In haut classe social situations Europeans do have lovely manners, it makes a changes not to seated next to a nostril haired egoist who eats with his mouth open and thinks he is the cats whiskers. Last week I went to a really lovely dinner party I was the only Brit apart from an immaculately mannered young English Guy who works with a lot of polished Europeans and charming people who HAVE to be well mannered and patrician. It was so very nice to be treated with such consideration and asked some courteous questions about what I did, in the broadest sense of course. I noticed the men liked to speak English , well they would I suppose because they were all diplomats . But the women chatted in a sort of French where a patios has been developed. It is difficult to follow and the prettiest language of all. So yes , Yes! I went out, but going out is not what it used to be , we all get up a lot earlier and most people have to get on with “work “ at a very much earlier time . Most people there could not believe the obsession with Brexit, Britain and Europe have always had an uncomfortable relationship. Like and elegant marriage with spaces in togetherness. So we did not discuss it at all. I got to bed well past my rule of ten O clock lights out “ early to bed and up with the cock” as the German ambassador once said to Princess Margaret.”
So then , did I see Mr Junker , who has behaved like the proverbial “cochon” to our prime Minister Teresa actually treated her with manners and what appeared to be “Chivalry” Do we think this is because he saw the way her mostly male cabinet sat and did FA while she was assaulted on the platform at her own conference?
Sydney of doggie fame went shopping in Bond Street today, he is presently eating custard creams, and thinking about a new collar, the one he has is much too pink and he is all man these days. Picture to follow.
Yes , you will not have to look far, in fact you may even have had one to Sunday lunch recently. Abusers come in all shapes. Thousands of women live with abusers they come from all walks of life and for those who can spot them the pattern is very simple. They do not have to be repulsive sex pests in positions of power as we are seeing at the moment . They can be very plausible men, two things protect them, the fact that nobody believes the accuser and secondly they are manipulative people who manage to isolate their victims in all sorts of subtle ways whilst at the same time maintaining that which is most precious to them , the outward sometimes skilfully charming persona. The worst examples of abuse are of course concerning children who do not have the tools to speak out or cry for help. In the case of the allegations against Mr Weinstein, his accusers are vocal women, but even they were not listened too until a really powerful woman spoke out .. full marks to her she has opened a can of worms.
But spare a thought for the victims of the most insidious form of abuse which flourishes behind the front door . The perpetrators are safe when that door shuts and the drip, drip, drip of demolition continues. The victim becomes demoralized, their sense of self-worth is eroded to the point where they become complicit in their own destruction. People even their own families do not want to recognise the uncomfortable truth even when the woman is hospitalised, as a result of the abuser’s violent behaviour, the caring partner will seem the soul of concern , centre stage a hero on the map of his own wickedness.
It is myth to think that this only applies to strong powerful men, abusers are cowards, they are also articulate liars. They are inventive, they believe they are right they do not have pangs of guilt we have seen it again and again. For some reason often financial, women endure this it has always been so, my next book is about well documented abuse of women in the eighteenth century in England . Then, prior to the married woman’s property act marriage was a passport to male dominance only a breath away from abuse , they had control ,complaints were met with scolds bridles, burnings incarnations, and beatings. They had no voice no vote no financial independence the awfulness of constant childbearing.
I am grateful for the hard won life my dead sisters have suffered for me , that is why I run a small group of women who can talk about what is happening to them , they need to be heard , to know they have a voice, to begin to love themselves again and to learn to disconnect from the abuser starting with small practical things …….not engaging……. silence…… distance , containment, your own imaginary firewall.
Thank heavens for all the cousins, this week sees moi trying to sharpen up a bit , so I must discard the egg yolk stained top which successful writers are obliged to wear to be convincing. THE DRESS has come out and it does not have moth holes, so off I will go, no clutch bag though more like a big bag lady thing with umbrellas and the brick phone which all the smoothies are now acquiring , it is less toxic than all the I phone stuff etc actually I never really changed mine I kept my old brick you see because I am soooo smart, the I phone was the worst experience I have had for a long time , invasive, evil, head F…ing all mixed up with dog pooh bags which always emerge on the occasions when I venture into what might be called society. So I went to the London library to collect the books a genius archivist had got for me , one of which was last borrowed in 1949. Thank heavens I wore the egg yolk top and some grotty trousers. I had forgotten the vow of silence in that marvellous place, there are lots of greyish terribly clever people lost in there, too embarrassed to ask for guidance. I coughed in the reading room and heads swung like cobras. But I looked like all of them except for the terrifying bit with men journalists in all the comfortable arm chairs . Now that is well scary. But the place is miracle and as a lapsed member it is money well spent, I love it.
As it happened I bumped into a tall legendary cousin in Jermyn street who asked me where I had been for the last ten years ? I didn’t know the answer to that a further meeting is arranged to elucidate. Then another one contacts to say that a v posh person in Ireland recommended my book Summers Grace not knowing of course that I shared the name with the subject matter Admiral George Anson. And was non other than a poor relation ???? well not exactly.
So here is the thing, women should keep their maiden names they define who you are. There are so many Anson’s around the world think if had been Anson on my books we could have been EVEN better read, who knows? It was the great debate when I wrote my first novel in 1994. The next one will be Anson Hannam. Now the next challenge is lurking “ The Married Women’s Property Act “ that changed everything but prior to that OMG .there is a story for you. Well for me actually. Set in the eighteenth century of course!
Well you couldn’t make it up, in fact no editor would accept this as a credible story line, did I imagine that our Prime Minister, was virtually assaulted on the platform at her very own Conference for quite a long time, Where were her security people, where were her stewards but most of all her cabinet, all sitting in the front row except for revolting Angela “Loathseome” who still thinks she is in with a chance They are, of course mostly men and not one of them moved a muscle , the assaulter touched thug Boris grabbing his knee who just sat bum on seat expostulating, the only one who spoke was Amber Rudd who muttered “please leave “ well girl, we have done this already. Back to Amber whom I greatly admire, but we look for more in you Home Secretary. I knew her mother well, she was a redoubtable woman, she would have been up on her feet dispensing with the idiot waving his P45. Tory women are good at that sort of thing but they also seem to have lost their balls, I once heard one deal with one of those idiots with her umbrella deftly aimed, and the immortal words “ You are an arsehole in the world’s biggest armpit” .
Now to the best bit while the PM is stuttering with her bad cough the Conservative promises begin to fall off the wall letter by letter and the Chancellor offers her a cough sweet. None of these people is fit for purpose, they can’t even run a poxy conference. I don’t feel very sorry for the PM she has a sharp slightly hysterical voice at best rather like a hockey teacher losing her” “rag”at “that time of the month”. But she went on shrieking at pointless fringe meetings for the whole week instead of conserving her vocal chords as any good voice coach would have told her to do. We must be the laughing stock of the world but the sad fact is “don’t sack nurse you will get something worse”.
Its moth time again, all the good black coats coming out for the memorial services, OMG I don’t, usually go to those. The practical solution practised not far from here is the wear the offending garment back to front so it, won’t notice so much. It doesn’t make much difference actually they all have holes there is a lot of that about. As for “leave” we haven’t arrived yet Thanks David Cameron, another Tory great.