny had dropped: it was Princess Olga in person!
What was a scribe to do? Duty was clearly calling, and so he answered. He, too, climbed the curving Cesar Pelli staircase, and looked around. Olga was nowhere to be seen. She was not among the long rows of music CDs, nor wandering in the art gallery, nor looking over the shelves of DVDs, nor browsing the fiction stacks. For a moment your scribe thought she had simply vanished out of his life.
But then his eye caught a glimpse of her yellow shirt over at one of the on-line catalogues. He walked over, wondering what to say, his usual eloquence inexplicably AWOL. "Are you Olga?...Olga Litvinenko?" he stammered. "Yes," she replied, with a megawatt smile, and held out her hand to shake. "I blog about you," muttered your tongue-tied scribe; "I nominated you for Queen of Greenwich." She seemed to take this slightly off-the-wall statement in stride. Her poised and unaffected manner had a calming influence, and your scribe managed to carry on a actual conversation for a few minutes, asking about her college plans (California, here she comes!).
Having by then all but used up his dwindling reserves of intestinal fortitude, your scribe allowed as how it was nice to meet her, and bade her farewell while he was still able to walk without tripping over his own feet. He wishes to report that Olga's pictures do not begin to do her justice, as they fail to capture her warm and open personality, and her kindness in taking a few moments to chat with a total stranger.
What is it that Sir Alexander Fleming said about chance favoring the prepared mind, by way of describing his discovery of penicillin? Well, he was pretty much right on the mark. Slow of wit though your scribe may be, he was able to muddle through and recognize Princess Olga when opportunity knocked.
So much for the mind. But the hand - well, that's another matter. What hand, do you ask, gentle reader? The hand that shook the hand of Princess Olga, of course. Your scribe may never wash his hand again....