Wednesday, 24 June 2009


For this new, glamorous post, and for this new post alone I am having to come clean hemhem.  Or cleaner.  A bit clean.  A tiny shard of truth.  In the real world I am not the lotus-eater I may appear in my sumptuous pensees, for I have a job.  A proper job; but a difficult one in these recessionary times.  I work in an industry which relies on cynical money-extraction, and it's not easy at the moment.  As a result, I have to visit what we call "branches" and go through "management directives" with "staff" who are not hitting "targets" and whose figures appear "moribund".  I have a small briefcase and a calculator.  I say things like "you should be 25% better on that, so I suggest you remove it, skew that one round, and get another against the wall".  It is thrilling and everyone hates me.  Anyhoo, yesterday I had to visit Brixton, because they have given me parts of London, and not nice parts, either.  Gits.   Mutti, the opulent old harridan, came with me, because she has a cousin in Electric Avenue who she hasn't seen since Abi and Esther Ofarim won the Zoppot Festival and she wanted to spend the day with her, and reawaken old hostilities.  So far, so good.

My mother's cousin, who is called Gefen, was a great friend of Vasa Prihoda, which always makes Mutti see red, believing as she does that Prihoda was a dreary old Fascist.  Some people think he should be forgiven, as he was greater than Heifetz.  Some people (Mutti) think he should have been made to pay for abandoning Alma Rose to her fate, and that he is partly to blame for her memory being traduced in the way it is.  By 11.00 am, they were at loggerheads; by 12 noon, not on speakers, but then I appeared like Grace Darling in Gestuz, to steer them safely through the churning seas of mutual loathing and the dangerous tides of  contested bequests (my grandfather's last will and testament 1979).  I took them straightway to the SW9 Bar at the end of Dorrell Place, and I absolutely insist that you go there the next time you are in that begrimed purlieu.  It is enchanting, no, really, it is.  I know that the mealymouthed will send up their whining ways: But it's a gay bar, Mrs Pouncer!  Yes, it is, and for that I thank the good Lord on high, for there is nowhere more suitable for battling old Yekkes than a backstreet dive run by unrepentant homosexualists.  Mine host took in the vibe at a glance,  rammed us onto a faux-moquette banquette and had his bill o'fare out on the table in one flourish.   It was to sigh.  Mutti and Gefen had Eggs Benedict and a bottle of  Hock.  I had a White Russian, two glasses of Soave and a confit of Landais duck liver.

The two old harpies were delighted with the lavatories - unisex, admittedly, but stinking of gardenia - and by the high standards of cleanliness throughout.  Gefen boldly suggested to the barman that his presentation could be improved by using doilies.  I wish you could've seen our waiter's tan!  Later, I got him by the Gaggia and asked his secret.  Expecting him to say "Gozo: the wages of sin", he let me into a breathtaking confidence.  You hardly need reminding that I am bedeviled with sallowness; I appear permanently liverish, and have to anoint myself daily with fake tan so as people don't think I've given my pall-bearers the slip.  I always use Institut Esthederm Sun Sheen Intense but Victor (my new friend) recommends Famous Dave's Tanning Mousse (Deeply Darkly shade).  Boy, does it deliver!  Google it now and order as much as you can.  Within minutes you will have the look of an advanced Addison's Disease patient.  Who could ask for more?  

We left at about three-thirty, all smiles, no more pijaw about Prihoda, all agreeing that Dr Mengele was a malevolent old murderer.  The point is that Alma Rose was not the bullying martinet of popular depiction.  She believed, with some justification, that if her orchestra was not up to standard, Mengele would have them gassed.  That is why she kept them practising even when they were tumbling off their chairs with tiredness.  It would have been impossible to live through such a ghastly situation and not go mad, although Mengele had the advantage of being mad already. 

What a cheeful lunchtime discourse, to be sure!  Let me end on a lighter note: do look out for Peter Jensen's Chanel-alike cardi-jackets for next season, and Karen Millen's giraffe-print dresses.  If you can afford it, an Alexander Wang contrast shift will help you through the summer/autumn transition.  Everyone should have at least one of these key pieces by September, or be irredeemably frumpy. 


  1. Pure joy. Much of it was over my head but it felt right.
    BTW I'm using Piz Buin after recommendations. You can mix your own shade but it's not perfect and I'm mostly covered up so it couldn't matter less. But there is always the accident/clean knickers possibility.
    I like the sound of the cardi- jackets.

  2. Whenever my figure appears "moribund" I invest in another corset. Or breathe in more.
    I know about fake tan... currently layering with Johnsons Holiday Skin.. too pale and poor for anything more.

  3. The regulars of that bar must adore you, Mrs Pouncer. It's about time someone knocked Judy Garland of her perch, and 'Friends of Clarissa' has a nice ring to it.

  4. I wish my performance-related discussions were so enlightening and the disagreements so enthralling. I feel quite dissatisfied with my lot. Are they available for rent?

  5. Carlos, from coastal poker, says his wife (a corker) will come round and for £50 a head spray us with fake tan. Should we go for it?

    I thought Karen Millen was for sluts. Sorry, but I did.

  6. Our deep Dale Winton tans are a side-effect from the afterglow of our management team.

  7. Goodness me! A head spray? Now that is slutty.

  8. What fun and games in Brixton. Gay bars and grumpy feisty old women.
    Over here the sun do shine daily and we don't need no fake tan. But if I ever visit your fair Isle again I will invest in some Famous Dave's Tanning Mousse (Deeply Darkly shade)of course.
    Thanks for the lovely post, though I must say I'm a little disappointed that you have to work. I have been under the illusion that you are a woman of means.
    Woof x

  9. Pat, thank you, but I worry that my discourse was not crystal clear. Which bits escaped you? Believe me, I always try to write down, catering as I do for the meanest intelligence (S. Blue), old inebriates (AHK Maroon) and headstrong youth (K. Musgrove). Also Australians. I will provide a glossary in future. In fact, I have oft-times thought of starting my own dictionary.
    Angel - a small dog
    Arctic conditions - a cold day in Guildford
    Baby - a small car
    Bargain - anything reduced from £2 to £1.25 and worth 75p
    Capri - popular name for Bungalows in Kent
    Debacle - defeat at tennis
    Downfall - defeat at cricket

    etc etc

  10. If you put on too much fake tan you'll look like an Arab.

  11. I am very sad about M. Jackson this morning. My children thought he was butters, but he and I were of an age. My favourite song was prob. Who's Loving You (originally by S. Robinson). Thank you.

  12. Wow, this 'job' thing is a brave disclosure indeed. I knew a Gefen lady in London, name of Barbara, though lived in posh part of Enfield rather than Electric Avenue - any relation? Re tanning, I take David "Cheap as Chips" Dickinson as my mentor and use Creosote For Men.

  13. Brixton is real? I thought that it was something straight out of Dante.

    You live and learn..

  14. Scarlet, that is a false economy. You will have to use litres of Johnson's to get the palest imitation of Famous Dave's. And anyway, if you really want to economise, you should be using cold tea. Try Brooke Bond. It's the tea the monkeys drink, you know.

    Dear Gorilla, of course they adore me! Who doesn't? It is perfectly true that homosexualists, in particular, have an obvious penchant for me. On entering the Brixton establishment, however, I was annoyed to hear a miscreant say "fags to the right, hags to the left". I think it was aimed at moi.

    Dear Madame De, this gun is always for hire. Now, which element of my entourage are you interested in? The elders come cheap, but I am expensive. The minimum-wage minions are just grateful to have gainful employment.

    Inky, you speak as if slutty dresses were of no interest to you. I know different, as you are well aware. Today I bought some Karen Millen icicle heels in powder blue with diamante ankle clasps. Don't even bother to pretend that you're not excited. Your friend's spray tan is NOT a bargain. Tan-fastic of Pangbourne offer a comparable treatment at £35 (paper panties provided) and Electric Beach of Charvil come in at £26.50 with complementary exfoliating and a styrofoam cup of Sunny D.

  15. Kevvie, I wish everyone knew you as I do! Friends, if only you could see Herr Musgrove in the flesh, you would let out a collective gasp, for he has a smooth, vulcanised appearance, with a leathery old peau much admired by the brand managers at L. Vuitton. His hair is as a sheet of glue, and his teeth an object-lesson in the enamelist's art. He is Guy Lux to a T and is wasted in the old book repository.

    Scarlet, as usual you drag the discourse to the gutter. Worse, Inky is probably sniggering at the innuendo. If Inky does get his head sprayed then we shall probably see it on You Tube in the Currently Being Watched section. I hope you will be able to embed it for us.

    And on that subject, I would be grateful to be sent a link for a performance of Who's Loving You by the Jackson Five as a tribute to the dearly departed. It is a gorgeous old Smokey Robinson song which oft-times makes me cry. Cx

  16. Daphne, it is too late. I am often mistaken for Maya Nasri, or Maya Nasri's mother, whatever.

  17. Grump, I KNEW I was taking a risk revealing my employment status, but needs must, and I am happy to suffer for my art. I WAS a woman of means, many moons ago. In the meantime, I have to make my own means. It just means that I have less means, but let us hope that changes as I take Lars to the cleaners.

    And you, too, Gadjo. I knew that any revelation of my workaday status would leave you crying softly into a Mansize Scotty. Pull yourself together man! I am a member of the Real Economy, as opposed to some other of my correspondents who appear to have pretend jobs. I name no names.
    Gefen is her first name. It means grapevine and is not uncommon for women of her age, race and status.

  18. Jimmy, you are very naughty. I believe you are from Garscube Road, or environs, where Model Lodging Houses abut boarded-up pawnbrokers, and sad, stray dogs copulate in the rain. (I have taken this from the Glasgow Tourist Board's website). Brixton, on the other hand, offers a vibrant and diverse ...errm ... no, you're right. It's shit.

  19. How known as Daphne to resemble an Arab! Let us not go until there, I would rather say “Carl Lewis” to the condition of running quickly!

  20. Scarla, oh thank you! I did cry. Who's Loving you?

    Crabbers, mon brave! But, where have you been? Je voyais la realite qui est le plus puissant des hallucinogenes. Cx

  21. Maya Nasri! Ha! This is the song which makes me blub like a baby. Skip the first minute, it's a waste of time.

  22. Paper panties? I won't say that I might have to look into those, but I'm confused, in a spray-tan place don't you get spray-on underwear, such as Pantene?

    About this job thing. Is the Karen Millen stuff a part of it? I mean, what do you wear for it? If that's giving too much away, then at least tell us about the accessories.

  23. Daphne, it's to cry, and I did. Tomorrow never comes, except it did yesterday.

    Inky, why do you need to know these things? I despair. After the spraying, they give you a pair of nail scissors and you cut the panties off. It is quite a moment, believe me, and extremely exciting to see your body beautifully bronzed all over, all over, apart from the triangle over your ass cheeks and ...... Inky, why do you need to know these things? And you make me feel like a doltish contestant on What's My Line? with your questions. I work in the rag trade (well, what else would I do?) Top end, not K. Millen (although I often wear her), women's ready-to-wear. I receive Christmas cards from Sir P. Green - which is ironic on so many levels - and endlessly repeat It's Tough On The High Street At The Moment. I am not Mary Portas.

  24. Hello Mrs P, if you want to embed this tune:-
    Click on my 'Who's Loving You?' link.
    Go to the grey box underneath the advertisement on the top righthand side.
    Click inside the embed box - you will then be given colour options for your borders - click on what you'd like.
    Click inside the embed box again - it will go blue.
    Press 'Ctrl' [keep it held down] and press 'C'.
    Go to the HTML page of your blogger post.
    Press 'Ctrl' [keep it held down] and press 'V'
    The code should then be visible on the HTML page.
    And publish!
    I hope this helps.

  25. Mrs P, I didn't realize I needed to know about the paper panties until I read your description of the, shall we say, reveal. But now I am so glad I asked, because I now realize that I needed to know it, this information has enhanced my life.

    The job inquisition is because although I do have a job myself, there's something a bit Mickey Mouse about the whole arrangement. I mean, I have a contract and everything, and I "work", and they "pay" me, but the causal relation between these things is hazy. What I mean is, it's never involved doing anything I didn't want to do, which I suppose is the definition of a proper job, and I rather wondered what it's like to have one of them. To be honest, the question of whether you wear Karen Millen was a bit of a smokescreen, I just like bringing slutwear into the discussion for its own sake.

  26. I am really really lost! I haven't a clue to most of what you are talking about, but that's okay, I can tell you are a very unique writer with a gift for words....I thank You for your visit and I assume the words meant Happy Birthday...yes?

    As to fake tanning products...I don't get it. But I understand wanting to look tan and NOT be out in the Cancerous soon too much....I must say, I spent a lot of time in the sun in the first 60 years of my life....After that? No more. Maybe those products are the answer!