There is a campaign in our family which has to be won, it involves the welfare of one of my beautiful granddaughters, and is being orchestrated by her fierce mother, of who I am very proud. Of course we need lots of money to get her the right advocate, because really good people are often assumed to be quite capable of looking after themselves. There was a meeting this week where many angels were present in a variety of forms. One was an astonishing man, who exudes some sort of genius, which I often find in the Jewish race. Of course I say this because it is true, and also because my family has its share of Jewish genes which have stood me in very good stead along with my many failings. On the day this meeting took place we all mistook the address, and being rather late ended up in a a suburban area of London a long way from our destination. I found a mini cab, driven by a softly spoken Caribbean gentleman who got me there in the nick of time. He said he took special care because I looked exactly like his mum. He was of course another angel,(you will all get how lovely that was); there are more of them about at the moment. Some of them do not like to be seen.
Recently we have been receiving a lot of cold calls at a most inconvenient time, when we are all enjoying the first vodka of the day…. I have found a way of dealing with their persistence. Here is an illustration.
Northern male voice says,“Can I speak to John?” indicating an intimate acquaintance… Moi replies, “who is this?” “Pete” says northern voice. “What is this about?” says Moi in an abrupt and disproving way. “I am not at liberty to divulge this at the present time ,” says Pete pompously.“The person to whom you wish to speak is on a resuscitation machine,”explains Moi. “I am the nurse in charge , are you a relative? Do you wish me to remove the oxygen mask in order that you can speak to the patient he is indicating that he does not want this. But if you are the relative he wants to speak to, who has just arrived from South America, he might be able to say a few words. But he is not in a good way at the moment.” Silence from Pete and then after further enquiries from nurse Pete says in a note of desperation, “Oh God know please don’t ,” and then a click. I have also got this down to a fine art with unknown callers on the mobile phone, it goes like this. “Matron speaking, Cardiac unit fourth floor .” This always does the trick. Just shows the power of the matron. There is just one problem of course, the Sainted One is not always up to speed with the conversations here complained rather crossly last night, that people will begin to think he is not very well. I am writing to Dear Mary on the Spectator about this.
We went to a very lovely dinner last night, which was a most beautiful lady’s thank you to all her friends who had supported her through a very difficult time. I sat next to a jolly man, most beautifully dressed, in clothes he had chosen which would look appropriate for a very busy day (he showed me the “print out” of his dairy done by his secretary). As you will all know I have a son who works in fashion, and consequently I am very aware of a well dressed man. I complimented my neighbour on his tie and shirt, thinking anything more might be bordering on vulgar. He was very pleased and showed me his trousers, which had a raised seem which was most fetching. We then began to discuss male grooming and he did a head count of the distinguished representatives of the male race, (and I say race advisedly,) around the table, of which there were fifteen. To my shock and horror, he pointed out that only one half of them had removed their nasal and ear hair. I had met a kindred spirit … what is wrong with Englishmen of a certain age? I bet the men in the times I write about were horrible in that respect, God knows what they kept under their codpieces. Ladies of course, often put a nice steak in their bustles to defect the fleas. We talked about that.