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Another older post, but topical…

I bumped into girlfriend’s husband, Tristram, this morning in Divas’ Deli. He

was looking a whiter shade of pale, or one of those infamous shades of grey,

but I can’t remember which one of the fifty. I told him that I was looking

forward to their fireworks party, but he looked somewhat glum and then

proceeded to give me a potted version of the unsuccessful viewing of their

must-have forever house on High Street, in tow with Phil and Kirstie.

The worst part of it is that I was planning on making curried pumpkin soup for

everyone, to warm them up at the party, but now I can’t use up the leftover

lanterns, as curry is a sore point with Clammie.  It’s my speciality too.

Why? I asked. Does Clammie not approve of pumpkins?  I’m sure they are


(Apparently Clammie and Tristram been gazumped by the proprietor of Benares

Balti House.)

Don’t worry, I soothed him.  She’ll soon forget the gazumping.  You’ll see.  It’s

not the best time of year for house-hunting.

You’re wrong there, he contradicted me.  Now she’s gone and downloaded Kirstie

and Phil’s House Hunter app on her iPhone.  She’s got it into her head that we

need to find a property like Meadowgate, only more twee.

Meadowgate?  It sounded like someone’s nemesis.

Oh, that cottage that Kirstie re-furbished on her renovation programme.

I helped myself surreptitiously to a second sample of Waterloo cheese from the

Stratfield Saye Estate. Come to think of it, Clammie will be after a house like that

next.  Upcycling and upward mobility: two of her many obsessions.

Tristram must be telepathic:

Yes, her latest obsession is to upcycle everything, so she spends half the week

hanging around the dechetterie- I mean, re-cycling centre, looking for anything

that she can transform.  She’s taking on all the latest jargon- ‘property regeneration’

etc.. And I’m being trailed up to Kensington Church Street to look for some bird’s eye

maple burr toilet seats when we have a huge contract to deal with at work and now

I’ll have to think of an alternative recipe for the party.  He looked really stressed.

I’m surprised at the craft interest, I said.  Clammie has never been known to sew

on a button, let alone create a Roman blind.

Oh, she just has the ideas and lets someone else actualise them, he said.

A bit like Kirstie then?

No, Clammie wanted to make Roman candles for the party, but I drew the line at

home-made pyrotechnics.  She did supervise the boys making a very realistic guy,

though.  He looks exactly like Caligula..

Oh yeah, I laughed, their form teacher, Mr Milford-Haven!

Except that they appropriated my very best Chinos which I was going to wear for

Dress Down Friday at work. 

He suddenly perked up: Actually, I suppose the party will be a lot easier, socially-

speaking, as Brassie has now been convinced that Cosmo is not having an affair

with Magda.

How did that come about? I was all ears.

Carrie phoned Clammie on her tablet and said that we needn’t erect the gazebo, or

invite Sonia to read the Tarot cards to warn Cosmo and Magda off each other. Sonia,

being nosy, had got the wrong end of the stick and Brassica had jumped to

conclusions- the wrong ones.  She has seen sense.

Good! One less thing to worry about, I assured him.  I’ll phone Brassica later and

get the low down.

Don’t say that I said anything.  He looked worried.

Of course not.  Do you want me to bring anything on Saturday?

Just a fire extinguisher, he quipped, already looking a mite happier.

Well, if I can do anything..

There is one thing, he volunteered.

The deli assistant was becoming rather annoyed as we had cleared the

plate of cheese samples.


Have you any ideas for Christmas prezzies for Clammie’s stocking?

Stockings!  No, tell you what..Kirstie was raving on her official website about

a hand-embroidered tea towel which had been painstakingly crafted by an

ancient Italian lady of 108, whose family have owned a shop for more than 400

years.    Bet Clammie’d love one for her new kitchen, when she gets it.

(when, not if)

Are you serious?  He was aghast.  You’d think at that ripe old age they’d let the

poor old dear sit back in the sun and drink her pension away.

Like Gyles’ mother? We laughed.

Yes, I don’t see Ginevra doing too much in the way of fancy work, I added. And,

as for Sonia, she only embroiders facts!



Must phone Brassie when I get home!  Oops forgot to buy cheese.