From the Horses Mouth To the Plate, The Dogs Dinner and The Names in the Freeze.

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.

Manet and the Circle of Life

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 Harwoodand Living not Dying with Breast Cancer

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.

Something Fishy and The House of Commons.

The Sainted One thinks I have poisoned him. The offending item is a lovely piece of haddock left for him while I embarked on one my marathon forty eight hour chatting sessions with very funny clever friends in Sussex. On my return the atmosphere was grim and resentful. No amount of logic can disabuse the accuser even though I am still very upset by the lavatory brush incident. I have assured him that should I decide to dispatch him it would not be with a piece of haddock. I have been thinking about this whilst being assailed by the trivia occupying the minds and hearts of the country’s representatives in Parliament. Are they all mad and unfit for purpose I ask myself? The Sainted One gets very pompous and defensive when people rant about this as I do , but let me tell you something, I think there is something peculiar in the air in Westminster, quite normal people turn into puffed up idiots the moment they get there. Then there is the effect this has on their families they drive them mad, the last few year has seen a graveyard of political marriages and vengeful wives, who will go to any lengths to destroy their testosterone crazed “manopausal” husbands. We are seeing this played out time and again. Actually I wish the stars of this particular rocky horror show looked nicer, it would make it much more fun if they didn’t all look like a car crash, how other countries must laugh as they see the headlines in the British papers, sex scandals in other countries always involve fabulous looking women and the “ dolce vita” and slick looking blokes who would be a great dinner date. I wish male Members of Parliament looked more like Hugh Jackman, but they don’t they all look a bit seedy. Anyway back to the strange case of the poisoned haddock, I think the Sainted One’s paranoia about this is attributable to the visceral goings on in Parliament, once they have tasted the poisoned chalice they never get over it you see.

Hypocracy and Truth dies in the Public Square

Poor Chris Huhne anyone who is gloating about his nemesis today should think carefully. Three Hundred thousand people have switched points on their driving licences according to the AA. The real truth about all this is that the offence was committed before the man got into Parliament, at that time presumably he did not realize the possible implications of this once his life was public property, I should know, parliamentary families suffer terribly from lack of privacy, I have lived with that. This is not to say that swopping points on your driver’s licence is acceptable of course it isn’t, this minor incident came back to bite him because he thought he could continue to be a private person when he entered Parliament. He embarked on a quest for personal happiness as he saw it. But hell hath no fury etc and his wife was dangerously riled . His children sent him hate mail and the driving incident was resurrected with all the vehemence of a suicide bombing, I wish Mrs Huhne had had a good friend who could have told her to let it all go, brought herself a wonderful house in Tuscany made him pay for it and shopped till she dropped then taken a lover or two and had a ball , because as a friend said to me once “ You can’t put the “cock” back “.

But she didn’t. An entire family is brought down, many lives are ruined and it is awful to behold. Of course it will remind us of the Profumo affair, what brought down that man was the fact that he lied to Parliament, he could probably have got away with boffing a call girl. But Huhne will probably make good use of his time in prison writing letters for other prisoners and advising them on legal matters, because that is what posh blokes do in prison. He will probably have a serious moment and become born again and become a lay preacher. One can’t help feeling desperately sorry for them all.

Charity Begins at Home and the Case of Dave Who Thinks he Can Save The World.

In our house we are suffering from over kill , why is Dave always on the TV in some foreign part wearing that dreadful blue suit , even in the most extreme of climates it the same suit, same words, same message, same enlarged forehead never sweating like everyone else, and the suit remains perfect never dusty or creased. Does he go about in some sort of protective rubber clothing which is removed just before he comes on screen? … which reminds me …. You know what one very naughty cartoonist said about Dave’s head he really must change his hair. But I digress with Dave there is always a lecture, faintly patronizing, and it’s about the dreadful state of which ever country he is going to save with taxpayers money. Take a look round you at home Dave, but you will need to jettison that awful statement suit and get some serious flack wear . The Country is going to the dogs Dave, people are freezing to death sleeping rough on the streets in all major cities , hundreds of people are dead because of failings on the NHS. Children are not being educated … you name it Dave it’s all on your own doorstep, you don’t need to go to Africa. You fiddle while your own country disintegrates. If you are sleeping rough on the street or being thrown out of your home, because you have lost your job and can’t pay the mortgage you don’t give a toss about Gay Marriage. Take that suit off Dave and get your hands dirty your country needs you, or perhaps it doesn’t?

The Sainted One’s word processor has packed up! I vaguely suggested that it might be beyond repair as it is ten years old and the printer is all of twenty, Needless to say I got my head bitten off” It’s brand new”, I was told. I nodded and muttered something nasty. It’s the same when the window cleaner comes for the twice yearly clean “ they were done last week” we are always informed. And then there were the missing snow boots, they went years ago because they had some sort of insect colony creating their own biosphere inside them. “I wore them last winter,” was the cry I thought I heard weeping from the study ,but I wasn’t sure, it could have been the TV. There always seems to be someone giving birth on the TV screaming and shouting with many people staring I don’t think I remember births like that. I would have got my face slapped. All the midwives were rather unpleasant. I remember and there was a lot about taking an aspirin and calming down because you might upset the other mothers. And there was the odd lofty consultant wearing a bow tie for obvious reasons . All these horrible birth scenes should do wonders for population control.