I will be incommunicado for some days. Tomorrow, I have to deliver Mutti, the glamorous old harridan, to her cousin's cottage in Corfe Castle, a gloomsome model village, built to scale, in an inaccessible part of Dorset, or Darzet as the locals have it. There is no room for me in the begrimed hovel, I am relieved to report, so I shall stay for two nights at Mortons House Hotel (no apostrophe), a ludicrously self-satisfied almost-adequate on a busy road. I see that it has been awarded the Bronze Award for Accessible Entry by the South Wales Tourist Board. This accolade moves me to an incandescent rage. Why should Accessible Entry be so important to the Southern Welsh? Some people are hoity-toity, I must say. What about the North Walians? Do they prefer something more challenging? And who won the Gold? Rest assured, I shall be making careful note of how accessible I find entry on arrival. If I find it wanting, I shall say. Or I shall move to the Bankes Arms across the road. The entry there is very accessible, although the exit is oft-times more difficult, particularly when one is incapable through drink, or attempting to squeeze through the huge oaken doorway whilst a stout party from the Midlands is adjusting his dress.
I hope you will wish me Godspeed and good weather. This time last year, you will recall, I was in Antibes for a month, the toast of Cap d'Agde and dining with the Michael Howards. How times change! Saturday night will find me sitting on my chaste couch, gazing at a distant vista of the Purbeck hills, a large vodka and slimline in one hand and 40mg of Flupenthixol Decanoate in the other.