Let’s start with the book. I have just delivered my eighty thousand word book Summers Grace to the inspired and gentle editor. A woman asked me at lunch, by way of a very dull conversation, if I had done anything interesting that day. I smiled happily and told her in an excited tone that I had just finished my book after two years, despite many interruptions. There followed, what I now see was a patronizing silence and then she put a comforting hand on my shoulder and asked “What was the book? That’s a long time to read one book.” I couldn’t help giving the icy look (for which I am so much loved and admired) as I replied “No I wrote it. actually”. This has caused great mirth in the fabulously intelligent and enlightened literary circles in which I move so effortlessly.
The Livery dinner was of course a city affair of enormous splendour with a lot of ritual stuff which I gaffed up of course, a bit too much saliva exchange starting with a bowl of water and rose petals between courses which some of the men blobbed around giving themselves facial ablutions by the time it got to me I could only think of the two thousand bacteria floating about. But worse was to come in the form of the loving cup from which you were supposed to sip everyone’s wash back. I made the gesture of course but germs is germs people. My neighbour was symbolically turning the back as I did not sip the noxious fluid, in theory with sword at the ready in case I was assassinated. I don’t think anyone noticed. Of course there is a lot to be said about city Livery companies, part of a great heritage. For quite a lot of the evening I talked with a very beautiful teacher about the consequences of fourteen year old girls being rated according to their expertise in Oral Sex amongst their male peer group apparently this is not a shared pleasure so “why” I asked myself? This is a shocking and dismal fact about which I was informed in the local Sailing Club on the Isle of Wight this Summer, I forgot to ask the teacher if this was legal?
One of the Texan cousins has been here a wonderful wise girl, it is not the same in West Texas, we discussed it in Peter Jones the next day. She is coming to stay here next September for a year,!!!!! God is kind.
Many strange things happen in this household, they are never claimed by the perpetrators, the mysteries rankle with the resident matron who as you will have guessed is moi. There was a nauseating stench of rotting fish in the basement this week, I thought in the end it was a dead rat or at worst, plies of unwashed knickers, but none could be found and Tom the mouse man was summoned. Before he arrived the “nipote” joined the inspectorate and almost at once located the source. It was a tin of salmon that “someone”???? had opened possibly mistaking it for something else . Clearly the culprit did not fancy it and snucked it back at the bottom of the plie. The discovery made us both wretch, barbeque tongs were used to extricate it with full ebola protection we have just in case, because you never quite know do you? I offered a bribe to one of the recumbent males in the house to rush it to the council bin at the end of the road. I bet the story did not end there, the sanitary engineers have strong stomachs, but this was nuclear, I tell you.
It took a long time for me to recover my appetite and my very wicked ex literary agent suggested in future I store tins of fish in my bedroom where they would not be tampered with, and that if anybody asked about it I was to reply that I was writing the sequel to Salmon fishing in the Yemen.
The next day I began to feel a little better and fancied some toast and marmalade, I make very good marmalade…. I took it from the usual pot and thought it had a funny smell I took a bite and realized very quickly that is was mince meat that some crackhead had put with the marmalade. I might prepare a nice salmon and raw mince meat sandwich for the Sainted One whilst I am out carousing today.
Talking of carousing we went to cocktails with a very nice couple last week and very soon the subject of Sir Cloudesley Shovell was subtly introduced into the conversation. After a modest silence I enquired what had happened to the ring? There was a gasp of admiration, for the second time in my life I have been able to illustrate my absolute knowledge of Sir Cloudesley the first was in a gathering of history professors who thought I was a dull middle class housewife, surely they are wrong ????? it shut them up actually, one of them announced they never realized I was intelligent, “ had your Chance Missed it” I replied sharply.
On this occasion I did draw attention to the fact that Sir Cloudesley ran the entire English Fleet a ground off the coast of the Scilly Isles a long time ago now it is why they are called the Scilly Isles …… they did not have longitude you see and two and a half thousand men drowned. The British are mad so they buried him in Westminster Abbey because it was an astonishing achievement. He wasn’t found for a bit , he had interestingly been the only survivor but he was murdered for his valuable ring as he cried out for water! The person who raised this was naturally a descendent proud of the blood line, perhaps I was not very tactfull.