I had to hide the Sunday Times from our more sensitive guests on Sunday. As if Sunday Lunches are not challenging enough especially after the horsemeat scandal. I looked suspiciously at the gravy stock cubes and then I picked up the paper with a nice cup of organic coffee. Low and behold there is Marquee woman Mantel again and she is telling us all how often she meets the royal family. Fine so far except I have always been told that when you talk about having tea with the Queen it is time for the men in the white coats. Any way there she was in Buck House none other, and she and the Queen are close so close that and I quote “I stared at her …….I passed my eyes over her as a cannibal views his dinner…..my gaze sharp enough to pick the meat off her bones …..there were only two of us in the vast room and such was the hard power of my stare that Her Majesty looked back at me.”
The point of the piece was, I think, that the Queen was unhappy with her lot and would rather prefer to be a frightfully clever woman writing books about dead Royals and living in a small flat in some sort of seaside town. Well got news for you Marquee Cannibal woman , I too have met the Queen, quite often actually, in an official capacity and she has a dazzling smile and perfect teeth and people who meet her are usually very struck by the way she makes them feel interesting and are generally thrilled by the experience. People who know her well tell me she is a profoundly happy resolved person, who loves her family and has an uproarious sense of humour and is a load of fun, and would be the first to clean up a dogs mess off the royal carpet . She is of course respected and revered by all who meet her….(except for Marquee Woman) , added to which she is highly intelligent and probably the most well informed woman in history; as well as having an encyclopaedic memory . So Marquee woman get your teeth out of the Royal family, both alive and long dead and out of whom you have made a great deal of money. Meet the Queen properly Marquee woman and she would make mincemeat of you…..I just thought of that don’t you think it is clever !!!All this makes me wonder if Mantel does have some sort of eating disorder, is that related to weird looking teeth? I mean how many folk do you know who think about eating the Queen?
Watch this space because. I bet Marquee woman will soon tell her PR team that she is directly descended from Henry 8th . Humm.
How the world must laugh as England’s politicians are having another sex scandal. So there is this specimen Chris Rennard who must surely be wearing a Michelin body suit designed by a special effects genius who should be up for and Oscar ( the effects person I mean) ,allegedly feeling up two party workers on sofa. I mean give us a break, is this man out of a freak show or what? Or was it some sort of sick honey trap? And to cap it all apparently this Chris bloke likes to go about in bare feet which leads me to assume that he has a health issue with them, a form of athletes foot no doubt contracted from the exertions encountered lumbering after voluptuous parliamentary wannabes don’t go there girls it will end in tears. It’s terribly demeaning of Nick Clegg to have allowed this insult to femininity to go unchallenged. Are all these people in Westminster selected for their lack of sexual attractiveness?
I am back to my suggestion that we start electing gorgeous clever transsexual people for Parliament, this would have two advantages, firstly it would overcome the appalling resistance to women in Westminster, since they would not tolerate the patronizing attitude to women in Parliament, and certainly would not demean themselves by sitting on a sofa with a fat blob with smelly bare feet. Secondly it would add some tone to the place, and at least if there was a sex scandal it would be nice to look at. Coming “hot foot” after the other “Chris Gate” I am beginning to wonder if they have all lost the plot, like Hilary Mantel whose horrible onslaught on the blameless Duchess of Cambridge has brought her such notoriety that her book sales have doubled. Are we a country which has begun to worship fat ugly people with bad teeth who talk in Mickey Mouse voices?
We had a lot of people to dinner this week and I cooked for two days , it was well worth the effort and they would all have looked great on the front pages of a sex scandal . The food was a great success although the Sainted One remarked that the fish mousse was rather lacking in flavour. I guess the subtlety of it escaped him. Yesterday I had a small operation on my hand for a thing called Dubitrons it is hereditary. I meet a lot of very clever people who also have this, and am told we are all descended form the Vikings , I always knew there was some explanation for my incredible genius, I mentioned this to the Sainted One today and he gave me a funny look ( looks do not come cheap round here) and said that Margaret Thatcher also had it….. see what I mean.
Has Hilary Mantel gone nuts or is it just sour grapes? A horrible character assassination of our beloved Duchess of Cambridge is unacceptable but all the more so from a woman who needs to get her teeth fixed and wears a converted marquee. Does Marquee woman think she should be a role model for young girls? Marquee woman has given us too much information about her insides and claims her appearance is a result of the treatment she has to have for her not so private ailment. Well that was until yesterday a matter for her, but now marquee woman has thrown herself wide open ( whoops excuse the choice of words) to personal attack and much of it will be about her own appearance. She describes our beautiful immaculate Duchess as if she were a brainless Cindy Doll and on the day the poor girl gets up off her pregnancy sick bed to attend a charity event. It’s open season now Marquee woman, and haven’t you read anything about the greatest health risk in the UK which is obesity. The Duchess has got it so right she looks gorgeous is a great boost to the economy she is doing a grand job and will produce a clever beautiful child.
Bang goes your invite to Kensington Palace so you had better become a disciple for weight watchers you would have a great fan club . Personally I don’t think Marquee woman knows anything about how women feel and what they want which is why in her books she concentrates on creepy men, and lots of detail to let us know how hard she has researched her material.
Talking of looks underneath you will sees a picture of my daughter Lucie looking fabulous fifteen months after being diagnosed with serious Breast Cancer. Her draconian treatment and weight inducing drugs have not made her look anything but healthy and gorgeous. She is an example of looking good to feel good an example of how even the most terrible of afflictions can be controlled with courage and perseverance .
The Sainted One has definitely taken a vow of silence. Mind you I suppose the endless stream of stuff which comes from moi, which of course I find absolutely fascinating ( well someone has to) must at times be rather annoying . The silence thing would be OK actually if it were not punctuated with rather pointless corrections an illustration of which would be , “ my goodness it is four O clock already,” This happened in the car and the response was” no it is one minute to.”
I suppose this is reassuring really because this at least is proof of sentient life.
We returned to our London abode where several young males are in residence, to find an empty fridge except for a poppadum, half a very stale yoghurt, four potatoes and two shrivelled carrots. There was however a pungent smell of frying bacon, this I have tried to disguise with samples of room spray acquired over the festive season. Our Internet was down on the Isle of Wight which made me feel very paranoid. Have just opened backlog of emails and a creepy letter about a lost jumper. Never ever open something which says personal and confidential. There is no such thing , secrets are always bad , transparency in all things is the way to protect yourself from the mendacity of the world , how many political careers have been ruined by them when a simple and sad admission would have resulted in a sympathy vote, believe me? Once someone who should not have been in my house at the time, misconnected the answer machine and when a despicable nosy reporter rang hoping to bully and trick one of my children, they had a complete recording of a very confidential conversation of such sensational content that any rumours that might have been circulating about this were instantly dismissed as a giant send up. Game over as they say.
Groups of shrieking women trying to pretend they are having a nice time is a sad sight. Doesn’t matter how old you are ladies, a smattering of Gay blokes in your address book is what you need. They are terribly funny and witty and they have great manners because, by and large they like sparky women and, as is instanced in the terrific show Private On Parade, they are good friends to women in distress. They do not have issues as so many ageing men do, the principle one being that even if they are talking to a presentable middle aged rocket scientist who is female , they still feel obliged to let her know, indeed to let the world know, that they are fecund matinee idols who would not go anywhere near the whiff of HRT and carry condoms in their pockets and not for health reasons, dream on sunshine. Never mind the fact that you might be gagging at the nasal hair and bad teeth. So much nicer to be with a delightful well kept gay bloke who laughs at your jokes and knows you are not trying to hit on anything. That’s why I am so nervous about Gay marriage, it won’t be the same if they all want to bring her indoors along. Also how will gay marriages be annulled for non-consummation? Has anyone thought about this seriously?
I was rather hit at lunch time with my joke about the two ladies at the cinema, one complains to the other that her neighbour is masturbating . The friend suggests they move and the reply is that they can’t because “ he is using my hand.” I love that and so did everyone .. you see these are all clever enlightened people who have raunchy senses of humour, it is the only way.
I am presently reading Patrick O’ Brian’s Unknown Shore, part of the research for my new book about the Georgian Navy and the much maligned George II. I ask myself again why history is so badly taught when it is so exciting and relevant? It is good thing I have that inner private world to delve into . There are some things which are best avoided and as such a lot of the world is bullshit, I have discovered the ubiquitous tactic of obfuscation. Which is the “Conference Call ” which excuses you from vexatious, pretending to be nice occasions. People look very respectful and impressed especially when you say it is very confidential and sensitive, recently it has been very useful.
Over the weekend I was with some very dear friends and before we new it we found ourselves casting a spell on some persons we all recognized as phony ruthless idiots, who will one day find out that it is not a good idea to create hostages to fortune . Bang goes my new year resolution to only think kind thoughts. Actually this is not possible. Its the same as never having a drink, you then become such a bore that there is nobody to drink with anyway.
One last thing. There is something that still worries me about the disparity of fair play within the area of civil partnerships many of which are embarked upon for tax reasons. How about two elderly sisters living in the family home and when one of then dies the house has to be sold. Do they have to have sex to embark on the necessary Civil partnership?
We had a delightful dinner at the House of Lords last night our host and hostess are glamorous and high flying and I usually feel rather underdone on these occasions until I find some common ground on which I can tell everyone how terribly clever I once was. Last night I started on about The Loss of The Wager in 1741 about which I am writing at the moment in my book which features my great ancestor Admiral Anson. For those of you who do not know the loss of this ship was a dramatic and keenly felt event since it was the supply ship and essential to the needs of the rest of the fleet, its loss deprived them of the sustenance which would have prevented many hundreds of subsequent deaths on this epic voyage which circumnavigated the globe.
Our host did not know anything about this event and after a while I could see that my story did not have what is known as legs. I asked him if I was being terribly boring and of course he said no. But then he quickly began to tell me about the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the war in the Balkans. This he did most eloquently as one would expect him to, I am going to read up about. But the point of this story is that about the time that I lost my “ wey” with the naval story( I hope you got the pun) the Sainted One was regaling an enraptured group who were hanging on his every word, and I strained my ears to hear just what it could be which was of such a sensational nature . Guess What…..!! it was the story about the Haddock which he said I left to poison him. I do not know whether the dark side of this event was suggested in detail, but one thing is certain you never can tell what people are going to find of interest, perhaps I should get onto health issues otherwise known as Organ Recitals. The Sainted One does this a lot . Life is just not fair is it?
So the greedy supermarket chains have been dobbed in for tricking us into eating Dobbin. So why is the public becoming all outraged that we have been consuming horses slaughtered and transported in the most disgusting way in Lasagne’s and other meat products? I have not noticed any such sensitivities about poor old milk cows that are past their sell by date, or wretched sheep who are shipped about the globe in cruel and inhumane circumstances, and those darling little lambs who dance about on Easter cards . I suppose it would be the same sort of outrage if it were Rover the poor old dog we were eating with a nice green salad. The fact is that we do not have to use meat from abroad we have our own and plenty of it. Also we do have slaughter houses for horses all though anyone who gets the point of horses will feel a repulsion about this . These poor loyal animals have a relationship with human beings which is time honoured and retired horses deserve our respect.
The simple fact is that all meat products should be labelled and the customer should be able to see how it was produced and where it comes from. I have a love hate relationship with meat eating, and I am passionate about the work of Compassion In World Farming, who have a practical and effective attitude to the world of meat eaters. They have fought for the humane treatment of the creatures we serve on our tables which chimes with the long term benefits of healthy and informed consumption of food; the journey from field to table should be as short and humane as possible. Anyone who wants to learn more about this and protecting their families from the dangers of eating uncontrolled products should go to the Compassion website. The link is on my website.
Our fridge is much in use, two very charming grandsons are resident at the moment and we talk a lot about food. The fridge door is opened frequently and the worn patch on the floor in front of it is getting bigger. Last night one of them ate the dogs dinner which was carefully placed on the bottom shelf next to some mixed vegetable stew which also disappeared. I am told it was delicious and have not revealed the truth so you see I am as bad as the evil supermarket chains in principle. Mind you labelling here is of no avail, I made a chocolate roulade and put a note on it saying do not touch. This made no difference the sides were shaved off in one of the night time fridge raids.
During Sunday lunch someone found out that the names of persons who are vexatious to me get put in a jar in the deep freeze. Sometimes they get rehabilitated but this has to be undertaken with care.When this was revealed , there was an ugly rush to the freeze in the middle of lunch and it was not so much the names as the combinations which caused the most hilarity. I did put the Sainted One there for bit. But not for long on that occasion, because he knew something was going on and made a nice remark about something, only one mind you….and got some theatre tickets. However the jar has a vacancy because the young ones complained that I was being unreasonable with one of the people because they meant well. This is rubbish of course because people who mean well are lying deceitful toads because if they meant well they wouldn’t actually piss you off. The Sainted One should watch his step with this thing he has about moi and foxes, apparently the recent horror in Bromley is my fault because I do feed the foxes at the end of the garden along with Bobbie and Arthur. My theory is that if they are not hungry they won’t attack babies. A fox expert I know and respect says the male foxes must be caught, castrated, and returned to their families where they will become decent foxes living in well ordered, self-limiting, communities. I agree with that. The adorable huge grandson who ate the dogs dinner has just made a prawn salad , he is a marine biologist. I am thinking carefully about this.
Yesterday I went to see the Manets at the Royal Academy. The thing about his work which is so inspiring is his love of people and domestic life, it is an affectionate take on life and he looks for the beauty in things as opposed to the ugliness. My mentor the painter Paul Maze was also like that, he found beauty wherever he looked, frozen in one moment. I learnt an interesting thing at the weekend, which was an explanation as to why it is more difficult to recall names and things as you get older. Apparently the brain is too full of information and the filing system has to click into action and go into the archives and the thing flashes into the brain at some wholly unsuitable time . Of course this is why when therapy delves into past events that the brain has wisely put into a delete file are resurrected it causes a tropical storm. I am hopeless at managing many things in my own life but excellent at suggesting practical solutions for other people, as I know my own failings so well. Often we draw circles we start with them in the middle centre of their domain and then construct circles around them in order of priority. It works brilliantly and interesting things come of it.
I watched Mary Berry on my I player last night and thought she was fabulous, what an inspiration the woman is and still going strong with perfect make up , manicured nails, pretty hair and homely food . I vowed to sharpen my act but it is how to fit it all in that is the problem round here. The Sainted One came out of his study twice yesterday . I won’t say why. Today I will be thinking of Mary Berry as I prepare for yet another family party here. I shall make a chocolate roulade for a birthday and try to do as well as MB, sadly it is a send off for one of the many who refer to me as Gaga. He is off to some faraway place for three years and I am very sad about it for many reasons, but the circle of life will bring him back , this I know.
Elizabeth Harwood was my dearest friend, I met her when she rented a cottage we had near Glyndebourne when she was singing the countess In Figaro. She was Godmother to my son Andy and she encouraged him to take up the Flute at which he was supremely gifted . He played Gluck’s Dance of the Blessed Spirits at her funeral when he was only twelve; it was then that I realized he was a rare performer, and had real courage and fortitude . I always thought she was there in spirit and still is . I think of her a lot, especially in the last fourteen months since my beautiful daughter was diagnosed with the same breast cancer. I think she is there because twenty years on women do not die, thanks to the incredible progress in treating this horrible disease they live . They may never be cured but they contain it, and live good and in a sense more valuable lives . I have been watching with awe as this battle has been fought, it makes me proud . I found this picture of Elizabeth and wished this research had been more advanced then, she still had so much to offer the world . I often feel she is there watching this miracle.