This week we attended a remarkable occasion at our local church( to which I contribute on a regular basis) to celebrate its two hundredth anniversary in its present form and to open a restoration fund for the magnificent organ. The Sainted One came with me which was unusual. As we were leaving he asked if I could give him some money for the collection plate. I knew he had twenty pounds, I had seen it lurking somewhere. I declined, explaining that I had a note but was saving up for a pack of M and S knickers and things were a bit tight. There was a bit of a sulk and a lot of trumpeting about the ten pounds the Nipote borrowed for a pizza three weeks ago, the rationale was that if this awesome debt had been repaid on time there would be a ready availability of ten pounds. God works so cleverly you know It was an open plate bristling with twenty pound notes and two fifty’s the S. O was flanked by two powerful members of the clergy and yes I saw it……. The twenty pound note!!!! “You had it all along “ I barked in the car “Yes but I wanted to break it and I knew you had two ten pound notes.” “ never said I didn’t “ said I.
It was later that I recalled bumping into “Lady Duckhouse” at an affluent parliamentary function last week. She is rather nice actually. We got to chatting, “ do you think any of these people have to live on Parliamentary pensions?” she pondered casting a “well-heeled eye” about the room. I shifted uncomfortably in my awful shoes and felt like the curates wife attending morning coffee at the Bishops Palace. I could not work out whether she was being very witty and clever or incredibly thick skinned. I must say I fluffed up a bit in indignation. This does explain the church plate business a bit I suppose there were no duck houses here and no fancy allowances but I once got and offer of a free cervical smear in midwinter in a parked van outside the admiralty.
I have gone off Sybil, there was a secret Spreading of ashes recently and owing to a high wind and a reluctance by the Sainted One to indulge in sissy things like hand washing somebody has ended up on Sybil’s steering wheel. Since this happened I have felt very nauseous which is probably a good thing because I put on two pounds at my friends birthday dinner. I sneakily attended to Sybil with a wet wipe this morning. I am sure she was grateful in her own way. This whole area is one I have not thought about in detail before but I think it should be done with little gold shovels or even disposable ones. I personally do not want to end up in someone’s soup or being washed out of their hair with Pantene. It is against my religious principles actually.
Some rather valuable spoons disappeared recently, I searched in vain and they have mysteriously reappeared , I am very suspicious about this and the Sainted One has his Inspector Clusot hunched look. I am absolutely certain that he is planning some repeat adventure this time with Sybil as he killed the other one in weird circumstances. The spoons were in a brief case, this must surely be running away money, those spoons were hidden from me because I once ate my porridge off one. This is a man who was not born with a protuberance of silver spoons sticking out of you know where ….. but a lot can happen with Knight vision goggles . I have some ….. no . no what can you be thinking? I once knew a man who had to have his eyes put back with oiled golden spoons after he had achieved satisfaction. I never saw this for myself but I think it is still widely discussed.
The sainted One has replaced his car which is now in a scrap yard. “The Love of his Life” has now been replaced by Sybil. She is very sensible and lacks glamour, I am no longer threatened which is perhaps a good thing, as I am told Sybil is very easy to handle and easier to get into as she is quite high off the ground. She does smell of leather though which is also a plus I suppose. Last night I had dinner as a guest with a very elegant and generous friend on her birthday. The restaurant was superb, we sat next to two French couples who gasped in admiration as we consumed dozens of crevette rose, washed down with two glasses of the best champagne, then rognons and frothy potato puree and then eouf a la Nege. The wine was so rare that the waiter made sure the other diners saw the label as he subtly lowered the napkin in full view of other gourmet clients to make sure they were aware the calibre of the diners “ pour encourage les autre” ( you will see my laptop does not do French) . It takes a lot to impress the French but we did! I stayed in bed very late and people kept coming round the door to check ( some of them are mentioned in legacy’s). This bed thing, I could get used to it.
Last week I went to Sir Philip Goodhart’s Memorial service The S. O . who was in Parliament with him for thirty years was mislaid in Northern France at the time with Sybil’s predecessor, which was a pity, it was standing room only and anyone who was anyone in Parliamentary circles was there. The S,O recovered sufficiently from his bereavement and formed a new attachment to Sybil ( with unseemly haste, I felt a brief period of mourning would have been more delicate ) he asked me about this today. I informed him that he had missed a cine film clip of himself on a Parliamentary Ski Race. Philip would have been very amused by all this, I was once in a taxi with him and when we got out the driver was very rude, Phil replied quick as a flash “good night and I do hope your parents have a perfectly lovely wedding” we were long gone by the time the driver set off in hot pursuit. At dinner with us he announced to a tedious documentary film maker who was brown nosing a Minister at our table, who was trying to make a film about defence policy that the entire British Navy could be contained on the Serpentine. He was a brilliant man, a history scholar, a dry wit, and a great dissenting voice sometimes with a lot of mumbling and errhs, but the House of Commons” always became silent when he spoke and never quite knew if he was entirely serious, he is so missed.
Well then the truth is always best, the Sainted One is mourning the demise of the fifteen year old Rover . It was towed back from Northern France at vast expense and now is destined for scrap. “You simply do not understand what I am going through,” he announced today. “That Car was the love of my life.” I am very insulted by this , if your husband of thirty years wants to fall in love outside the parameters of convention a sleek Dolce Vita Lamborghini smelling of expensive leather and faded Chanel Number Five is less challenging, but a pale blue rattle trap smelling of feet old food and uncleansed upholstery, well I ask you? He sat very low in that thing and sometimes it looked as if only a head was driving it, he has nearly run me over quite often because men don’t see their wives after a few weeks actually, he didn’t notice when I had my eyelids removed and looked like Mohamed Ali for a month. But the Rover struck a deep and sensitive chord. Always look on the bright side though, I now have a pink ticket to pleasure myself with the fridge or even my old range master and Lenor Fabric Conditioner, it’s all out there the opportunities are endless.
So my grandson thinks the Corbyn Victory will liven things up no end and draw attention to the forgotten young all pissed as newts on their filthy campuses. This boy is destined to be very rich I can just tell he likes good quality stuff expensive bath unguents and plays his cards close to his chest, I never discuss politics. He said it to provoke me. He will have a fleld day with the Sainted One when he returns from his search for a replacement car a “runabout” I have decided we shall give it a name …….it should be slightly sleazy perhaps, the sort of name you hear in Golf clubs, but I don’t want to offend anyone so this will not be announced outside the confines of the family.
The Sainted One is somewhere in Northern France in a Moroccan theme hotel described in the brochure as suitable for “Un weekend Amareuse”, yes it is spelt like that! But that is a long story and not quite as exciting as it sounds. This was all about using a credit for a Ferry to Le Havre which could not be refunded and expired on Sept 20th. The chosen spar had no parking facilities so luckily the car exploded on the motorway and is to be transported back to Portsmouth with full military honours and then who knows!!!!!!!. This is a heroic story of endurance and survival. Also very expensive since there was no European insurance cover . So bang goes the weekend break in Frinton on Sea then.
Well in every life a little rain must fall, but it did not fall two nights ago when I went to celebrate the marriage of my dearest friends son to a beautiful girl in the most perfect of settings. It was a fabulous occasion and confirmed that it is indeed a beautiful life. They are a family of great people and it is a love match made in heaven, the speeches were touching and erudite I cried quietly and smudged some mascara on the white Pashmina, one of which was on the back of each delicate white chair. These are such brave generous people and did not betray ever, that they were desperately worried about a beloved member of the family who with great dignity went to heaven the following morning. The news came from my literary agent who worked on this magical lady’s book beside her bed for all most a year. It is a strange and perfect journey, the Book is called “The Gratitude Cradle” ( by Rhona Beck) an extraordinary vivid account of a Jewish Family, over the years . It lives on as does the presence of this remarkable woman.
All the boys are here at the moment, I always know because there is a constant aroma of delicious bacon being cooked at all hours of the day and night. They lighten the house and one of them did all the cooking yesterday and washed up after yet another crazy family party. This relaxation was much needed as days have been peppered now with building nightmares which have continued for four months unabated. I enquired politely this morning about the plans for stone cutting today and was told to eff off because I was interrupting their work “Do you read?” I asked, you see I work at home and I write books and I can’t work what with the noise dust and all ….. “ “I don’t give a f….K was the answer “you sit in your arse all day and I have never read a book anyway.” “ so you never went to school I murmured reasonably” “No I effing didn’t that’s why I am doing this so eff off anyway.” If this is not a case for paying teachers more than doctors I don’t know what is” . I have an aunt Lavender who came to stay the other night . She is very, very deaf but likes to listen to Wagner in the evenings. ! I find it extremely powerful music is so good for people don’t you think ? Enforced listening to Wagner might be helpful to a lot of people. A reminder of where the power actually is. In the mind !