So the Labour pains are over, my next book is born except the choice is now down to two. The first is vaguely about Barbara Villiers from whom I am proudly descended , you will all know she was Charles 2nd most infamous mistress, she once pleasured a dead Bishop, now I understand that is a contradiction in terms etc but do not chooses to go into the painful details. The second also vaguely concerns the magnificent Rachel Pringle yes without an e.. who ran a fabulous brothel in Bridgetown in which the future King William 4th pleasured himself. The two women were of course magnificent whores, poles apart you might say, but think about it … not really, and they probably both had the pox which no doubt affected the Royal dynasty’s .
Historical fiction is a tricky one but it is essential to get the period accurately focused to real events at the time and those must be recorded without fault. I had a communication from a reader yesterday in which she “kindly” said how much she adored my book Summer’s Grace “But there is just one thing she announced … “Pizarro” was actually a Portuguese Conquistador in the fifteenth century. Sure he was, but no amount of patience could convince her that the great Spanish Admiral Don Hose Pizarro, who features in my book set in the eighteenth century actually existed … no she protested you have your dates wrong… I rather like the he couldn’t have been there. I sent her the Biography of Don Hose ….. do you think she will read it .. no folks not a chance . It rather pissed me off actually but there was a reason I was generous enough to give this whole annoyance airtime. The trick is when people get to the “but “ thing just cut them off. I am happy to say this is the first “but” I have had with this one .
The other night I was with a lot of people who were partially deaf, one of them shamelessly borrowed my pashmina, I shivered for a bit while she nuzzled into it in a rather “owning” way stroking it affectionately . Then I got the window shut which needed a a very long hook and two liveried men to do it. I politely asked if I could have my pashmina back now. She looked resentful and said “ why did you ask me if I was a Catholic.” My immediate neighbour intervened and she reluctantly returned it and asked if I had ever thought of writing a book ? I did not have a chance to reply, and anyway I didn’t see the point.. she replied to her own enquiries .. I noticed that old deaf people do that. They just burble on with things stuck all over them …. other people’s pashminas, bits of food and stolen phones. “Plus ca change”
Inane name dropping is a pestilence in some quarters, it drives me mad and makes me run for the hills or whatever lower class roots I can find??? I had to listen to one of these antediluvians recently and it did take the Lady out of the Van if you will forgive the pun. I am sure you all got the subtlety here. I tried to stem the stem the repellent tide of genealogy by chirping up that my mother and father were from a generation of Dockers and so forth and that my “mum” cleaned the “ toilets” at Paddington station and made a bit on the side there from randy office workers and got the clap which meant I couldn’t go to school . The endless vomit stopped for a moment with the fabulous comment, that surely both my parents can’t have been working class, and I did cover it up awfully well “Check your facts “ mate two lots of Ducal….. you know the sort of thing!
But is that worse than some of the obsessions that play out here? The latest has been about a bath plug. I gently enquired, in my sweet caring way whether the bath plug problem would require at least a whole day for a solution to be achieved and preclude any other activities, as it was merely a matter of hooking it round the chain. “You never know” came the dark ominous reply. But don’t get me started on the replacement staples. Now that has gone on for two weeks, it went quiet over the Christmas period but now it has found legs again. You know there is a lot you can do with a plug chain and some staples.
I had a great plan for a new book but now find that is has been done many times. Someone has suggested that I do a diary of my domestic life but dream on it is hardly best seller material but I could make it up, most people don’t listen to anything anyone says.
Use of words is an important matter, so what is happiness? How can anyone be truly happy if you look at the world today and the suffering most of us here in this blessed country cannot even imagine. Perhaps it would be better to wish people harmony for Christmas and the new year, or as the bible would have it “Peace on Earth and Good Will towards Men.” Sublime happiness comes seldom and then only for a fleeting moment. Serendipity is made up of small things which must be treasured. Wonderful neighbours , small acts of kindness. The absence of the pernicious cop out of “blame” the bad fairy in most families . No such thing as blame, it is just what is. So please folks no more hope you had a happy whatever. No I did not actually. Except of course for a glorious gathering of grown up grandchildren prior to the big DAY and then of course the most beautiful service on Christmas Eve at St Pauls Clapham where I Worship. And then the Clapham Angel for whom the Lord has truly spoken! And of course my Spaniels who practice unconditional love .. oh the wonder of it. Most of my friends have been ill in bed with a killer cold so have frankly given up hope of a normal life ever a again … that is where I am now ! I am in touch with the Queen all though she does not know it , oh yes I am as are the millions of people who recognize our national treasure.
I met a woman the other day who said she wanted a Syrian refugee for Christmas because she could give “it” such a lovely time with a stocking and all. Well bless me Miss Scarlet, that traumatized child would wonder where the other one was ? Reality check required , child is not for Christmas it is for ever. Yes and of course Gone With The Wind on Christmas Day with the Angelic Host and Hostess. PERFECT. AND HE IS A CHEF!