Holidays from Hell.

It is necessary to believe that most experiences happen for a reason. Of course this is not always the case. A veil must be drawn over the recent experience mentioned above. But one thing is sure, I returned thinking how marvellous my life was warts and all. I also learned that the Portuguese are the most delightful nation and are an example of racial harmony all peoples should emulate. This is because they have such an incredible history. Of course we all know they were the cruellest of colonisers, but this is not evident in their modern history. The naval museum in Lisbon is the finest in the world and illustrates perfectly the seafaring skills that gave these great navigators and sailors a window on the world, which left them a rich and varied tapestry of history and a legacy of fine living and culture which is a joy to see. I saw many bad examples of the British at their most ugly when in holiday mode. I was not surprised when the educated and delightful driver I had, told me how much Portuguese men were in “herloffe” with their wives. The strange pronunciation is intentional. This gentleman took me to see the most western point in Europe and I thought a lot about these great galleons returning around this point loaded with gold and luxurious spices and a fair sprinkling of the DNA which makes this race so remarkable. He showed me pictures of his beautiful family and spoke caringly of his sense of responsibility to his mother and mother in law. I liked this. All this gave me a great deal of valuable material for the book I am writing, which is predominantly a drama set among the families of the Georgian navy.

The week before I left Paddy the Painter, who is an artist, finished the stair well in our house. I talk to him a lot, because he has a kind of elementary wisdom about life with all its slings and arrows. He confided in me that all he ever dreams of is owning a house with a front door a staircase and a garden. He was raised in a children’s home. When he left he confided that he lived on Saint Margaret’s Station for quite a while. “ Not many people know that “ he added. All these things are humbling actually, and what is five days out of a life, if it makes you value even more what you have actually been given?

The Black Mask, Books,The Letter That Showed What Writing is All About.

My son in law asked me if I had a mask I could lend him ( for fancy dress of course), I could not oblige but . It turned out that the Sainted One had a drawer full of things I have never seen, amongst them was a black mask. I did not know he had a mask drawer, but you never really know people do you? Anyway the son in law borrowed the mask and announced last night, that he had lost it in a bush. I was the only person in the room who thought this was very funny. Of course you are all intelligent, and will be laughing your heads off. However the damn thing was, I gather retrieved from the bush; this was also a serious piece of information. Naturally I made a rather obvious remark, but it seemed to escape them all and they went on about the mask in a rather dull way. Perhaps they were bluffing, I would rather not know. But I am giving that drawer a wide birth I can tell you.

The SO remarked in a disapproving way last night, on the amount of books that are delivered here. He asked me what on earth I did with them all? I replied monosyllabically that I read them. There was some further remark which I did not catch, because there is a tendency to mumble or deliver stern ultimatums from half way up the stairs. There was a time when I would fawningly follow the disappearing voice to listen attentively. Not now, I think my dogs have selective hearing down to a fine art. They always get what they want.

“Tread softly because you tread on my dreams,” are the immortal words of Yeats of course; they are profound and something to remember at all times. Yesterday I received a most beautiful letter from a young relative. This lovely young woman has all the makings of a great writer, and is at the moment living herself through a life experience which has the makings of a very great and true story. It is one any writer would dream of, and she must… I tell you she must, tell it as it is, with all its truth and perception. It is a saga of many generations, crossing oceans and the great journey of a family. There are roots, here which are beyond imagination, she holds them all in the palm of her hand. In this letter she was generous enough to say that I had been an inspiration to her and described my humble contribution to her young life in a most moving way. I shall write back to her very slowly, because she has a star and she must follow it. But my goodness what a privilege it is to be told of a dream that you know must become reality, and to think you might have had a small part in that. I have been having a problem with my latest book, but her words sent me back to my laptop.

Men Who Shake Out Their Socks Before Sex, Opera Plots, and Would You Have Sex With A Hunky Turkish Prince To Save Your Brother’s Life?

Once a sock shaker before Sex, a man will never change, Ladies look out for this at the start of your romantic journey through life because it is a metaphor for many other things. If you go with the sock shaker you will always come second to the job in hand, if you will forgive the pun. Whatever magical moment occurs, it will be examined carefully in the light of the domestic trivia at the time, the magic will evaporate quickly as you are asked, for example, if you have put chemicals in the loo recently..? Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

We were entertained last night by a most charming and erudite host at Garsington Opera , the venue is superb, a fantastic edifice perched in the middle of luscious greenery, in the Chiltern Hills, with a recently planted Italian garden. You watch the performance as the evening steals into the trees and the sun dips and catches it all as if you were floating, truly a midsummers night dream. But One can see why this work Maometto Seconda is rarely performed. Rossini drew the story from history , that is to say one of the many mythical versions on it . We have Greeks and Turks and the virginity of the heroine Anna at play here. She is the daughter of Enrisso, Governor of a Venetian outpost about to be overrun by Turkish Muslims led by the hunky Maometto. This is a kind of tug of love because she met him before when she thought he was someone else and she very much wanted to have sex with him . But now he is Maometto, she thinks this would be a betrayal of father so she agrees to marry a small bloke called Calbo, who has a woman’s voice instead, knowing that once she has proved her honour she will stab herself. This decision is quite clear from the start, but it takes her two hours to get around to it. I had an irresistible desire to rise to my feet and cry out “Why Wait”. But I did not because the pastoral panorama outside was so very marvellous and one rarely has a chance to see it as a homing pigeon “as when the dove laments her love all on the naked spray” high up in the trees (Handel of course) .

But I did have a most terrible coughing fit which, I think was nerves actually, because some blighter kept flying a helicopter over the opera house, rather too close I thought. This did not faze the singers who given the idiocy of the plot were outstanding in every way. It was clear from the start that the Turkish Ravisher was no sock shaker, whereas the small one could not be depended upon to enter into the spirit of a rapturous moment. There was a very posh lady near me who did not look like the sort who would have sex in anything other than the most propitious of circumstances. And it is she who said quite clearly that she would sleep with someone to save a relatives life and would not have resisted the delicious Moslem Turk. You see Rossini did not understand women at all, suicide is not a good option.

The Sainted One has been very popular this week entertaining many of the family at Wimbledon this week, I propose to let you all see some images of this after the men’s finals. Paddy the Painter is here again, he is a very good decorator and extremely amusing, he would make a fortune scripting a sit com. He gets a lot of material from this strange household, he removed the handles from the charming lodgers door last night ,so the poor man was trapped inside until I heard his very polite tapping at his door at eight AM. He is a very important surgeon, I do not know how such an excuse for cancelled surgery would have been received. As Paddy is doing the entire stairwell of this five story house, he is privy to all the comings and goings and does not know exactly who all the people are, neither do I actually.