So shock horror I am married to the product of a Grammar school ( a very successful one) , also some of my best friends are black I have more than a smattering of sensible Jewish blood and I ran away from school aged sixteen. So there you have it and you will have concluded that I am a very liberal minded sort of person. But today I read that many the best actors who indeed scoop up all the awards went to Eton and as we all know most of the present government are similarly educated. The list goes on of course, captains of industry etc. Today I attended a splendid memorial to one of them. He was a dear friend and much loved, his education was curtailed when he had to donate skin to his badly burned mother to save her life. The address was very well done with much emphasis on his early years at Eton; there were dozens of that generation of old Etonians there most of whom will one day have the same sort of send off, we had the Eton boating song played by a military band and many other significant reminders. One might think these people did not have a march on everyone else, I was engaged to a famous captain of boats once ( a Godlike status) about which I was not sufficiently respectful , but I did observe at the time that this emolliated his life within the chattering classes. My Point exactly you may ask? I don’t quite know, but I do see the hardship and sacrifice families will endure to get a child into Eton and how this impacts on the wannabe class who will go to the ends of the earth to achieve it.
As I was getting ready to attend this occasion three people rang to tell me that there was a programme on the radio about the great Commodore Anson and his great naval voyage in 1740 also that a play has been done at Chichester about this and is coming to London… hang on I thought, this is MY STORY , I HAVE BEEN DOING IT FOR TWO YEARS… !!!! I am descended from this great giant which is why I am writing Summers Grace, I hope I haven’t missed the boat again… whoever it is who has written it will not have the real story though because it is all in my head you see two thirds finished …. So no more excuses I tell you what George Anson and his like did not go to Eton, he was the son of an ordinary country family , he joined the navy at fourteen and learned the hard way. Just my kind of man actually.
One of my many grandsons ( not at Eton) has just written to me to suggest we have lunch sometime, this is the kind of kid who would do brilliantly, wherever he went to school I shall save up and take him to the Ritz in my best earrings.