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?