Silver Tongued Foxes, Never be Your Age, and Taciturn On or Off???

One of my missions in life is to stop the Sainted One being his age. The saying one has heard so often applied to teenagers is “be your age”. That of course is bad advice, nobody wants to be their age, whatever it is when you think about it, and as one of the great sages said “youth is waste d on the young”. Anyway the Sainted One  got going on one of his daring do stories at lunch here  with more of my relatives, and of course they had not heard this one before whereas , me, well I have heard it  many times, but it has changed dramatically over the last thirty years. It is to do with piloting an aircraft, at one stage it had a bit more going for it, because there was mention of flying a spare kidney in a small plane over the Alps in a snow storm. The kidney bit, seems to have got lost in the realms of time, because some rather unkind person asked if there was bacon with it? But yesterday they all listened in rapt attention, and as it has changed quite a lot and there is a new element introduced, I was actually listening to see what the latest version would be ,  I was not paying attention to the table and found myself putting salt and pepper on my cousins plate for him, and was about to start cutting up his meat. Everybody was very polite about it and laughed, but I am not sure it is a good sign. I then began to relate how the S O and Moi first met and his suave chat up line, and one of the more outspoken relatives commented that the Sainted One was a “silver tongued fox”.

Foxes are cunning and sly, and I like them actually, because they are good house keepers and they cut off chickens heads, and plan to come back for them later because in they are stocking up their larders. I often think about this when I am filling up my freeze with frozen chicken portions. For this reason I refrain from lecturing Sandy the patriarch fox at the end of our garden logically he would say that there is no difference. Actually Sandy is a taciturn sort of fellow, but he get what he wants. I don’t expect he is very chatty at home with the vixens. But I have seen him putting on one hell of a great show when the moon is full. This does in fact put me in mind of the S O who is silent a lot and complained again that he did not appreciate the snarky way I lug the washing down the five flights of stairs on a Monday, and suggested a bright helpful manner would be more fitting,  as you can imagine this  went down like a lead balloon. Now you understand why I talk to myself and to all the people who come here to eat, and my very agreeable dogs.

Now I often wonder if this taciturn thing is actually a turn off, or a turn on. It is probably better than some inane domestic chatter. So yes lets go for “Taciturnon” . More on the subject of long time married people, it’s time to put yourself in a care home if you start talking about “WE” all the time like some conjoined twin. I could not possibly do that . I take exception to someone knowing what I am doing all day and as for somebody answering for me with the “we think” thing , no chance. The S O never knows what I am thinking which is just as well.

There are A levels going on here, and the boy is working his, you know what, off. He should be a great success in life, and if he does well later on and becomes rich, he had promised me lunch at the Ritz. The pastoral care begins in the fridge and the creation of comfort food. Tricky because I am on a diet. But I have learned to eat little bits and slowly. Not my thing actually, because restraint is not really a virtue in my opinion, but quality makes for restraint, it is not quantity that counts. I have just eaten a dressed crab in the garden shed. Sandy knows but he also knows when to keep stum.

Serendipity Grace and Visitors.

I bet you all encounter serendipity all the time and don’t see it staring you in the face. How about this one? Today I surfaced and spoke to my publishers , because I am writing a book called Summers Grace , what I hope will be the third of a trilogy for the wondrous Quartet. I spoke for the first time to their very savvy newish publicist, and of course she is called Grace. Not only that, she turns out to be best buddies with my eldest granddaughter. She and I are going to get along!!!!! More on this, as they say watch this space. It’s great to love your publishers , not many people do; I once heard a publisher declaim in a tired sort of voice , “Its Ok being a publishers if it wasn’t for the authors”.

Now about these visitors, firstly , I thought yesterday that the breakfast granola was unusually gritty and that the sesame seeds looked rather dark. On closer inspection I discovered a flourishing mouse new town complete with schools, health care, hospitals catering outlets, and four star accommodation. I feel awful about this but Tom the mouse man is coming on Friday. The other news is that a number of NEW ODD SOCKS have come to live here. They must have moved in over the weekend when we were away. Of course there is always a history and maybe a happy ending for an odd sock. I have laid them out in rows on the kitchen table.

Then there is the cousin reunion which is happening again at the end of May. The Texans, the Italians and others from far-flung places; these remarkable people all come from the same grandparents, they have all done astonishing things because of primogenitor. Their grandparents were chucked out of the nest, mine too of course, which is why we have all these fabulous interesting cousins. I had lunch with one of them yesterday and his story began in Canada, but he seems to have harnessed all his talents and is raising a dazzling family as regular Brits.

By and large these plans are under close censorship and I know you will all be very discrete, the Sainted One gets twitchy about all this, I have only told him about the ones who live in Steyning, who are coming to lunch on Sunday. We will talk about our grandma a lot and her sausage dog Jimmy. I always felt this dog was rather underappreciated by us, I see it all differently now of course because I am trying to be tolerant in all things …… no I am not actually. I don’t want to be one of those Mrs Mouse Saint Women who wear old clothes and look neat ….. and always knows best and is referred to as “the salt of the earth” . No chance actually.

Love Is All it Takes, is That Really True???

Actually no, it takes a bit more than that. A bit of money and a fabulous faded villa on the Italian Riviera, Oh and I forgot to mention Piers Brosnan. Eat your heart out Hugh Jackman, Piers Brosnan is every middle aged woman’s dream, and he has great hair, I wonder if he gets his suits at Hacketts? Today has been a challenging day and many a tear has been shed quietly, and there have been some things which unexpectedly showed a great deal of love and kindness; I am told it is OK to be sad. Of course that is true, it is the beginning of wisdom, but even so, thank you to the Danish genius who made that lovely film we have just seen “Love Is All It takes”. It quite lifted my mood, but we got home from the cinema feeling very happy except they are economising on the heating, banking on all the ladies being warmed by the simmering looks in Mr Brosnan’s eyes. But I felt rather cold, in fact so cold, I began to feel I might have kidney failure.

I suggested a fire to the Sainted One … you know the sort which has to be lit with MATCH! This was greeted with amazement and the question was repeated twice. I held my ground, and then there was an in depth interrogation as to how long before I went to bed, and therefore was it worth it? The cut-off point was two hours. But that is real life for you. I dread the day when this criteria is applied to a new coat for example. Anyway to be fair there is a wonderful fire now, men would have better lives if they imagined themselves in a film script.

Sir Cloudesley Shovell, Lifes A bitch, and It Boils Down to Money Mostly.

Ever think life is rather unfair, believe me consider the fate of Sir Cloudesley Shovell and you will think again. Sir Cloudesley had a distinguished naval career, and lived a life of unblemished rectitude. He served in the Nine Years War, and was appointed Commander in Chief of the British Fleets, he was also a Member of Parliament. So far very good. But the navy were cheeseparing skinflints, and were not prepared to finance the work into developing a way of calculating longitude.

Our hero was, it seems infallible. But on November 8th 1707, Sir Cloudesley was returning from yet another triumph against the French when he took his entire fleet , the pride of the British navy onto the rocks off The Isles Of Scilly. Two thousand sailors were lost, and it was perhaps the greatest disaster in Naval history , and all for the want of Longitude. There is a suggestion that he jumped ship whilst the going was good, in any event he managed to struggle ashore, but was murdered by a local woman who took a fancy to a valuable emerald ring he was wearing. You see what I mean about life … but then one could say, the shame of all this would have been hard for him to live with. But why I am interested in the story, is that thirty years later, another great naval voyage was to set off, without the greatest invention in naval history, the Harrison clock which would have prevented a repetition of this disaster. And all because the admiralty had not changed, they knew Harrison had the clock, indeed it had been tried a few years earlier on the Flag ship of the new venture the Centurion. The Commodore George Anson, pleaded with the naval board, but they would not advance the money for the final development. One theory is that the naval board did not want the clock to fall, into the hands of the enemy, and they did not want to give Harrison the promised reward for his invention. Whatever the reasons, there was of course another great loss of life almost as large as Sir Cloudesely’s doomed voyage, and all for the want of Longitude. You will be able to read about this in nine months when I have finished Summers Grace …… now of course our great navy could fit onto the Serpentine. Makes one think.

Pivetol Encounters in a Jacuzzi.

I was feeling quite good about myself this morning, but not anymore. There are a lot of wonderful people coming to lunch and I spent all day yesterday cooking. I must say it does all look very nice. Plus I have a new makeup which I am assured fills in all the wrinkles. Unwisely I got into a dialogue with the Sainted One who it is fair to say did the breakfast today. There is a lot of talk about the political assassination of “you know who” I won’t mention the name again because it is now overkill……. The thing has been done to death!!!! But I reminded him of when we were on a parliamentary junket two weeks before this strange but predictable event, in a very hot place, when whilst lying blamelessly and alone in a Jacuzzi, I was joined by a sparsely clad “member” of the “Nameless” person’s alleged henchmen. I mentioned to the man that I thought they should actually be in London because the “leader” was under threat, and was languidly rebuffed for the suggestion. I will draw a veil over the rest. However I alluded to this at breakfast today in the context of the matter up for discussion, following the gripping TV coverage last night. There was a silence and then the SO said “I still find this hard to believe , I cannot think of a single reason why he would have wanted to do that.” I reminded him that he met me in a swimming pool and he wasn’t slow in coming forward, but it didn’t cut any ice…. It’s the big freeze at the moment, can’t remember why, I think it is domestic.

“Plus ca change” My mentor Paul Maze said to me once said to me, “ In life you will never regret the things you have done, only the things you have not done.” It’s not all bad though I have a very nice lunch date next week. Nothing like that of course but luncheon companions generally say nice things which boost your morale, and I can be very amusing at lunch time.