Bronwyn Maddox writes in the Times ,and I paraphrase, that Dave should stop promising “The Speech” about Europe and do what other Prime Ministers have always done , go to Brussels, know what you want and get what you can ..then come back victorious. I mean shape up you little boys at Number Ten, you really can’t explain anything about Europe because, as very clever American banker I spoke to yesterday tells me they are not economists. It’s the Blind leading the Blind because most people including moi don’t know what they are on about. Actually they are being wound up in knitting wool by a woman, Mrs M runs circles round them all and wears horrible power jackets. Fight Fire with fire boys, send Bronwyn Maddox as a special envoy, she is clever… no that is wrong, she is brilliant, she comes from a whole line of genius and she is a woman! We don’t want your speech Dave it will be a poor man’s “Sermon on the Mount” go see the film Lincoln Dave, Daniel Day Lewis says “go get them what ever it takes ” meaning votes for the Bill of Rights … personally I can’t remember a thing Dave has ever said and he has been our leader through monumental times . I suppose he thinks he is a pragmatist. But this will not prepare this great country for a referendum on one of the most important issues we have faced for fifty years. You don’t know the answers Dave so ask someone who does, and don’t ask us until we can understand it.
Really this fish thing is getting out of control , they want fish pie tonight. So I am putting on a bath cap to stop my hair smelling of Haddock as I prepare it.
Later I am going to see my brave wonderful daughter during her regular Chemo therapy, she is the most remarkable and perfect person and never complains, she is an inspiration to women suffering from Breast Cancer and is writing a book about it , and between treatments is full of vigour and fun raising a marvellous quiver of children and fluffing up an adorable husband . The old Chinese proverb says “ if your children are no better than you are you have lived in vain… I feel good about this.
Some of us went to see The film Les Miserable yesterday, believe me it is fantastic. The Sainted One said he didn’t want to see it because he had heard Hugh Jackman didn’t sing very well. News for you S.O. it isn’t his singing which send the entire female population berserk . This brings me to the really dull subject of e books and all those jealous freaks who hate writers and tell you that paper books are dead. Victor Hugo wrote this wonderful story which has just about everything going for it, including the subject of epiphany which is one of my favourite themes . He wrote it on paper in a thing called ink and it survived on paper as did all the great literary works . I often ask myself how anyone is going to compile interesting biographies of people or great diarists are going to survive on a hard drive, and how rooms are going to be embellished by shelves of e books, will they be called hard drive rooms …? Well don’t worry because I read that e books have had their day and that “the book” is back, apparently people don’t remember what they have read on a screen well what a surprise?
That brings me to making Marmalade, it is the most reassuring indication that some things never change, I have just made a lot of it and the Seville Oranges had to be obtained by a kind friend in North London because they were not obtainable South of the river where it was claimed that people don’t make things like that any more, this is of course another piece of evidence supporting the existence North South Divide. North Londoners are very snobby about us South London folk.
My grandson asked me if the delicious smell of Oranges was to cover up the smell of kippers he had left in the house last weekend? I do not know if he was joking, he has a delightfully dry sense of humour. This brings me to Hansard and the House of Commons , of course you will all know that this is a replication of the verbal semantics in that House of Gorillas laughingly called the House of Commons ( you will of course see the connection ). Thank you Matthew Parris, who must be the most sagacious of companions, he wrote in the Times that Dave must stop shouting and bowling out the other side. Of course he is right, but Matthew, you should know they all do that, especially in the home which is practice for the “House” it’s in the blood. I would love to hear Dave berating Sam on the subject of loading the dishwasher; it would be a long political address with lots of finger pointing, sure as hell not leading to any form of resolution, those sorts of domestic issues in my own experience of limited appeal , ” plus ca change” but then they probably do it differently up North London way.
We had a lot of people to lunch on Sunday in the Isle of Wight. One of my dearest friends attended and announced that she, and some other friends, had started a book club. This was naturally of enormous interest to me because I like talking to book clubs; by and large they listen politely to what I have to say, with the occasional gratifying titter. Now for me, this is especially rewarding, it builds my confidence because at present I live in house full of men and they never listen to anything I say. Of course you have to judge your audience carefully because all though I say it myself , I have some quite fruity jokes. Anyway I asked her what was their first choice of reading matter to be discussed. “Hello Magazine” she announced steadily. I was, of course rather taken aback and thought she was joking, but she wasn’t at least she was and she wasn’t . The first meeting was, she lamented, rather a failure in literary terms because as it turned out they had all read different issues. However they had a great time and I was pleased when she said they were now reading my latest book Flora’s Glory, which I suppose in some respects could be a kind of Hello to the eighteenth century. I offered to talk to them on the subject of my undoubted genius, actually there is a limit to what one can say about this, but invention is a fine thing and one which anyone who has lived with a politician will know. The trouble starts, when as they say “ you believe your own bullshit”.
On our return to the male dominated household in London we were greeted by the most awful smell of kippers which had been consumed at lunch time. I am very sensitive to the smell of fish, I hate it and so do most women, it reminds me of hot days at school when all the girls gathered for assembly. The house has been very cold for a while as a massive fumigation programme was put into action. This pleased the Sainted One because the heating could be turned off while all the doors and windows were open.
During Christmas we managed to squeeze in the annual viewing of The Sound of Music, which must be the greatest film of all time. There is nothing like it for cheering everyone up . I once performed the role of Maria with an amateur group in Eastbourne, we had full house for several performances. A deliciously eccentric woman was the Mother Superior and upset all the Spanish waiters in the Grand Hotel on the esplanade by going there in full costume and responded to their respectful genuflections by demanding a double Scotch on the rocks and a packet of Rothmans. Whilst watching the film I mentioned, as I always do, how drop dead gorgeous Christopher Plummer was and how I closed my eyes during said performances and thought about him. One of the male persons made a nasty remark, I shall not repeat it here.
My adorable, bionic, cleaning assistant has been on holiday. The house has been full to the brim and at one time the washing occupied the whole floor space of what is laughingly called the laundry room. Hoovers are very heavy, especially when carried up five floors. We had a change of guests in our studio and I split a gut getting it right, but during Christmas a temporary occupant had done something terrible with the kettle. This and other domestic hygiene and culinary issues have been a marathon, and like a Sumo wrestler I find the only way to endure this is to emit loud verbal expletives. One of the many males who occupy the rooms in this house did come out during a particularly vocal period, thus interrupting another twelve hour rest, and comment the I did sound rather stressed. This sentiment has been remarked upon and concurred with by the Sainted One who suggests that these duties should be carried out with a bright smile and a cheerful demeanour, to which I replied that women do it, but they don’t necessarily have to pretend they enjoy it. I think this response has been deemed to be offensive, I can’t think why?