The only sad thing about Baroness Thatcher’s death is that, with the exception of her son and daughter, she was probably not surrounded by grandchildren and a large extended family. Otherwise that was a great life, well lived and one we should all be proud of. She was a truly remarkable woman and sadly, not loved as she might have been. This is the great divider between men and women in public life, with the exception of the Queen who seems to get it all exactly right because she is not impeded by grey suited men who want her job. Margaret Thatcher was, in my opinion a lonely woman when the buzz had stopped, because during her fantastic productive courageous years she did not make friends easily; she could not afford to. She simply could not risk letting her guard down. She was surrounded by men, who by and large were unforgiving about the fact that she was a woman and whispered behind their order papers and plotted in the Commons tea rooms and drawing rooms of Westminster . It is only now of course, that they will all be climbing on the bandwagon and showering her with obsequious palms of glory. But she fought a lonely battle with them all, and it is only lately that her real courage has been revealed. I talked to a group of elderly Conservatives the other day and all they wanted to ask was about Margaret Thatcher and the Falklands. Oddly she was not particularly kind to other women and as a parliamentary wife I was not alone in finding her a distant figure. I often thought when the chips were down the knives would be out … she would be betrayed … story sounds familiar doesn’t it? My most recent memory of her was a conversation in Battersea park about her cat, she had a touching side to her , we have so much to thank that woman for and time will give her the unique place she deserves in the history of every woman’s journey.
Hills are alive with the sound of music, 1987 general election, Exeter.
One reason I could never be a drug addict is that I am a control freak and being out of control is my idea of hell. I have been out of it for two days, as I have been taking painkillers following the removal of what looked like a medium sized Brussels sprout from inside my mouth. The surgeon who performed this delicate exercise is a real pro, but I think even he was surprised that I had gone about with such an impediment in my mouth, but now it does explain why I had begun to lisp, which the Sainted One attributed to alcohol. This was all done under local anaesthetic, and the Surgeon kept up a most interesting dialogue about naval history while it was going on, which chimed well because I am writing about this and sepsis caused by splinters of wood from canon ball injuries. Cleverly, he asked me to hold some useless piece of equipment which was supposed to make me feel involved and take my mind off it . Actually it was a clever idea and one I am trying to incorporate into my domestic life . I must say the Sainted One has risen to the occasion with two visits to Sainsburys, at least two cups of tea, a bowl of lentil soup and a brandy and ginger ale. The latter was however not celebratory in its nature since it was a small wine glass with bits of avocado and spinach on it . I suggested that drinking alone was rather dull and so a chipped tooth mug was produced with a sip of, what I imagine must have been toothpaste flavoured tepid tap water (Euthymol of course since the elite, of which I am apparently one only use products which are not easily obtainable) .
This Elite thing does my head in, and is a whole other story, and it is true I ticked most of the boxes for preferring pretentious entertainment, and number of lavatories in “one’s” house , “one” does often say loo actually, and I am proud of that, because the name derives from my father’s great auntLouisa and a practical joke about water closets in a great Irish house and old men with prostate trouble; but for my mind the information did not cut to the chase at all and there are many things I know about this, they should have asked me . Anyway back to the recovery over the weekend, the out of it thing, was made more sinister by the feeling that I have been in a silent movie, since the Sainted One has been very silent as a result of the stressful escalation of domestic duties . Occasionally I have put on loud music just to make sure it is all real, and that this elite woman is actually living in a semi in South London with all the trappings of the Nouveau Pauvre. Having had, what my divine caring son referred to as “ Jesus mum a Golf ball in your mouth only you …..) well it is true I once sawed my ear of by mistake, he was there then as well. He is a great life saver that boy! The good news is that my face does look rather nice now without the Marlon Brando look and the soup regime is brilliant. There have been a lot of jokes like gob smacked put a sock in it, what a cheek etc and the most recent, it was suggested I rest my mouth, that’s the posh way of saying shut the …. up.
On Monday we went to The Sound of Music in Shanklin Theatre on the Isle Of Wight. My Goddaughter, she of the best author photos, as per my links (she comes with lights make up the lot, and believe me she works miracles) so much so that someone said to me the other day “ since that was taken you have changed beyond all recognition .” It was only eighteen months ago. But that is what you need in life, complete happy endings fantasy. You get it all with that show. And so it was on Monday, a production so professional, that it was almost better than the film, which I watch every six months, just to remind me of what dreams are made of. Anyone who does the show rises to hitherto unknown heights, and so it was in Eastbourne when I did it more than thirty years ago; and so it was on Monday, we all cried, we cheered, and we loved every minute of it, especially as my Goddaughter was a goat to my Maria all those years ago, and her mother was the Mother Superior . We are all bound by this, and a depressing April was turned into something joyful just for a moment. Thank you to all those fabulous people who gave us so much pleasure, they will go back to their day jobs but they will have made us all happy when we walked through the storm, which seems to rage rather a lot these days.
Sound of Music 1975