In haste, I was leafing through the February issue of Tatler and found the most marvellous feature Labradors of Power written by an entertaining chap called Adam Edwards. It reminded me that I had not as yet sent you a photograph of my Christmas date Bella who was the most entertaining guest at this year’s festive house party. Bella and I were quite simply inseparable and she called to mind that marvellous Victoria Wood line from Pat & Margaret: ‘I didn’t know what true love was until I bred my first Afghan’.
With apologies to Bella I have to quote Mr Edwards in praise of the ‘slobrador’. ‘The wet-nosed, tail-wagging soppy date that is as useless as a fish knife and as thick as minestrone is still the dog of choice for the gentry…The Lab greets all visitors by either jumping up on them or by bumping and barging. It sniffs at stationary crotches, considers the human leg a sex aid and swaggers through the house like a madam in an African brothel’. Terrific prose. It is something of a relief that Tatler is ‘such fun’ again after a few years when the tone became nasty and superior…a surefire sign that the editor was socially insecure. New headmistress Kate Reardon has put the cheekiness, eccentricity and honesty back into the book. God bless her and all who sail with her.
Do you have plans this evening? Personally I couldn’t think of anything worse than false jollity in foreign company and being forced to kiss people you would ordinarily strike with your umbrella in the street. I haven’t been seen in public on New Year’s Eve since Joe Allen was forced to enforce the smoking ban. Much smarter, don’t you think, to tear a crab claw on New Year’s Day at Sheekey’s Oyster Bar with La Farmer and Messers Bowering and Hesling.
Final snap of 2011 is a picture of the gem set links Better Half bought me for Christmas. Reminds me of a favourite Bette Midler ‘Soph’ joke: ‘I was having tea one day with my girlfriend Clementine and the doorbell rang. It was a delivery boy with two dozen roses. I opened the card and it said “love from your boyfriend Ernie”. “You know what this means?” I said to Clementine. “For the next two weeks I’m going to be flat on my back with my legs wide open”. “What’s the matter with you?” says Clementine. “Aint you got a vase?” Until next time…