Into Sybil, Impressing the French,and Where is The Navy?

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 “The Love of his Life” has now been replaced by Sybil.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.

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