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Sonia and Ginevra had decided to watch Maggie’s funeral together, even

although they had been of opposing political stances.  However, both

agreed fervently on one fact: that she had had what some unsavoury

persons might have termed balls.

They settled into the chintz armchairs, put their feet up on the matching

footstools and prepared to toast the coffin as it came out of St Clement

Danes church.

In my younger days, I would have jolly well gone up there and routed anyone

who had the bad manners to express any opposition on such a day, avowed

Ginevra.  I would have clouted them with my handbag.

And got yourself arrested, sighed Sonia. But I agree that empty vessels make

the most sound and a lot of these malcontents have nothing constructive to


Yes, the Queen wouldn’t stand back in deference to any of them, stated

Ginevra, prematurely sipping her gin and tonic.

Look! There’s Simon Weston!  He lost most of his face to the Falklands cause

and he is not eaten up with bitterness and pointless hatred, is he? remarked


They say it is about class, but she was a grocer’s daughter and she made her

own way, so I applaud her for that.  And she won three elections in a row..

Well, let’s not go into that, advised Sonia, who hadn’t voted Tory on one

of these occasions.

Duke of Edinburgh 33 Allan Warren.jpg

Did you see Prince Philip nod at the remark about bureaucracy never

achieving anything? observed Ginevra.  She thought that the old boy

would definitely be ready for a drink afterwards.

And so it continued.  They were concerned for the horses and for the

middle bearer who was becoming very sweaty and who looked as if he

might not make it.  They applauded Amanda Thatcher’s dignified

behaviour, her nice legs and expressed their disapproval of Pippa

Middleton, in contrast. I think that was the gin’s influence, as she did

not appear to be present.  A pity as she might have picked up some tips

on how to run a good event.

They wiped away tears with Sir Bernard Ingham and George Osborne

and commented on Sam Cam’s pussycat bow, prophesying a return to

the Thatcherite style.

Sonia dared to question the unfair political advantage that David

Cameron might have gained from the reading. I am the way, the truth

and the life was stated forcefully, but he may have been lent a nimbus

of authority.

Okay, ladies, said Magda, Ginevra’s carer, bringing in two television

trays with plates of toast and pate at one o’clock precisely.

What kind of pate is it? queried Ginevra.

Duck, darlings.

Oh no.  Take it away.  Bring us that salmon one instead.  Ginevra

could be bossy and demanding- possibly a little Iron Ladyish herself.

But what wrong with it?  You usually like it, responded Magda, who

could stand up for herself.

The Bishop of London said that he had been advised not to touch it;

it has too many calories, Ginevra elucidated. Anyway, I suddenly

remembered that we had some of the other kind at the back of the

fridge when I saw the Scottish First Minister.  The camera zoomed in on

him when they sang about ‘That Other Country..whose paths would be

peace- eventually.

Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland.jpg

Okay, I go to find it, Magda said, thinking that she would probably eat

the duck version, calorific content no problem.

She returned with the substitute in a few seconds.

It had better not be Sturgeon pate, laughed Sonia, who was fairly

politically astute.

Magda looked worried.

It’s another fish, explained Ginevra.  Not such a clever lady,


Nicola Sturgeon 2.jpg

So why did you give this Maggie lady such a lot of attention?  I never

heard of her, asked Magda.

Because she was a dreadnought amongst a fishing fleet, as somebody

quoted today, explained Ginevra.  You had Lech Walesa; we had

Maggie Thatcher, so put that into your salmon pate and smoke it!

No, corrected Sonia: we had John Major.

John Major 1996.jpg

That reminds me, Ginevra changed the subject whenever she was

exposed as misinformed, there might be some curried eggs in the

fridge as well.

Sonia laughed, but Magda didn’t get the joke.  (She found the eggs,

though.)  Ginevra’s tangential thought processes were often puzzling.

Could these apparent non-sequiturs be an exhibition of confusion?

She would ask the lady at the agency.  Maybe the two old girls were

both -how do you say it?-Ah yes, bonkers!

Meantime, toast and duck pate: quite a nice little lunch.