Tuesday, 28 April 2009


I give you my word, and  my word is my bond, that I will not be mentioning Mr Jacqui Smith in this glamorous new post, even though I can't find contempt enough for a man who would invoice the state for Anal Boutique Parts 1 and 2 and £9.99 for a Wahl Beard Trimmer.  No, I have had a wonderful week, and I know you are breathless, positively asthmatic, for my pensees and I will not besmirch them with the shady onanist of Redditch.  

Firstly, may I get Susan Boyle out of the way?  She is not a particularly good singer.  There, I have said it.  I was once at a party in Beaconsfield where Elaine Paige was a fellow guest.  After (not very much) encouragement, she clambered onto a table and gave us Mack the Knife.  A priceless Strass chandelier was rendered to powder after she hit the money note,  showing what a true professional can do with Kurt Weill and a makeshift megaphone.  Susan Boyle, on the other hand, is applauded because she looks like Denis Healey in slingbacks.  If only she had stuck to this shtik, possibly with a well-placed impersonation of Healey arguing with George Brown,  then she would have won the hearts of the nation for all the right reasons.  After all, whoever claims not to miss Mike Yarwood is either a liar or a fool. Possibly both.  However, I now see that Susan is receiving proposals, some of them for marriage, by every post!  When I read that, I thought SHE looks like the Bunyip, for God's sake, and I'M not getting laid.  The whole thing is beyond reason.  

Anyhoo, on with my glamorous news.  You will be relieved to hear that I went to Gordon Ramsay at Claridges last week, after being in a prolonged sulk over the closure of my beloved Causerie, and the hidden entrance on Davies Street.  It matters little how you feel about the old blasphemer when you sink your teeth into his provender,  because I can cheerfully report that the standard is thrillingly high, and reassuringly expensive.  I had smoked halibut with Oscietra caviar, then veal and artichoke with sauce Robert and a saffron creme brulee with roast mango.  I drank two Tanquerays and a bottle of Soave Classico and had an animated conversation with Tory funster Alan Duncan who was at the next table.  He tries too hard, but I let him prattle away.  Noblesse oblige, as I never tire of saying.

My dear old deceased papa loved Claridges.   It was he who first took me there, to the Causerie, as a silent and surly seventeen-year-old.  I had pale green hair and a pair of perspex stilettos, but no-one baulked.  On the contrary, they kindly brought me a plate of whitebait, which is all I would eat at the time, and some chocolate cake.  Over the years, my father and I would meet up at the Davies Street door, and once inside I would tell him my news, which was always dismal and sometimes dangerous, and he would give me a good lunch and an envelope full of money.  My mother never came because she never knew.  My father was worried about me, but I was beyond the pale; during my Lost Years I often found myself in Davies Street.

My father was careful around food.  A generational thing,  but also because he had what would now be called A Cholesterol Problem.  A very thin man, he just manufactured the stuff, and there wasn't much he could do except not add to it.  However, he adored London restaurants and in the 1960s when he maintained a provincial NHS surgery and a private practice in W1, he began to keep a little notebook about memorable meals.  My mother, the glamorous old harridan, and I are currently engaged in the drearsome process of clearing my father's belongings, and I came across his restaurant journal yesterday under a pile of old Lancets.  His first entry is for what remained his favourite restaurant of all time, Prunier's of St James's Street, and it concerns a date in 1964 when he was taken there to celebrate victory in a court case.  More than once my father had to give evidence at grisly proceedings concerning the Felonious Use of an Instrument to Procure a Miscarriage Contrary to Section 58 of the Offences Against the Person Act.  He truly hated being summoned to appear on these occasions, as the story was often sordid or sorrowful, and he was always on the side of the unfortunate woman and frequently, ironically, also spoke for the abortionist which made him unpopular.  The instrument of choice was usually a Higginson's syringe ("kindly pass it to the jury") and if you haven't seen one, then you should.  The 1967 Act will make absolute sense to you then, if it hasn't already.  Anyway, Prunier's.  Sweetly, he records the menu, the other guests, and what they drank.  Pate Traktir, Tournedos Boston, pommes allumettes, haricots verts, fromages assortis, souffle Cote d'Azur.  1960 Muscadet, 1955 Ch. Nenin, 1959 Ch. Suduiraut.  Almost nothing on that menu makes any sense anymore.  Who would call for such a board?  

The next entry concerns Quaglino's - Quag's - of Bury Street, which he regarded as a treat, or somewhere to take Americans.  He was with a party of GPs from Chicago one night in October '64 when they ate brochette de fruits de mer, cailles perigourdine, courgettes, pommes Berny, salade, Crepes Quaglino (1962 Chablis Grand Cru; 1959 Ch. Leoville Barton; 1961 Bollinger; 1928 Croizet Gr. Reserve).  In big red letters, in the big red letters that he used to scribe over patients' notes ("time waster", "NLFTW", "Catholic" etc. etc.) he has written 'THEY PAID!"  I bet they did, poor fuckers.

I wish I could report that Gordon at Claridges carries the same shimmer as Quag's and Prunier's, but I don't think it does.  One senses an invitation to be impressed; celebrity carries all before it.  The customer is almost incidental.  Still, it was nice to be asked, and the company was agreeable.  They paid.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009


So sorry, but I haven't the time to talk.  I am simply strapped for time, believe me.  Normal service will be resumed next week - or possibly sooner - but, for now, everyone wants a piece of me, and who can blame them?

I will leave you, if I may, with a few pensees: firstly, I have discovered a divine new drink.  It is called a Red Lion (Grand Marnier, Gin, orange juice, lemon juice, serve with ice and orange peel) and one is not enough.  Secondly, there was a radio programme about Clement Attlee this week; did you hear it?  It absolutely brought into relief all my hatred for Mr and Mrs Jacqui Smith who, it now transpires, also claimed 22p for a biro and 18p for a shower-cap.  This is on top of the 88p bath-plug, you will remember.  Can you imagine Mr Attlee doing anything so cheese-paring?  And as for expecting the State to pay for his porn!  Really, the whole thing is beyond reason.

Just two more things: the fine weather is with us in the Thames Valley.  Any women thinking of baring their legs should get Fake Bake (House of Fraser, Reading, have a well-run concession, just next to the Benefit counter) or pay a visit to Tan-fastic of Pangbourne.  I saw many vile sights this morning, including potato-juice thighs and various varicose; and the young women are just as lackadaisical as Those Who Should Know Better.  Skirts CAN be too short.  Just because someone is 19, it doesn't necessarily follow that their arse-cheeks should be en valeur.  I looked around to see men recoiling in horror, but there weren't any.  Au contraire, they were transfixed.  This is a sharp lesson for those of us who believe that the savage breast hides a noble heart. It doesn't.   Finally, I saw a horrifying car-bumper sticker in the Waitrose car park, of all places.  It said: Here's to the Kisses I've Snatched and Vice Versa.  Appalling.  And in WAITROSE, too!  Can you imagine the loathsome standard they must suffer in the Lidl car park, for example, or Aldi.  Whatever happened to We Have Seen The Lions Of Longleat?  Or I Slow Down For Horses?  Why do we not see Running In Please Pass any more (home-made, usually written on the lid of a shoebox)?  We live in vulgar times.  That is the long and short of it.

Monday, 13 April 2009


Have you seen it?  Have you seen the report just issued by RoSPA which reveals the most popular accidents for 2007?  Why has it taken them so long, and why do they simply advocate "common sense" rather than telling everyone to sit still and not touch a fucking thing.  I give the figures below, unadorned, with no hilarious commentary to accompany it.  

Trainers 71 309
Secateurs 27 104
Baking trays 19 751
Rope ladders 16 822
Nail scissors 14 535
Tights 12 003
Cardboard boxes 10 492
Frankfurters 10 020
Bathmats  9  917
Diving boards  8  795
Cotton buds  8  751
Bus passes  8  623
Trousers  8  455
Hamsters/gerbils  8  297
Twigs  8  193
Mouthwash  7  532
Piccalilli  6  621
Swords  5  780
Irish coffee  3  917
Aromatherapy  1  301
Pigs  1  o70
Kilts      894
Loofahs & sponges      763
Sambuca      599
Flutes      463
Butter      377

Just a few things jump out.  Firstly, how are trousers so much more dangerous than kilts? Secondly, what's the deal with piccalilli?  How is Branston (for example) safer?  Or PanYan? And lastly, look at swords! Surely, surely dangerous?  So how are they languishing down there with pigs and mouthwash?  And what's going on with the huge gap between trainers and secateurs?  There must be SOMETHING in between, even if it's just Socimi 821s and cyanide.

Mind how you go.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009



Today I came back from Henley via Caversham and I went to the big Tesco to buy a toothbrush, some Anadin Extra, fizzy water, kneidlach, a melon and some greaseproof paper.  So far, so good. You will never guess, never in a million years, what they stock right next to the oral hygiene products?  Cock rings.  Honestly.  Saw them with my own eyes.  Durex-branded cock rings.  In blister packs.  And flavoured lubes - not so unusual, admittedly, but an exciting new range called "Lickyours" in  Tia Maria, Creme de Menthe, Cassis and Baileys.  Doing a roaring trade, too.  Good old Dame Shirley.  I am tempted to make my own from Trex and Tanqueray.  We live in straightened times.  Needs must.

And can I just say that Jacqui Smith's husband's porn film was called Raw Meat 3.  I mean, honestly.  Did he also watch Raw Meat 1 and 2?  Has the world gone mad?

Don't forget that my blissful avatar disappears tomorrow, so do kiss it goodnight before retiring.

PS - I have just read today's Guardian (Mrs Rumteigh's bolshie nephew who's levelling my ha-ha left it on the credenza) and on page 12 I learnt that "women can orgasm on TV before 11 pm, rules watchdog".  One person complained to the ASA about a woman apparently coming to an aria from the Magic Flute at 2100 hours.  It was during an ad for Durex's new Pleasure Gel.  Condoms are still banned before the watershed, though.

THURSDAY EVENING - I now learn from a VERY reliable source of mine that Mr Jacqui Smith watched two movies: Raw Meat 3 and Anal Boutique.  Jesus.   What is Anal Boutique about?  I daren't even Google it just in case I get put on some list.  On some other list.   Who is Mr Jacqui?  What do we know about this shady onanist?  What is the Taxpayers' Alliance  going to do about it?

Thursday, 2 April 2009


Busted flat in Baton Rouge and waiting for a train, feeling just as faded as my jeans ... these appalling words by K. Kristoffersen could never have been written for me and the lovely Debbie McGee, and I will tell you how I know.  On Monday, feeling strangely unsettled, I drove to the nearest town, which is Reading, to immerse myself in the only therapy I trust.  Obviously, those kind souls who know me well will now raise their bespectacled eyes to heaven and sigh, oh no!  Another post about Tanqueray Export Strength and inebriation, but they would be wrong.  I speak of shopping, and lots of it.  Shopping in its keenest sense, wherein the spirit and the flesh are equally willing. One has in ones L. Vuitton multi-zip a myriad of payment methods (not cash; don't be so silly) and plastic fatigue is the aim!  I know the VERY few women who read my words will sigh in agreement and envy; none of them are wealthy enough to indulge as I do, but so be it.   I was to shop with a purpose, however.  Let no-one be foolhardy enough to paint me as one of those idlers who might be glimpsed schlepping about HMV with the best of Richard Clayderman in her palsied hand! Or later in Waterstones with a remaindered copy of the Bob Holness Story. No, I was Out There; I was In The Zone;  I had a Date with Destiny (good heavens! I nearly wrote "Dentistry".  I wonder what vile Freudian vibe has raised its head?) I had to assemble a frankly slutty series of ensembles to entertain Lord Numb during our forthcoming vacance in Jumby Bay and I knew where to start.

My dear old nanny always said "A lady should build on a foundation garment", and how right she was!  In the old days, the good old days of plenty and profligacy, I would have gone to Agent Prov. and racked it up.  However, we live in straightened times, and I have had to cut my cloth accordingly, so at 1400 hours on Monday, I was to be found in La Senza, a rather down-market lingerie outlet in the Oracle completely awash with filing clerks and housewives from Tilehurst. I steeled myself, however, and in short order had an arm piled high with folderol of the basest type, which is what Lord Numb prefers.  I had a multi-bow lovelace thong in neon pink, a balconette ruched ribbon polkadot bra, a lullaby lace peppermint frou-skirt, a Pussycat Dolls satin panel split crotch and a tangerine bow-back boypant.  Vile, I know, but needs must.  The queue was long, and I bore easily, so imagine how I felt to see the Lovely Debbie McGee lining up behind me!  Simply in the spirit of research, and to bring my breathless readership news of great joy, I can reveal that she was carrying an almost identical selection!  Her colour choice was different, however, as she is a true English Rose, whereas I have the gorgeous glow of West Hampstead.  To call me sallow is a compliment; my own dear father oft-times diagnosed Addison's Disease.  However, this means I can wear orange, which is not a shade chosen by many, and leaves me quids in with Ends of Ranges.  But I digress.  The point is that The Lovely is buying the sort of lingerie that I am obliged to purchase to keep Numb interested.  What does this tell us?   Two things, I think.  Firstly, P. Daniels is still reeling with shock and grief at the recent demise of Ali Bongo and needs cheering up with some frivolous lingerie and, frankly, who doesn't?  And secondly, the recession is biting far deeper than we suspected, with  The Lovely and Mrs Pouncer having to shop in downgrade knicker emporiums.  C'est la vie.  However, this is where we part company, because I  was wearing my Britt Lintner silk jersey dress, my Marni shoes, my Anne Klein jacket, whereas The Lovely was dressed by M&S. Noblesse oblige.  Poor old conjurers' wives.

Oh, I don't know.  Maybe because I'm facing this vile birthday, or maybe because it's past 2.00 am and I'm still awake and pissed and feeling antsy, but I feel guilty about being snotty about Debbie.   I wasn't always like this.  I DID have a life at one point, and I have won awards for set design.  In particular I was known for staircases.  Staircases in the theatre are only temporary things, as you know, but are treated with great reverence because of Health and Safety.  I am now quoting from the handbook which all set dressers are given: :"Staircases  provide a means of effecting vertical movement about a building for persons circulating upwards or downwards".  Well thank heavens for that elucidation!  I was extremely good at this sort of thing and made my name in handrails and balustrades. Part H6(2) of  the Handrail Regulations arose from some of my observations from my design of a installation for a musical with a huge juvenile chorus.  I decreed that a handrail should be securely fixed with at a height of not less than 840 mm and not less than 1 m measured vertically above the pitch line, and must be terminated with a warning feature such as a scrolled end.  I know you will all breathe a sigh of relief on reading this.

The main point of this post is one of AGE.  Metaphorically, I am looking over my shoulder and seeing naught but missed opportunity and wasted potential.  And I don't mean just ME, before you get too complacent.  No, actually, I do mean me.  Oh Christ.  What next?

Wednesday, 1 April 2009


Because it is my birthday month, I have decided to display half of my face FOR ONE WEEK ONLY.  The other half will appear during the May bank holiday.  In June, you can admire my left hand, and in July I will reveal my feet.

Sorry, I am a bit pissed; good lunch.  it has taken me hours to do this so I hope you apprciate the effort involved.  Tomorrow I will unveil my thrilling new piost wherein I expose what happened int he queue at La Senza in the Oracle on Monday.  Arrivederci.