When I was a little girl and getting a bit too uppity my mother, like thousands of mothers before her, would ask in an exasperated voice: ‘Who do you think you are—the Queen of Sheba?’
I was puzzled by this, as I had no real desire to be the Queen of Sheba. I had seen the film ‘Solomon and Sheba’ at a tender age, so understood this to involve being biblical, but with pointy bras, really uncomfortable looking sandals and having to spend time with the Pharaoh from 'The Ten Commandments', who wore dresses, looked even more ridiculous with hair than he did without (apologies, Yul Brynner) and seemed to be cross all the time.
It was all very confusing, as none of this ever seemed to quite gel with what I was learning in Sunday School, though I have to admit I spent a great deal of my Sunday School career climbing over the fence to steal strawberries from the garden next door; hiding in the minister’s perfectly enormous waders, which he wore for full body immersion baptisms (it was a Southern Baptist Church--I had a terrible Proustian shock the first time I encountered a condom, as the rubbery smell was identical--it's a wonder I don't have issues); and reading Nancy Drew books—of which there was an impressive collection mixed in with all the worthy volumes on missionaries, angelic children and evil communists in the tiny library in the church hall. Truly Nancy was my personal saviour and role model: I longed to grow up to have shiny hair, drive a blue Mustang and cleverly solve mysteries whilst in grave, personal peril.
I daresay I behaved a like a miniature Queen of Sheba quite a lot of the time—my father and brother still regard me as a spoilt brat. So you may imagine my surprise when I learned from The Sunday Times that, thanks to DNA research, the direct descendent of the Queen of Sheba has been identified. She lives in Edinburgh and is a former English language teacher who describes herself as ‘very anti-bling’ (that's the Edinburgh influence), though she admits she is ‘very fond of middle-eastern food' .
Better still, the putative Queen of Sheba does not have a car; she is a member of the city car club. Clearly the Queen of Sheba Jr. is a right-thinking person, so any day I might find myself on a bus with her. Now, I wonder where the King of Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar hang out?