'I was too scared to tell my parents I was going on Big Brother so I told them I was going on Countdown.'
Posted on 10:10am Friday 11th June 2010
I feel sorry for David Laws. I am sure he never meant to steal or lie. For all his cleverness, his double first, his banking directorship, his glittering future, his cocky walk he lacked one vital ingredient for survival in the public arena. Gall. Remember all those politicians who so recently got caught stealing from our purses? Imagine, if you will, that someone breaks into your house and steals your television. Caught at home watching it, they say, 'Never mind, I'll give it back.' Perhaps they do but you never see it again. That is how it is with most politicians. Except Mr Laws, who after all just got into a muddle as to when a landlord becomes a lover and when that embryonic relationship needs to become public knowledge, had some tiny seed of guilt in him that others lack, and had to hold up his hands and take the responsibility. As well as stealing from the public he was guilty of wishing to keep private something that is none of anyone else's business, except the security service and his family. Is it any wonder that he became confused? The rest of the world jostles and barges in front of the media to sell its dirty linen and intimate stories. You can't open a newspaper these days without seeing some pregnant woman's stomach bared for our viewing. It is cutely called a 'bump' and we are expected to be interested. This week sees the launch of the final series of Big Brother, the programme that people love to hate. In fact those who have never seen it hate it so much I wonder where they will turn next. Big Brother had a sort of hideous honesty about it. There were no secrets being hidden there as contestants and producers alike gave the media, and therefore the public, what they craved. The only thing banned was secrets. The 'successful' Big Brother contestants are not the ones with the most to hide but those most prepared to turn over the little stone that is their life and show the ugly creatures beneath. A lazy journalist scraped around in my past and all she could come up with was the lie that I was born in Canterbury. Ouch. Now that would be something to keep quiet about.
Posted on 1:55pm Wednesday 2nd June 2010
It is a truism worth repeating that nothing is quite the same watched on television. Last week I went to Chelsea Flower Show and later when I watched that day on television I couldn't believe it was the same event.
Posted on 11:41am Friday 28th May 2010
I must apologise if you have just knocked at the front door and I seem to have ignored you.
'The concept of two people living together for 25 years without a serious dispute suggests a lack of spirit only to be admired in sheep.'
Posted on 11:36am Friday 28th May 2010
I am a great believer in the notion of marriage. Apart from anything else it gets rid of that ambiguous term 'partner' with which I am never entirely comfortable.
Posted on 11:39am Wednesday 28th April 2010
We are having a family gathering in London next week. These are so rare that I have notified Sothebys. Excitement is mixed with alarm since I come from a long line of people who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorders mixed with finely honed critical skills. We are not unique in that. Charles Dickens, David Beckham and my mother share those traits. Dickens, infuriated by his children's messiness, practically invented the post-it note which he would leave on toys and books admonishing the children to be tidy. Beckham was driven to madness by a long-haired rug which he insisted upon hoovering himself several times a day so that the pile would lie in one direction. My mother refused to have a doctor visit the house until the drawer liners had been renewed. All three also shared a pride in their hair. Dickens had long, brown shiny locks of which he was inordinately proud. His house was full of mirrors so that he might admire his ever-changing styles. Beckham, I suspect, spends more time contemplating what is on his head than what is in it. In photos my mother has complicated curls and combs and pinnings. I, on the other hand, am terrified of hairdressers and beauticians. Young, wise and beautiful they seem to me to know all the womanly wiles that have eluded me all my life. Fortunately Jo Ponting knows better than to ask what I want - knowing the answer to be a truthful, but unhelpful, 'like Rachel Weisz with long dark cinnamon waves'. She, and Darby at Cherish, sort me out and send me off into the world in a state that should not frighten the horses. Something that Nick Clegg might bear in mind as he is a man who could benefit from a moisturising treatment on his follicles. Speaking of beauty and grooming I have just returned from the iconic and fabby Grace Kelly exhibition at the V&A. Appearances do matter, as any museum or retailer will attest. So my award for most consistently stunning window display goes to The Ark in Long Street. There are two places I would like to live - the V&A, and in the window of The Ark in Tetbury.