Oprah was at the Castle for the Outreach programme and had discussed with Iris about going out because the weather was supposed to improve. Iris got the feeling that she really wanted to go on an outing and so agreed to organise a trip to a local park for lunch. She went to the chef's wing to discuss the lunch plans and as soon as she neared the building she could smell floor cleaner, it was that strong. When she got inside, she mentioned to Mr Kleen that the floor cleaner seemed awfully strong and he said he knew, he had just cleaned up after Lord Charles who had peed on the floor.
Lord Andrew’s mother was at the computer and heard Iris and Oprah organising the outing. She asked what Outreach was doing even though she had no intention of letting Lord Andrew join in the group. She gave Iris one of her cold looks with her stiff upper lip while Iris explained what was going on in as pleasant a manner as she could muster. Oprah then ushered Iris down the hall to whisper to her that she shouldn’t let her dictate the agenda. Iris shrugged her shoulders and said that this mother had said worse things to her before, but she didn’t let it bother her.
Queen Nef got her new glasses fitted and then she was ready along with Princess Astrid and Lord William. Iris remarked to Julia about how Princess Astrid’s arms were slightly sunburned, but Julia said this happened yesterday at a barbecue despite having on sunscreen. This was the barbecue that had nearly smoked Iris out of her apartment because the grill was set up directly below one of her windows and the chef had used a ton of lighter fluid to get it started.
Duncan went to a farm to collect Lord Felix and Samantha who had spent the morning there cleaning out a cow barn while Iris and Oprah served the Royals macaroni and cheese for lunch. Princess Astrid sneezed several times with food in her mouth, all over the table and Iris. During the meal, Janine happened by with her husband and stopped for a chinwag. Professor Wiseman's father also came by as he was the new owner of the park and worked there. He seemed under a lot of pressure and was a bit annoyed that his son wasn't on the outing.
After the meal, Iris took photos of each Royal posing by some decorative wall hangings while Oprah did a little shopping in the boutique next door with one Royal at a time.
She bought a set of plastic eyes that could clip on the nose (the photo is the closest image I could find online) and a pack of fudge. She happily posed with Lord William with her eyeball gadget on her face. A good time was had by all.
Upon arrival back at the Castle, Petunia came over to Iris and noticed her taking the Activity notebook from her bag. She asked,
“Did you take the notebook with you on the outing?”
Iris replied, “Yes, otherwise I wouldn’t have had time to write the notes.”
Petunia retorted, “Don’t you ever take the notebook out of the Castle again!”
Iris did not find this pleasant but smiled because Duncan , who had overheard this, gave Petunia a hand gesture when she walked away. Iris wondered about Petunia’s reaction because it seemed unreasonable, especially since she’d never taken the notebook out of the Castle before.
Later that evening, Rebecca was talking to Julia and then called to Iris as she passed by on her way home.
“Did you put sunscreen on Princess Astrid?”
Iris, “No, we went directly into the mini-bus for a ten minute ride and then straight indoors. So I didn't see the need.”
Rebecca, “But look at her arms, they are sunburned.”
Iris, “Not guilty.”
Iris wondered why Julia hadn’t told Rebecca that Princess Astrid’s arms were pink before she went out for lunch. She also wished she’d asked what Princess Astrid had done all afternoon, because that’s when the sun came out and quite possibly when her pink arms got pinker. Sometimes, work required being quick to draw and being defensive without seeming to be so.
She got home and thought that some days are like this, one attack after another. There was nothing more to it. Iris was glad she would have the next day off though and planned to relax.