( Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve MS 1126. Roman de la Rose)
not for bending, but
her sword is.
Amanda Thatcher, Bernard Ingham, Bishop of London, David Cameron, duck pate, Falklands, Iron Lady, John Major, Lech Walesa, Margaret Thatcher, Pippa Middleton, pussycay bows, Sam Cam, Simon Weston, St Clement Danes
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
Magda looked worried.
It’s another fish, explained Ginevra. Not such a clever lady,
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.
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.