The Duchess. April 2014.

Dear Rowley,

Apologies for being so tardy with my correspondence of late. Life has not been without event and that’s putting it mildly. Still, at least I’m not on trial for shooting my partner like Oscar Pistorious. Aren’t you riveted by that trial? I don’t like to be prurient so have tried to avoid it but I couldn’t keep my eyes off the news last night when the prosecuting council basically dismantled the hysterical ‘Blade Runner’s’ defence. It seems rather clear that the shooting was murder not mistaken identity.

I don’t know what it is about the South African white male accent. It simply sounds so unpleasant and reminds me of that marvellous Spitting Image song ‘I’ve never met a nice South African’. But on to more edifying, cheerful news. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge seem to be lighting up New Zealand on their first official tour of the Colonies. Kate and bonny Baby George seem to be stealing the show but what else is new? At least Prince William appears to approve of his wife’s popularity unlike his father with the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

It must be rather distressing for Prince William to have gone so bald so relatively early in life. He looks like no one more than his uncle Prince Edward. Have you heard about the new play at the Almeida theatre? It is called Charles III and it imagines the Prince of Wales becoming king while the scheming Duchess of Cambridge moves Machiavellian mountains to persuade him to abdicate. It all sounds rather near the knuckle: not dissimilar to that second episode of House of Cards involving a new king and his estranged wife living in ‘the House of Sorrows’ with her eldest son.

I do feel rather ambivalent about drama surrounding people who are still living hence disliking The Queen and The Iron Lady. It’s not terribly fair particularly when you get the impression ‘the young’ believe anything on film is the truth. I thought The Iron Lady was in appalling taste. It was left wing propaganda dancing round the grave of Lady Thatcher before she was even dead and buried. One hopes the lady never saw it. But back to New Zealand. Thoroughly enjoyed the pictures of William and Kate playing cricket. I thought the Duchess was terribly game to go into bat wearing towering black high heeled shoes.

The Duchess’s wardrobe has by and large been a success so far apart from the Air Canada arrivals outfit with the heinous pillbox hat. I thought the black evening dress in particular was a stunner. It would have been knockout if the Duchess had been allowed to borrow one of The Queen’s more modest tiaras but apparently that’s not the tone of the tour: shame! Wasn’t that portrait of The Queen in Jungle Red lipstick a horror? I’m amazed William and Kate didn’t LOL…

I must admit to being thrilled to have joined the Society of Authors. It is such a worthwhile organisation that covers everything from contractual negotiations with publishers to preferential rates at the London Library of which I will become a member this year once the shekels start pouring in again. I’ve been poor as a church mouse of late due to ‘the troubles’ and my inability to work. Mind you, strike that. I have been writing the odd bit for The Rake and for Henry Poole & Co’s Hall of Fame on the website but I haven’t as yet been able to do anything in public. Maybe after Easter I will be ready to begin again.

What are you doing for Easter Rowley? I don’t like chocolate or church services particularly so it doesn’t hold too much sway with me. That said, I do love it when the BBC repeats King of Kings or some such Biblical epic. I did pop into St Martins-in-the-Field church for the Sunday service last week. The choir made me cry. The sermon made me rage. The old vicar kept on throwing in teenage slang…presumably to be down with the kids and make religion relevant for a new generation. It was AWFUL.

Thunder rumbles around Bloomsbury Towers at the moment. The Bedford Estate is refurbishing No 25 and 24 Bloomsbury Square and it is going to be a nightmare of noise, scaffolding and builders’ bums. Seeing as this is my place of work, I think there should be a rent holiday for the months it will take to refurbish the neighbours. Trust them to stretch the work right over Spring and Summer. I think a little escape to Menorca or Nice might be on the cards if the refurbishments get too gruesome to bear.

I think Bloomsbury Towers needs a lick of paint and perhaps a little of my Cole & Sons wallpaper in the bedroom. I do love decorating, don’t you? My colours are to be a warm ivory and eau-de-nil: very sophisticated if not the correct heritage colours. Having never hung wallpaper before, I can only imagine it will be like The Marx Brothers or some such. We shall see what we shall see.

On the work front, I’m waiting for my contract to come back from the Society of Authors then hopefully I can sign on the dotted line and bank the advance. It couldn’t come fast enough I’ll tell you that for nothing. Let’s face it, I don’t want to be throwing myself on the mercy of the parish. Until next time…